Celebrating half a century of creativity

Tuesday 12 May 2015

What do painter Sidney Nolan, writer Robyn Davidson and musician Andrew Farriss have in common?

Aside from being exceptional in their respective fields, they have all visited ANU throughout the half- century of the HC Coombs Creative Arts Fellowship.

On Friday, the ANU community celebrated Fellows past and present to mark the 50th anniversary of the program. During its lifetime, this Fellowship has brought more than 70 artists, writers, musicians and composers to the university.

The evening featured inspiring talks by 2015 Fellow and INXS songwriter Andrew Farriss, who spoke about his experience in the music industry. Performance artist and photographer William Yang took the audience through a photographic journey of his visit to ANU in 2007.

Musical highlights included a jazz performance composed especially for the evening by John Mackey from the ANU School of Music. Dedicated to 1977 Fellow Don Burrows, Mackey was accompanied by another former Fellow, Professor Paul Grabowsky, and School of Music student Brendan Keller-Tuberg.

Farriss returned to the stage, accompanied by School of Music students and staff for a short set which included new songs and a rendition of INXS hit “Never tear us apart”.

The HC Coombs Creative Arts Fellowship Endowment was launched by Professor Jennifer Corbett, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Research Training), to ensure the Fellowship’s continued success.

Emeritus Professor David Williams, former Director of the School of Art, hosted the evening.

“I’ve been part of this process for many years and I congratulate ANU for its sustained support over 50 years for some of Australia’s most prominent visual artists, film makers, writers, composers and musicians,” Williams said.

“The contribution of these artists to the cultural life and experience at ANU and to the arts in Australia has been significant.”

Find out more about the HC Coombs Creative Arts Fellowship

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