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Q&A with Dame Joan Sutherland Fund Recipient Liesl Pfeffer

Wednesday, October 19, 2016   (0 Comments)
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Liesl Pfeffer is a visual artist from Brisbane, Australia, living in Brooklyn, NY.  In her art practice she constructs imagined and real places and objects through photo-media collage. She holds a Bachelor of Photography from the Queensland College of Art (2005). Pfeffer was resident at The Banff Centre, Banff, Canada (2015), The Wassaic Project, Wassaic, NY (2014) and in August 2016 will be resident at Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT, supported by the Australian American Association’s Dame Joan Sutherland Fund. Recently she exhibited at Ortega y Gasset, Wassaic Project, Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, Trestle Projects and Chashama (all New York, USA). Pfeffer was a mentor in the New York Foundation for the Arts’ Immigrant Artist Program in 2015.


Who are you as an artist?
I am an early-career visual artist working with photography, drawing, painting and weaving.


What prompted you to come to the US?

I was interested in the opportunities for research and development of new work, presentation of work, market/audience development and community development.


What did your course/project involve?

I participated in a four week residency at the Vermont Studio Center (VSC) in Johnson, Vermont, USA. VSC is the largest international artists' and writers' residency program in the United States, hosting more than 50 visual artists and writers each month. All residents received a private room in shared housing, a 24 hour studio and three communal meals each day.

In addition to regular studio facilities, the VSC has two darkrooms for photographic techniques. I created a series of prints and a unique handmade artist book that incorporates cyanotype and silver gelatin printing processes.


What were the highlights of your experience?

The residency was very rewarding in terms of art production. I do not typically have access to a photography darkroom, so it was very beneficial to have access to these facilities. I experimented with new processes that are not part of my typical practice. I also made an artist book for the first time in my practice.


Where did you find inspiration?

I was inspired by having uninterrupted studio time and a beautiful quiet private studio in which to work.


What will you take away from this experience?

Aside from the large quantity of new work, I also made new connections with other visual artists and writers across the USA.


What is your favorite piece of work that resulted from this experience?

My artist book titled 'To see the moon fall from the sky'. It is 9 x 6 inches and hand printed using cyanotype and silver gelatin.


What are you currently working on?

I am working on applications to exhibit the work that I produced at the residency.


What is your vision for the future?

I am going to study at Monash University in 2017.


What advice would you give other artists aspiring to come to the US?

The larger cities have a higher proportion of opportunities for emerging artists so it tends to be most beneficial to base yourself in New York, Los Angeles or Chicago.

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