Commissioned by HOTA Gallery in partnership with Melbourne Art Foundation and supported by Artwork Transport, the $70,000 MAF Commission has been awarded to Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, a young Sri Lankan-born, Sydney-based artist making waves across the Asia Pacific.
Nithiyendran is renowned for his challenging and innovative use of historically charged materials in the creation of rough-edged, vibrant, new-age idols. He experiments with form and scale in the context of figurative sculpture to explore politics of sex, the monument, gender and religion.
The Commission program, now in its eighth year, provides a living artist with a rare opportunity to realise a large-scale work for unveiling at the fair. Nithiyendran’s work will form part of HOTA Gallery’s permanent collection when it opens in 2021. The new $60.5 million gallery will be built at Home of the Arts on the Gold Coast in Queensland, and will be the country’s largest gallery outside a capital city with over 2,000 sqm of exhibition space.
Nithiyendran has delivered major artworks of scale in museums, biennales and multi-art centres including for his solo presentation at the Dhaka Art Summit, Dhaka, Bangladesh (2018) Encounters, Art Basel Hong Kong, Hong Kong (2018) and for The National, Carriageworks (2017). In 2016 Nithiyendran exhibited Mud Men at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. At the time he was the youngest artist in the NGA’s history to have a solo exhibition at the gallery. Nithiyendran is the recipient of the 2019 Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship –an honour recognising outstanding talent and exceptional professional courage.
In 2018 he was awarded the Melbourne Art Fair Young Artist Award.
In 2015, he was the winner of the 2015 Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award, Australia’s richest and premier award for artists working in the medium of ceramics. In 2014, Nithiyendran was awarded the 2014 NSW Visual Arts Fellowship (emerging) administered through Artspace and Arts NSW.
Nithiyendran’s work is held in various collections, including the National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Art Gallery of South Australia, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Ian Potter Museum of Art and the Shepparton Art Museum.
Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran is represented by Sullivan + Strumpf, Sydney / Singapore