A Muckleford-based artist's innovative urban sculpture has seen her awarded a $40,000 Rural and Regional Development Award to further her ambitious projects.
Fayen d'Evie's portfolio of work, exploration of tactile art and proposal for development of a new tactile typography for sculptural text works is what piqued the judges' interest.
The award, supported by The Geoff and Helen Handbury Foundation, is offered as part of the Melbourne Prize for Urban Sculpture 2017 and focuses on the importance of sculpture and provides an opportunity to further careers in the arts.
For Fayen, the timing couldn't have better as she moves to explore fresh creative projects with a new way of expressing herself.
"Until a few years ago, my art-making dealt with painting, writing and publishing, and the intersections between these. Then I began to lose my vision, and panicked about what this would mean for my art," she said.
"I began to make works exploring blindness, and realised I'd stumbled upon vast, and fascinating, creative territory."
While Fayen has not given up on painting, writing or publishing, most works are now driven by the idea of "the radical potential of blindness".
"Rather than expecting all audiences to have 20:20 vision, my work opens up new ways of making and experiencing artworks, and navigating situations of unfamiliarity, concealment, invisibility, and more," she explained.
Fayen said she and other artists could struggle to maintain creative practice when other options could provide a more stable, paying career. She said the Melbourne Prize Trust award meant she could devote herself to aspiring projects.
Fayen said she hoped her work provoked people to experience artworks in new ways and move beyond treating disability as an access issue.
One of the projects this award will support grew from a residency at the radiofrequency telescope array of the SETI Institute in California, which monitors the skies for extra-terrestrial signals.
"I'll be trying to develop a hypersonic installation that deals with how we might communicate with intergalactic dust clouds... Stay tuned..." she said.
Fayen's work will be displayed at the Federation Square exhibition of finalists' work November 13-27.