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9 October 2009
always the bridesmaid...
Now Playing: the divine comedy - a secret history...
Topic: toyota travel award

always the bridesmaid...

It's been a rollercoaster of a week.

I tried to go to bed around 8pm on Sunday night, but of course didn't fall asleep until well after 10pm. Had to be up again at 1:45am in readiness for being driven to the airport at 3:30am for my flight at 5am to Melbourne.

A couple of hours spent reading over my presentation for the umpteenth time, catching a little bit of sleep, chomping on some Qantas breakfast, moving forward in time with the Daylight Savings the rest of the east coast outside of Queensland observes, and failing at pretending I wasn't nervous as all hell.

A quick drop in to Mat's to drop off my bags, change and pretend to someone else that I wasn't nervous as hell.

And then I was at the Toyota Corporate Headquarters waiting to give my presentation. I was forty minutes early and had the pleasure of meeting Tim Craker, one of the other shortlisted artists. We talked nerves, presentation tactics, projects and wished each other well. Kylie Baudino provided calming distraction as she put the finishing touches on her sculpture 'Maximum Growth' included in the Toyota Community Spirit Gallery sculpture exhibition, Hybrid, opening two days later.

Almost an hour after arriving there, I had my turn. As Tim had reassured me on finishing his presentation, the set-up was quite conversational, and much less daunting than I'd expected, but of course that didn't allay my nerves completely.

Though on walking out of my presentation I was a bundle of adrenalin and felt quite positive, I had no real idea how I'd gone at all, and mentally prepared myself over the next 50+ hours for not being selected.

I was lucky enough to pre-occupy my mind in the interim with meeting up with my brother Rob, Chris Zissiadis, Michael Lau, Angus Gordon, Feih Kemp and Paul Ruiz; and Mat once again gave me shelter, which was much appreciated.

The evening of the announcement was enjoyable, with an artist talk by last year's travel award recipient Damon Kowarsky; and Lisa Dempster and Claudia Phares accompanying me for moral support. At one point in the build-up to the announcement, in the corner of my eye, I caught Lisa wringing her hands on my behalf and realised she was even more nervous than I was.

And then the announcement was made that Julie Collins and Derek John had won the 2010 Toyota Community Spirit Artist Travel Award, and Sophie Bray had won the $2,000 Encouragement Award, and it was all over.

Although it was, of course, disappointing to get so far and not reach the finish line first, I still feel extremely privileged to have even made it that far; and given it was always my intention to carry out my travels and project (though perhaps on a slightly smaller scale) irrespective of the award, I'm quite content with my lot. Just to have been a serious contender in such a major award makes me proud of how far I've come in the past few years.

I spent my last lunch in Melbourne catching up with Nick Kind, then left the city I used to call home without any regrets and with a sense of closure. And, strange as it may seem after only a month here in Brisbane, I felt truly like I was home when I hit the airport and turned my clock back an hour again on Thursday evening.

So from here the next step is to save as much money as I can to move forward with my travels in 2010, and no doubt I'll be in a city near (most of) you next year.

Meanwhile, I have untold amounts of editing to get through, given it's been neglected for the past 2+ months due to moves, upheaval and applications!

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 17:23 BST
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11 October 2009 - 07:18 BST

Name: "lisa"
Home Page: http://www.lisadempster.com.au

Would you try for that award again? As you know I got quite far in an award this year as well, I'm in two minds whether it would be worth me applying again or not. 

11 October 2009 - 07:54 BST

Name: "bronwen"
Home Page: http://www.bronwenhyde.com

i would apply again. this was actually my second year applying for this award, but the first time shortlisted. my only hesitation in applying again next year is if i'm already overseas, in which case i may not be able to apply. plus, assuming i'm already overseas at that point, the projects / workshop / collaborations i proposed this year will already be in motion, so i'd have to put forward something new / an extension to my projects for the proposal.

i think a lot can change in a year, and if the award would be to your advantage if you did manage to win it, then it's worth applying again.

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