Caroline Kennedy-McCraken

RMIT University student and Brunswick West resident Caroline Kennedy-McCraken is one of the 43 shortlisted artists currently exhibiting at RMIT Gallery in the Siemens-RMIT Fine Art Scholarship Awards.

The Siemens-RMIT Fine Art Scholarship Awards are on at RMIT Gallery until 23 January.

Winners will be announced by RMIT Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Daine Alcorn, at a special presentation at RMIT Gallery on 20 January from 6 pm – 8 pm.

Caroline Kennedy-McCraken, with her work Notation, 2009. Photo credit: Mark Ashkanasy, RMIT Gallery 2009

Caroline Kennedy-McCraken, with her work Notation, 2009. Photo credit: Mark Ashkanasy, RMIT Gallery 2009.

Ms Kennedy-McCraken, who is a Master of Fine Art student, is a former singer and songwriter with the successful band Deadstar. Her work in the exhibition, ‘Notation’, is a group of precariously stacked clothes horses, inspired by her composer husband’s musical and domestic duties.

“ 'Notation' is a formal dream of a domestic worker where the patterns of menial labour become pleasurable compositions,” she said.

"My art is informed by my musical knowledge, just as art informs my musical practice.

"I dropped out of university to be in a band. However, I traveled a lot and that's where I saw all the major art works that influenced me - I made sure I went to all the major art galleries wherever I was on tour.

She said that in Europe, there isn't a distinction between fine art and music in the same way that she finds in Australia. After the "peak experience" of the band at its height of success, Ms Kennedy-McCraken said she was keen to return to study .

She now combines her art with the juggle of two small children, and calls her work "a painterly practice that's engaged with music that appears as sculpture."

"As well as making paintings using conventional materials, I make sculptures from commercial products like clothes horses and cardboard storage boxes, usually reconfiguring these materials in some way, or painting them," she said.

"Much of my work can be perceived as deconstruction from modernism, where the concerns of minimalism and formalism are taken into dialogue around contemporary life."

Now in its ninth year, the Siemens RMIT Fine Art Scholarship Awards help RMIT Fine Art students further their careers by assisting their research and production costs.

For media enquiries, photos and interviews with artists:

RMIT Gallery Media Coordinator, Evelyn Tsitas, (03) 9925 1716, 0418 139 015, or evelyn.tsitas@rmit.edu.au.