Helpmann Academy Fellowship

I am pleased to announce that I am one of 3 that won the Helpmann Academy Fellowship Valued up to $20,000 for professional development. The presentation ceremony was at Government House, hosted by His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC, Governor of South Australia.


In 2018 I will be studying the art of taxidermy in London for 10 weeks, whilst having my first international Solo Exhibition! I then spend two weeks in Italy, exploring the bone churches and soaking up the rich culture. This is a huge opportunity that I couldn't have done with out the Helpmann Academy! Words can not describe how excited I am!!! 



ARTICLE || Louise Nunn, The Advertiser April 10, 2017 

WHEN she developed an interest in the art of taxidermy, Olivia Dryden turned to the internet because the practice was virtually extinct in Australia.

Now the South Australian artist will learn how to preserve and mount animals from experts in London, with assistance from the Helpmann Academy.

Dryden, 24, of Toorak Gardens, is one of three emerging artists to receive an inaugural Helpmann Academy Fellowship, each valued at up to $20,000 and each supported by the James & Diana Ramsay Foundation.

“I’m ecstatic and so grateful for the opportunity,” said Dryden, who incorporates taxidermy into her work as a jeweller.

“I fell in love with the Victorian era and memento mori jewellery, and now my work is heavily influenced by it.”

Dryden will combine a stint at London’s Flux Jewellery School with classes at a specialist taxidermy studio in Soho.

The other recipients, Stephanie Jaclyn Norman, 25, of Morphett Vale, and Zoe Woods, 27, of Westbourne Park, will also study abroad because the fellowships, to be awarded this year and next, are for professional development interstate or overseas.

Writer and filmmaker Norman will undertake short courses at London’s Metropolitan Film School, while Woods will study glass engraving in the US and spend six weeks at Canberra Glassworks

Helpmann Academy’s head, Jane MacFarlane, said the fellowships would advance the young artists’ careers.

“We have no doubt that the fellowships will have a huge impact on their professional careers into the future,” she said.

The Helpmann Academy is SA’s peak body advocating for tertiary arts students, arts graduates and emerging artists.

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© 2019 by Olivia Dryden