Image: Shirley Jianzhen Wu, Infusion (detail), 2022, Flameworked borosilicate glass, Eucalyptus cneorifolia essential oil, sola wood (Aeschynomene aspera), teak, cotton thread, reed and silicone.
Photo by Michael Haines.

Guildhouse is thrilled to announce the 15 diverse visual artists, craftspeople and designers who will be supported through the 2023 Catapult mentorship program.  

Catapult provides South Australian artists with the critical funding and support they need to develop their artistic practice by engaging in an artist-led mentorship with established practitioners from Australia and beyond.   

In 2023, Guildhouse has leveraged the generous support of its Creative Champions donor group, the Ian Potter Foundation and Country Arts SA to award seven Catapult mentorships to South Australian practitioners. Valued at $5,000 per mentorship, the program financially boosts the practices of fifteen artists in the roles of mentees and mentors.  

With applicants from all over South Australia, the 2023 Catapult cohort truly represents the breadth of artistic practice and skills in our state.  

The Guildhouse Catapult Mentorship program is highly sought after and in 2023 there was an unprecedented number of applications, from artists from all over South Australia, demonstrating the necessity of this unique program.

Esteemed South Australian visual artist and 2023 Selection Panel member Tsering Hannaford, says The selection panel would like to acknowledge the high calibre of the applicants for this year’s Catapult mentorship program. It was a difficult task to narrow the selection and we are thrilled to support the successful applicants who demonstrated a strong potential to build meaningful new relationships with their chosen mentor, at an impact point in their practices. We are pleased to support regional artists for this round and connections with state based, interstate and international mentors. We strongly encourage all applicants who were unsuccessful this round to apply again for the next round of Catapult mentorship opportunities.” 

Damien Cassidy, Arts and Culture Leader at Country Arts SA says, “Country Arts SA is pleased to support Guildhouse’s Catapult mentorship program, providing regional artists the opportunity to extend their creative practise and artistic networks. The Catapult mentorships are invaluable in providing contemporary visual artists an opportunity to participate in an immersive professional development process of artistic exploration, ideas generation and the creation of new work.”  

Emerging jewellery and sculptural artist Shirley Jianzhen Wu will be undertaking a mentorship with Mark Eliott to refine her hollow glass flameworking skill. “I am thrilled to embark on the Guildhouse Catapult mentorship program with Mark Eliott, an expert in flamework glass. Our mentorship will not only expand my knowledge in previously unexplored areas, specifically in glass installation and the commissioning/collaboration process, but also enhance my problem-solving skills through hands-on demonstrations and discussions. Mark’s remarkable expertise in glass flameworking and multidimensional creative thinking align seamlessly with my artistic goals. I anticipate this mentorship to be a transformative journey for my practice, creating a rich resource for future growth.” 

Guildhouse CEO Sarah Feijen said that the Catapult Mentorship program continues to be demand and highly valued by recipients.  “The number and quality of applications we received this year has grown exponentially, showing  how crucial this program is to our community. Connection, guidance and support between practitioners through a mentorship provides a powerful and fulfilling pathway to the development of an artist’s creative practice. We’re incredibly grateful to our partners and donors for recognising this need and responding with such generosity.”    

In 2022 Guildhouse completed a four-year study in partnership with the University of South Australia on the impacts of mentorships on artistic career development. The final report encompasses rich qualitative research with mentorship participants and can be read in full here.  

2023 Catapult Recipients:

Dave Court and Soda Jerk 

Multi-interdisciplinary artist Dave Court will be undertaking a mentorship with internationally renowned duo Soda Jerk to develop, clarify and deepen conceptual aspects of his work.  

Edwina Cooper and Penelope Cain 

Sculpture and installation-based artist Edwina Cooper will work with Sydneybased interdisciplinary artist Penelope Cain with an aim to learn about incorporating environmental sciences and research as core motivators in artistic practice.  

Fiona Castle-Schmidt and Julia Robinson 

Emerging artist Fiona Castle-Schmidt will work with sculpture and installation-based artist Julia Robinson to develop her emerging upholstery wall sculpture practice.  

Jingwei Bu and Lindy Lee 

Multidisciplinary artist Jingwei Bu will work with acclaimed contemporary artist Lindy Lee focusing on career development pathways, project development support, advice on collaborating and working with institutions, and sharing experiences of working as POC artists.  

Kat Korossy and Kate Kurucz 

Kat Korossy will be undertaking a mentorship with artist Kate Kurucz with an aim to elevate her artistic practice by integrating abstract, realism and surrealism techniques, expanding creative horizons. 

Lyn Anstey and Sophie Hann 

Landscape and portrait artist Lyn Anstey will be undertaking a mentorship with Sophie Hann with a focus on improving technical skills and strengthening concepts aiding the continuation of her body of work. 

Shirley Jianzhen Wu and Mark Eliott 

Emerging contemporary artist Shirley Jianzhen Wu will work with contemporary glass artist Mark Eliott with the purpose of refining her hollow flamework glassblowing skill in larger scale and gain deeper understanding of glass installation.   

Every donation made though our Creative Champion donor program goes directly to the artists involved in our game changing Catapult mentorship program. Applications for Catapult outnumber available opportunities year on year, and we are seeking new supporters to be able to award more.To find out more about how you can become a Creative Champion, see here