WHO/HOW

Alana Hunt is an artist and writer who lives on Miriwoong country in the north-west of Australia. This and her long-standing relationship with South Asia—and with Kashmir in particular—shapes her engagement with the violence that results from the fragility of nations and the aspirations and failures of colonial dreams.

Her diverse practice is shaped by a commitment to sensitively challenge ideas and histories in the public sphere and the social space between people.

Since 2009 she has led several award-winning art and publishing projects. These have circulated in the Hansard Report of the Australian Parliament, as a reading in the history department of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, as a newspaper serial in Srinagar, Kashmir, and as an unofficial street sign at the base of Australia's most under-utilised dam wall.

Alana studied in Sydney, Halifax and New Delhi. Her work has been acquired by public and private collections including Artbank and the Macquarie Group Collection. She is the recipient of the Fauvette Lauriero Memorial Artist Award (2011), the Incinerator Award for Art and Social Change (2017) and the Regional Artist Fellowship (2020-22).

Her writing has been published by Hyperallergic, Artlink, Westerly, Meanjin, Overland, un Magazine, and in exhibition catalogues with the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Tandanya and The Power Institute among others. Writing about her practice has appeared in The Guardian (UK), The Wire (IND), Artlink (AUS), The AU Review, Dawn (PK), and The Times of India (IND) among others.

Her essay, A mere drop in the sea of what is, published by 4A Papers (2016), explored the art circulating on the ‘streets of social media’ in Kashmir, portions of which made it into the Hansard Report of the Australian Parliament. This essay was highly commended by AICA's 2018 Incentive Award for Young Art Critics.

In 2021 Alana is presenting new work in The National: New Australian Art at Carriageworks; a resident artist with the Kimberley Land Council as part of SPACED 04: Rural Utopias; a participant in the FAR (Food Art Research) Network; and writing, making, and collaborating across a range of platforms in person and online, particularly via the circulation of her ongoing body of work Cups of nun chai.

In late 2020 New Delhi Yaarbal Books published Cups of nun chai a decade long iterative requiem produced by Alana in response to the death of over 118 people in pro-freedom protests in Kashmir in 2010. This book has been noted by Rahaab Allana, of the Alkazi Foundation for the Arts, as one of the best photobooks by women for the UK-based Fast Forward initiative. In 2020 Alana undertook a residency with Fremantle Art Centre, and attended the Dhaka Art Summit with the Australia Council, where she delivered artist talks at Pathshala and Shoni Mongol Adda; she collaboratively produced the six part podcast undisciplined: wisdom from womxn in the arts; presented work in a series of covid-inspired-exhibitions conceived by Amin Gulgee and Sara Paganwala in Karachi; and commenced a long term residency with the Kimberley Land Council as part of SPACED 04: Rural Utopias.

In 2019 Alana’s work featured in Startup States curated by Laura McLean at Sarai (Delhi), Uncertain Territory curated by Halinka Orszulok at Artbank (Sydney) and the International Public Art Festival Quantum City (Karachi) curated by Zarmeene Shah, Amin Gulgee and Sara Paganwala. She also undertook residencies with Perth Institute of Contemporary Art and TIME PLACE SPACE produced by Artshouse in regional Victoria. Alana published with Hyperallergic, Artlink and un Magazine, and featured on The Polis Project’s Five Objects podcast.

In 2018 Alana undertook a residency in Sulawesi with Rumata Art Space researching historic and contemporary connections between the north-west of Australia and Indonesia. She was commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art to produce new work for the exhibition Temporary Certainty curated by Pedro de Almeida.  And presented various iterations—exhibitions, readings, public discussions and lectures—of Cups of nun chai at Makassar International Writers' Festival, Darwin Fringe Festival, Frontyard Projects (Sydney), Centre for Stories (Perth), and in the US at Tufts, Brown, Parsons and Indiana universities.

CONTACT

skyabovetheclouds (at) hotmail (dot) com

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OF LATE

Read about how Alana works as an artist and mother on Spilt Milk. Listen to interviews with The Polis Project and Canvas: unframing art and ideas. Think about violent dreams of development in the north-west of Australia. And a conversation about Kashmir with Sanjay Kak.

© 2020 Alana Hunt