Penelope Cain, winner with work

SCA awards Penelope Cain $28,000 art prize

5 October 2018
Minerals, money and extracted landscapes inspire winning artwork
Penelope Cain is the latest recipient of the Fauvette Loureiro Memorial Artists Travel Scholarship from Sydney College of the Arts.

Cain was among five artists shortlisted for one of Australia’s biggest contemporary art prizes of the year. The annual scholarship supports a recent SCA graduate to continue their development through international travel.

Winning the Fauvette means that I can undertake this interdisciplinary research across multiple sites and to make lasting connections with artists, scientists and other collaborators in South America and beyond.
Penelope Cain
Penelope Cain, winner with work

Penelope Cain, winner with work 

Cain graduated with a Master of Fine Arts at SCA in 2016, was a finalist in the Glenfiddich Artists in Residence Prize the following year and the recipient of a 2017 Parramatta Artist Studio. Cain’s most recent solo exhibitions include, Kudos Gallery, 2018, and Artereal Gallery, 2017, and she has been a finalist in both the Archibald and Sulman prizes.

Andrew Lavery, Director of SCA and chair of the judging panel said “Through the platform of the landscape, Penelope Cain’s work and travel plans are novel in their historiographic critique of the economies of global mining and its far-reaching environmental impacts. The quality of her works lies in their ability to blend myth with scientific and economic facts to question the ethics of these practices.”   

Cain plans to use the scholarship to undertake a series of overseas artist residencies and endeavours, taking her to Peru, Bolivia, Scotland, Denmark and Taiwan.

As part of her travels, Cain will follow the path of the silver trade from the Australian Holey Dollar back to the original silver mine in Bolivia, as well as the marks of post-mining lead dust within ice core samples from the Peruvian icecap. Cain hopes to work with a Danish-based paleoclimatologist to look for the signal of lead dust in these ice core samples from the window of time that the silver was mined for the Holey Dollars. She will also be working with a Peruvian artist collective to make new work from some of this research.

The contemporary work of Cain and the four other shortlisted artists Ciaran Begley, Eugene Choi, Kalanjay Dhir and Kate Scardifield are on display in the 2018 Fauvette Loureiro Finalists exhibition until 3 November. 

This year, Anneke Jasper, Curator of Contemporary Art at the AGNSW joined the selection panel of Stuart Bailey, Joyce Hinterding, Andrew Lavery and Julie Rrap. Together, the judges assessed both the merit of the applicants’ work and their proposed travel plans.

Event details

When: 4 October – 3 November

Where: SCA Galleries, Sydney College of the Arts, The University of Sydney, Kirkbride Way, Lilyfield (enter via Balmain Road, opposite Cecily Street)

Opening Hours: Mon - Fri 11am - 5pm, Sat 11am - 4pm

About the scholarship

Set up in 2003, the scholarship celebrates the bequest of the late Renee Erdos, a graduate of the University of Sydney. The scholarship was established in memory of her mother Fauvette Loureiro, the eldest daughter of Portuguese painter Arthur Loureiro (1853-1932). Drawing from a wealth of talent from recent SCA graduates, the Fauvette Loureiro prize and exhibition has cemented a reputation for showcasing outstanding contemporary art.


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