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Available Sections

Visual Art Writing Group

Apply Now

Perth Festival invites writers who write about visual art and artists who write to participate in the inaugural Visual Art Writing Group. 

The Visual Art Writing Group will work closely with Festival artists, staff, and convener Kelly Fliedner to think through and experiment with what ‘art writing’ is, and what it might offer art and all its various audiences. The group will develop new critical and creative responses to visual art within the Festival, as well as its themes and currents. 

Work produced through this program will be included in the Festival’s Visual Arts Guide to be released in February 2020 and potentially across various digital platforms during and after February 2020. 

The Perth Festival Visual Arts Guide has a broad readership and is widely distributed, offering an initial point of connection between Festival audiences and the visual arts program.

More about this opportunity

The Visual Art Writing Group will give a small group of writers and artists the opportunity to strengthen their writing through focused dialogue, to engage with Festival artists and connect with industry peers. Through guided and self-led activity, the group will share and develop ideas about the relationship between art and text, while working towards publishing outcomes. 

Participants in the Visual Art Writing Group will focus on the craft of writing, considering issues such as the development of a critical voice, narrative and argument, and the relationship between structure and form. Participants will also consider new and various ways to respond to art, create compelling prose, and render complex ideas clearly, all within the broader context of the Festival. 

In addition to exclusive opportunities to connect to Perth Festival Visual Arts, each participant will be offered an honorarium of $750 for their involvement.

Dates and availability 

Approximately three to four group workshops and discussion sessions (maximum half-day in duration) will take place in Perth over October and November 2019, with the explicit aim of conceptualising and producing texts for the Visual Arts Guide. These initial texts are to be submitted for editing in early December.

It is expected that all participants will be available for these workshops. Programs planned for 2020 will evolve in response to the needs and interests of the group once it has been formed.

Who should apply 

The Perth Festival Visual Art Writing Group is open to Western Australian-based writers and artists interested in the intersection of visual art and text, and encourages the development of experimental art writing practices that might include, but are not limited to, personal reflection, prose, fiction, art history, and/or critical theory. 

How to apply 

Expressions of interest close: 30 September 2019
Successful candidates will be notified by: 7 October 2019

To register your interest, please submit a cover letter, current CV and two samples of your previous writing (maximum of 1500 words each, these may be extracts of longer works) to

A completed Expression of Interest Cover Sheet must also be submitted. You can download a copy here.

Submissions should be made in PDF format, and include the subject heading: Application: 2020 Visual Art Writing Group

About the Convener

Kelly Fliedner is a Perth-based writer and curator who writes fiction and art criticism, and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Western Australia in the School of Design where she also teaches. Some of her recent projects include a curatorial and publishing programme with Bangalore-based artist Abhishek Hazra for West Space (Melbourne), a column about art and books for Runway journal, and from 2016 until 2017 she was the Writer and Editor of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale based in Kerala, India. In 2016, Kelly presented a series of radio plays for the Next Wave Festival and was one of six artists taking part in the Biennale of Sydney’s experimental writing project, The Bureau of Writing. She was the Program Curator at West Space from 2009 until 2013, and co-founder and co-editor of their experimental online publication the West Space Journal until 2015. 


The Perth Festival Visual Arts Program is supported by Wesfarmers Arts.