Artbank + ACMI Commission

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2017 recipient

Together with Artbank, we’re thrilled to announce artist and activist Zanny Begg as the recipient of the inaugural $70,000 Artbank + ACMI Commission for her proposed video installation The Beehive, about the murder of Sydney activist Juanita Nielsen.

Based on the unsolved murder of famous Sydney anti-development campaigner Juanita Nielsen in 1975, The Beehive examines themes of gentrification, corruption, sex-work, feminism and non-conformist lifestyles. Created using an algorithm, the film will be randomly compiled from a reservoir of scripted fictions, documentary interviews and choreographed sequences exploring the implications of this infamous cold case and how they can applied today. Using the tropes of true crime, the work will morph and evolve with each viewing, offering audiences different glimpses and interpretations of the crime.

About the commission

A joint initiative of Artbank and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image

The Artbank + ACMI Commission is the first commission of its kind in Australia and will support artists and filmmakers working at the nexus of film and art.

Over three years, the Artbank + ACMI Commission will provide support for Australian artists and filmmakers to make a new, ambitious and experimental screen-based work, and to explore new forms and methodologies in their practice. Each year one artist or filmmaker will be awarded $70,000 and an ACMI X industry membership.

Applicants are encouraged to consider longer format work, and collaborations between creative disciplines are welcomed. Targeting the nexus between film and art, the commission is designed to engage with cinema, experimental film, artists' film and the avant-garde to create ambitious, experimental works which can find a home on the cinema screen or in the gallery space. 

Works commissioned through the Artbank + ACMI Commission will enter into the Artbank and ACMI collections.

About Artbank

Established in 1980, Artbank’s two core objectives are to support Australian contemporary artists through the acquisition of their work and to promote the value of Australian contemporary art to the broader public. The Artbank collection is comprised of approximately 10,000 works by over 3500 artists, across media, and includes some of the best examples of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australia art produced over the last four decades. Artbank makes this work accessible through an art leasing program which is accessed by corporate, private and government clients nationally and internationally.


Applications are currently closed. Details for the second commission will be announced soon.

The Artbank +ACMI Commission supports:

  • Australian artists and filmmakers from a range of backgrounds working at the nexus of art and film;
  • the production of new, ambitious and experimental screen-based work;
  • projects that are ready to enter development and production in October 2017 and will be ready for mid- 2018.

To be classified as an Australian artist, the artist must be either:

  • born in Australia, or
  • an Australian citizen, or
  • in Australia as an approved temporary resident for a minimum of two years, and/or a permanent resident of Australia.

The artist may be living in Australia or overseas as long as at least one of the above stated criteria are demonstrable.

Where the artwork is produced by an artist collective or collaboration, no less than fifty percent of the contributors must meet the above criteria.

First nations artists are strongly encouraged to apply.

The commissioned artwork must be appropriate for potential rental through Artbank’s art leasing scheme, including:

  • being appropriate for display in public spaces;
  • being in intrinsically sound condition and reasonably resistant to deterioration in the routine operations of Artbank including display, packing and transportation.

Artists need to be able to commit to the production period and it must be possible for the commissioning partners to maintain regular contact throughout the production process.

We are not able to fund projects retrospectively.

More information

Fiona Trigg (ACMI senior curator)

(03) 8663 2374