Sport and art collide in Creative Arts Fellowship

Thursday, March 08, 2018

From the Melbourne Cup and the Brownlow Medal, to participation ribbons handed out at weekend athletics carnivals – Australia has a rich history of sporting awards.

The meaning behind trophies, and the feelings that they inspire, will form the basis of works created by the 2018 National Sports Museum (NSM) Basil Sellers Creative Arts Fellowship recipient, Vipoo Srivilasa.

Fittingly entitled Trophy, Srivilasa’s fellowship project will engage with the NSM and Melbourne Cricket Club Museum’s extensive collection of sporting trophies and awards, as well as promote public discussion and input through a series of interactive workshops held at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground in April.

Launched in 2009, the Creative Arts Fellowship program is designed to increase public appreciation and understanding of Australia’s sporting heritage through the arts.

Fellows are selected from the shortlisted candidates for the Basil Sellers Art Prize, and are encouraged to create new artwork that responds to the rich fabric of Australia’s sporting culture.

Working predominately with ceramics, Thai-born, Melbourne-based Srivilasa’s emphasis on audience engagement and creating work that would encourage people to think differently about sport greatly impressed the Fellowship judges.

“We are excited that Vipoo’s project aims to spark a conversation with our visitors, and provide another viewpoint on how we might think about sport’s greatest prize: the trophy,” said National Sports Museum Curator, Jackie Fraser.

Through public workshops as well as online discussion, Srivilasa will encourage NSM visitors to imagine a trophy that they would like to give their sporting fans or heroes. The stories and insights that emerge will inspire the creation of a unique collection of sculpture pieces.

Srivilasa said he was thrilled to receive the prestigious fellowship.

“Working with the NSM’s collection and audience will allow me to explore new creative processes, alternative materials and different artistic styles.”

“I hope that through this I will find a new way for audiences to experience my work as well as connect sport and art together.”

Srivilasa is the fifth and final recipient of the fellowship, which is supported by philanthropist and sports fan Basil Sellers AM, through a financial contribution of $50,000.

Twice-daily public workshops for Trophy will take place at the NSM from Monday April 9 to Friday April 13, 2018 (at 1.00pm and 2.30pm each day).

People interested in learning more about the project can visit To find out more about the workshops and to express interest in participating, send us an email.

Find out more about the National Sports Museum and the Basil Sellers Fellowship.