Internationally renowned Aboriginal artist Alison Milyika Carroll has received one of the state’s highest arts and cultural honours, winning the Premier’s Award for Lifetime Achievement at the 2018 Ruby Awards.
Presented by Arts South Australia, the Ruby Awards celebrate the best of South Australia’s arts and cultural sector, with 12 winners announced tonight at a gala event at the Queen’s Theatre in Adelaide.
Ms Carroll is an artist of more than four decades standing with works held in the National Gallery of Australia, the Art Gallery of South Australia and the British Museum. She was recognised not only for her distinguished artistic career but also for her extraordinary work as a cultural leader and ambassador for South Australian Aboriginal arts.
As Director of Ku Arts, the South Australian peak body for Aboriginal artists and art centres, and Chair of Australia’s oldest Aboriginal arts centre Ernabella Arts, in Pukatja, in the APY Lands, Ms Carroll is a strong advocate for her community and the wider APY region, and has made an enormous contribution to the APY Lands art movement.
She receives a bespoke, ruby-coloured glasswork designed and made at the JamFactory, and will be honoured with a gold nameplate on a seat at the Festival Theatre
The inaugural Frank Ford Memorial Young Achiever Award went to Adelaide Symphony Orchestra Principal Conductor Nicholas Carter, who after being appointed in 2016 at age 29 is one of the youngest people ever to lead an Australian state orchestra.
Artist, performer and Artistic Director of Tal-Kin-Jeri dance group Major Moogy Sumner won the inaugural Stevie Gadlabarti Goldsmith Memorial Award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artistic and cultural achievement.
Director of the City of Playford's Northern Sound System initiative Nick O'Connor won the Geoff Crowhurst Memorial Award for community cultural development.
The Adelaide Fringe won the Ruby for South Australia’s Best Festival, while the Adelaide Festival took home the award for Best Work or Event Within a Festival for its 2018 production of Hamlet. The Best Work or Event Outside a Festival award went to Windmill Theatre Co. for children’s play Beep.
Adelaide acrobatic company Gravity & Other Myths won the inaugural Made in Adelaide Award for artistic and cultural achievement outside the state for their shows Backbone and A Simple Space, while the Ruby for Outstanding Contribution by an Organisation or Group went to Port Adelaide based arts company Vitalstatistix.
South Australia’s regions were also recognised, with Whyalla youth theatre group D’Faces of Youth Arts winning the Ruby for Best Community or Regional Event or Project for their interactive theatre production AREA 53, and Carclew Youth Arts winning Best Work, Event or Project for Young People for its Murray Bridge based Aboriginal artist development initiative Ngarrindjeri Yanun.
The coveted People’s Choice Award, chosen by public vote from all finalists, went to youth performing arts group True North Youth Theatre Ensemble.
“South Australia is internationally recognised as a hub of arts and cultural excellence, and looking at this year’s Ruby Awards it’s easy to see why,” said Premier Steven Marshall.
“The innovation, creativity and artistic excellence displayed by all the finalists and winners is testament to the strength and quality of the arts in South Australia, and I congratulate them all on their wonderful achievements.
“I am delighted to present the Premier’s Award for Lifetime Achievement to Alison Milyika Carroll, who is not only one of our most significant contemporary artists, but an important cultural leader and ambassador for South Australian Aboriginal arts.”
Arts South Australia Acting Director Jennifer Layther also congratulated the winners and finalists.
“The Ruby Awards are all about celebrating South Australia’s dynamic and diverse Arts and Cultural sector, and the talented, hard-working people that keep it alive,” Ms Layther said.
“This year’s winners exemplify the high level of excellence in our state, from our internationally renowned festivals, to our many wonderful youth arts organisations and initiatives, our extraordinary Aboriginal artists and cultural leaders, and much more.”
Named in honour of late arts patron Dame Ruby Litchfield, the 2018 Ruby Awards are the 13th annual celebration of South Australia’s arts and cultural sector. A full list of finalists and winners is listed below.
13th Annual Ruby Awards Winners
- WINNER: Adelaide Fringe 2018
Best Work or Event Within a Festival
- WINNER: Hamlet – Adelaide Festival and Glyndebourne Festival Opera (Adelaide Festival 2018)
Best Work or Event Outside a Festival
- WINNER: Beep – Windmill Theatre Co
Best Community or Regional Event or Project
- WINNER: AREA 53 – D’Faces of Youth Arts
Best Work, Event or Project for Young People
- WINNER: Ngarrindjeri Yanun (Aboriginal Artist Development Initiative) – Carclew Youth Arts
Made in Adelaide Award
- WINNER: Backbone and A Simple Space – Gravity & Other Myths
Outstanding Contribution by an Organisation or Group
- WINNER: Vitalstatistix
Frank Ford Memorial Young Achiever Award
- WINNER: Nicholas Carter, Principal Conductor, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra
Stevie Gadlabarti Goldsmith Memorial Award
- WINNER: Major Moogy Sumner
Geoff Crowhurst Memorial Award
- WINNER: Nick O’Connor, Director, Northern Sound System
People’s Choice Award
- WINNER: True North Youth Theatre Ensemble
Premier’s Award for Lifetime Achievement
- WINNER: Alison Milyika Carroll