The Helpmann Academy Creative Development Grants extend crucial support to up-and-coming creatives, offering funding specifically designed to kickstart original projects, facilitate research and development of new work, or refine and build on emerging artists’ practical skills.

Chris Siu and Jack Calver are two emerging creatives who received Creative Development Grants last year, enabling them to successfully carry out their projects.

Siu, a University of South Australia graduate, is a Hong-Kong born photographer currently living and working on Kaurna Yerta in Tarntanya/Adelaide. He specialises in medium-format analogue photography, with his work deeply influenced by the dynamic socio-political landscape of his homeland and his evolving role within it.

The grant enabled Siu to present his solo exhibition Then We Keep Living Vol. 1, which ran for four weeks through September 2023 at Nexus Arts, providing a platform for him to showcase his works and artistic narratives.

An installation view of Chris Siu’s exhibition at Nexus Arts. Photo courtesy of the artist.

“This opened doors to professional and public engagement opportunities that further expand and consolidate my creative practice,” Siu says. “Helpmann provided crucial support during my transition from academic study to the professional art field.”

Flinders University graduate Calver is an actor and producer who made his first leap into the creative industry when he was awarded State Theatre Company South Australia’s Young Playwright Award. At the age of 17, he established Glassroom Theatre Company to showcase his productions, including Clanstow for the 2018 Adelaide Fringe and Blackrock in 2019.

With the Creative Development Grant, Calver created and staged a satirical theatre production titled Unfair Verona, a twist on Romeo & Juliet, which premiered in Sydney in July 2023. This opportunity allowed Glassroom Theatre Company to expand its presence beyond South Australia, receiving acclaim from various critics.

“The grant removed a multitude of barriers that so often prevent new graduates from creating their own work, allowing me to continue developing my skills and showcase my SA-based acting training to the Australian theatre industry interstate,” says Calver.

Applications for the 2024 Creative Development Grants are currently open and close on Monday, June 10, 2024, at 11.59pm.

Creative Development Grants are made possible through the generosity of John Phillips and proudly supported by the Government of South Australia through Arts South Australia.

Aryani Singh is a writer and musician, with a passion for film, entertainment, and music.

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