Georgia Saxelby is a Sydney-born, New York-based interdisciplinary artist whose research-driven practice investigates the relationship between art, architecture, ritual and cultural identity. Saxelby is currently living and working in Washington, DC as a Fellow at the art and social impact incubator, Halcyon Arts Lab.
Saxelby’s practice engages with issues of public social space, collective ritual behavior and notions of sacred space in both ancient and contemporary cultures. The artist creates ephemeral, transitory experiences and spaces in which her audience are invited to perform and participate. She is concerned with creating new models of exchange and facilitating moments of collectivity in which audiences must negotiate between symbolic objects and each other in order to undergo processes of transformation and re-integration.
In Washington, DC, Saxelby is currently creating participatory installations that investigate contemporary cultural relationships to women and feminine identity through invented ritual practices and symbolic actions. She is interested in exploring ritual as a vehicle for social change, and questioning the role of artists in contributing to the cultural heritage of tomorrow. Saxelby recently presented a solo exhibition, To Future Women, at The Phillips Collection, which will travel between museums in Washington, DC over the following six months, including the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden. She will also be presenting a solo exhibition at IA&A at Hillyer in June 2018.
In 2016-17, Saxelby worked at Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the renowned New York art and architecture studio that designed the High Line. In 2017, she was awarded three high-profile scholarships – the Freedman Foundation Traveling Scholarship, The Ian Potter Cultural Trust Grant and the Copyright Agency IGNITE Career Fund Grant – to undertake a series of overseas mentorships and residencies related to her research of ritual and architecture. These included working with Studio Rede, Spirit of Place, Travis Price Architects and Tiba Architecture. Two of her recent interactive installations were presented as finalists in the 2016 Blake Prize, Australia’s oldest and one of its most prestigious art prizes. They were the first performative works ever chosen in the prize’s history.