2011 winners

The Trust Company as trustee together with the 2011 judges announced the winners of the Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarships.

On 3 June 2011 in Sydney at the inaugural event to celebrate the winners, The Martens, six rising stars of Australia’s arts industry each won $20,000 to assist them in developing their outstanding artistic talent.

Speaking on behalf of the trustee, John Atkin, CEO, said “The Trust Company is delighted to be awarding these scholarships which help young creative Australians accomplish their dreams. We congratulate this year’s winners and applaud the dedications and passions they each show to their chosen art form.”

Click here to see the judges' notes


Kelly Paterniti

Kelly Paterniti is a 23-year-old passionate and dedicated actress. She has been involved in the dramatic arts from a young age and has always been independently passionate about it.

At a ripe age of 13 Kelly insisted (quite out of the blue) to her parents that she wanted to attend John Curtin College of the Arts, an Arts school in Western Australia. She autonomously arranged an audition, was successful, and from that day forth travelled an hour and a half on public transport every morning and afternoon to attend.

The school fuelled Kelly's affection and dedication for the craft and she has been acting ever since, continuously looking for new ways to advance and progress her skills and career.

Kelly attended Curtin University, enjoying the unique Performance Studies course, which allowed her not only to develop her performance skills, but introduced her to an array of experiences in the arts world including directing, stage-managing, design and film and TV.

She moved to Sydney to provide herself with the advantages and opportunities a larger city has to offer. She has dedicated herself to performances since arriving, completing acting classes in order to keep her skills at a high level and regularly attending theatre and cultural performances.

Arianwen Parkes-Lockwood

Arianwen began acting when she was 11, attending classes at Stage One Theatre for Young People in Armidale, NSW.

Through her "wonderful mentor", Astrid Blake, she learned the beginnings of stagecraft and storytelling, and developed a love for entertaining people.

While studying for her acting degree at NIDA, Arianwen made her first short film, Shells, and discovered a passion for both film acting and filmmaking.

Creating her own performances and projects as an actor has been an important part of Arianwen's art practice from the very beginning, and since graduating from NIDA she has come to realise that the best way to ensure that she is constantly practising her craft as an actor is to create her own work.

Julian Curtis

Julian Curtis is a 2008 NIDA graduate. He is currently has a recurring role on Dance Academy (Werner Film) with previous television appearances including Legend of the Seeker (Walt Disney Company USA), East West 101 (Knapman Wyld) and Rescue Special Ops (Southern Star).

Theatre credits include As You Like It (Siren Theatre Company), Shakespeare’s R&J (Riverside National Tour), Embers (Sydney Theatre Co/ Hot House Theatre), 25 Down (Queensland Theatre Co), Gallipoli (Sydney Theatre Co), Something to Declare (Queensland Arts Council), Harriers (Metro Independents), Nasty Little Secrets (Paddo Productions), Snowangel & Little Brother; Little Sister (Off the Wall/ Brisbane Powerhouse) and Wanted Santa Helper (Focus Touring).

Feature Film credits include minor roles in Peter Pan (Universal Pictures) and 48 Shades of Brown (Warner). Short Films include Gone (Metro Screen), Frustration and Two Steps Forwards (AFTRS), Grender (Hive Australia), Italian Fair and The Killing Room (Australian Film Commission).

He has been involved in creative developments for Matchbox Pictures (the Straits), Sydney Theatre Co (Saturns Return), NIDA (Hilary Bell Untitled Project), Queensland Theatre Co (25 Down), Metro Arts (Omon Ra) and Merrigong Theatre Co (To Thine Own Self Be True).

During his time at NIDA he played lead roles in Louis Nowra’s Visions and Julius Caesar with supporting work in Love for Love, Days of Significance and Class Enemy.


James Drinkwater

James is from Newcastle, where he studied at Ron Hartree Art School. James also studied Fine Arts at the National Art School in Darlinghurst, Sydney.

James has multiple  awards to his name, one being a finalist in the 2011 Salon Des Refusés award.

James has had many solo exhibitions, many of them in Newcastle. In 2011 he exhibited his work Nostalgia for Nothing at the Damien Minton Gallery in Sydney.

James' career highlights to date include gaining representation with this reputable and established gallery.

Other highlights include going to Berlin and meeting "a community of incredible artists with whom I have established what will be lifetime friendships", and painting Charles Blackman's portrait. "It was hung in the Salon des Refusés, which was a buzz!"


    Sarah Contos

    Originally from Perth, Sarah now lives and works in Sydney and  completed a Masters in Painting at College of Fine Arts (UNSW) in 2010.

    Sarah Contos’s multi-disciplinary practice embraces painting, assemblage, craft, soft sculpture and installation, and investigates themes of disillusionment and unfulfilled desire using cynicism and humor.

    With influences drawn from cultural anthropology, historical identities and popular culture and by adopting a ‘mono-no-aware’ approach, her work centres around the sadness of things through the use of contrasting textures and disparate artifacts. When placed alongside one another these elements offer fresh hope and empathetic dialogues. Infused with voodoo sensibilities and fetishism ideologies and employing an intimate, personal and emotional framework, Contos’s practice maintains a playful erotic tongue-in-cheek charge.

    Honoring a background in stage and costume design, the final accumulation of works often results in an installation that has an unmistakable theatrical trace.

    Her past life as a theatre designer saw her working with Black Swan Theatre Company (Zastrozzi, 2005) and multiple theatrical site specific productions with Artrage.

    In 2005 Sarah Contos was the recipient of an ARTSWA Creative fellowship Grant which enabled her to work with The Netherlands based theatre company Dogtroep as a stage and costume designer for two years. As an artist, Contos has exhibited across Australia. Her solo shows include Great Expectations (Firstdraft, 2009), Bad Moon Rising (Mop Projects, 2010), and she will be exhibiting in the Grantpirrie Window in late August. She has been included in group shows Mirage (Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, 2003) Paper Planes (Papermill, 2011) and is currently working towards No Place to Hide at Macquarie University, curated by Peter Fay (opening June 16th).

    She has been nominated twice for the Jenny Birt Award for excellence in painting and drawing in 2008/09 and is an Australian Council Art start grant recipient.


    Valda Wilson

    Soprano Valda Wilson is a member of the Junges Ensamble der Semperoper Dresden for the 2010-11 season and has been invited to continue for the 2011-12 season. She is currently studying with Professor Christiane Hossfeld and is a 2009 graduate of the National Opera Studio London.

    She holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons1 mathematics) from Sydney University and a Diploma of Opera from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

    She has received financial support through various charitable trusts including the Australian Music Foundation, the Ian Potter Cultural Trust and Tait Memorial Trust.

    Valda was chosen by Richard Bonynge to be the featured soloist at the recent Service of Thanksgiving for Dame Joan Sutherland at Westminster Abbey with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, under Antonio Pappano.

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