31 August 2020

NAVA Media Release

The Windmill Trust and the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) congratulate Debbie Taylor-Worley announced as the recipient of the 23rd annual scholarship for regional NSW artists.

Taylor-Worley will use the $10,000 scholarship for a practice-led research trip to visit significant sites between Tamworth and Walgett NSW, reconnecting on her Country with the places of her ancestors.

“The Windmill Scholarship allows me to take an extended research trip to Gamilaraay Country, my traditional country, in order to reconnect spiritually and literally to the places of my ancestors and my childhood,” said Debbie Taylor-Worley. “Having investigated places and spaces significant to my culture and personal memories, I will be creating artwork of the landscape, in the landscape and formed by the landscape.

“Thank you so much to NAVA, the Windmill Trust and the consideration of the selection panel for this wonderful opportunity.”

Debbie Taylor-Worley is a Gamillaraay woman originally from north-west NSW and now based on the Tweed Coast. Her practice ranges from works on paper, canvas and ceramics with an emphasis on utilising natural pigments, dyes, ocean water, ochres and resins. Driven to reconnect with her heritage after the birth of her daughters, Taylor-Worley’s artwork honours the powerful carved trees (dendroglyph) of her Country, many of which have been destroyed in the colonial pursuit of agricultural land. Her most recent ceramic works have been female figurines - abstracted and carved with designs inspired by the dendroglyphs - portraying the strength, integrity, power, resilience and enduring nurturing creativity of womanhood.

“Debbie Taylor-Worley's work is experimental and contains strong geometric patterns based on her Aboriginal forebears of the Gamillaraay nation,” said Dr Fiona Foley, 2018 Windmill Trust Scholarship recipient and one of this year’s assessors. “She is deserving of the Windmill Trust Scholarship at this stage of her career and this award will take her art practice to a new level of art-making on her traditional country.”

“We are all extremely proud to administer this important scholarship to Debbie Taylor-Worley, offering the necessary space and time to develop her career further as an artist, and to connect with and make work on Country,” said NAVA First Nations Research and Engagement Coordinator, Georgia Mokak.

“The NAVA team is so excited for her and eager to continue to watch her practice in the future!”

“Receiving an award like this can be pivotal to an artist's career. I'm thrilled for Debbie and look forward to seeing the impact of this experience on her work for years to come,” said Acting CEO, Penelope Benton.

“Presenting artists with this type of support really is one of the most rewarding parts of our work. I extend our warm appreciation to the Windmill Trust for this ongoing partnership.”

The Windmill Trust Scholarship was established in 1997 by Primrose Moss to honour her sister, artist and former Director of the Macquarie Galleries, the late Penny Meagher and is targeted at regional NSW artists.

The Windmill Trust Scholarship was born out of a desire to offer support to NSW artists living outside metropolitan areas to advance their careers. Over the past two decades, this initiative has supported and promoted the vast array of talent that exists in the diverse regional and remote areas of NSW, including Murrumbatemen, Moree, Orange, Wapengo and the Northern Rivers, supporting projects from a diverse range of media. Fifty incredibly strong applications were received this year from artists across the state, from Thurgoona to Wellington.