Advance Awards 2020 : Introducing the Arts Awards Finalists

WATCH > Introducing Garry McQuinn


As a maverick of global stage productions, Garry McQuinn operates at the heart of untold stories and new audiences. Adept at strumming the tension between the creative and commercial worlds, Garry has been instrumental in opening the world of commercial theatre to Australian talent. Before winning a scholarship to NIDA’s production course, Gary spent his youth playing semi-professional football and surf-lifesaving. The move from the Steelworks furnace-floor to the theatre floor happened when immigrant co-workers encouraged Garry to try something new. Garry has championed quintessentially Australian stories such as Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Tap Dogs, taking them from Broadway, to the West End and right around the globe. As far back as 1995, Garry took indigenous storytelling in the form of Ningali, to the Edinburgh Festival and the Southbank. His practice of fostering Australian talent has resulted in a four-decade relationship with NIDA;  educating, raising money and currently serving as a member of the NIDA Foundation Trust to support the next generation of Australian talent.

Leveraging a degree in Dramatic Art, a law degree, and an MBA, Garry has spearheaded the evolution of theatre in new and emerging markets. He is the lead producer and managing partner responsible for driving Priscilla’s international success, to date the show has played to almost 6 million people in 135 cities around the world. Garry’s list of credits include The Rocky Horror Show, Steaming, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, The Boy From Oz, Blood Brothers and Showboat. As joint Managing Director of Back Row Productions, Garry has toured many international shows including Tap Dogs, Slava’s Snowshow, Mums the Word, Gumboots, Fosse, Shaolin Monks of China, Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, Jerry Seinfeld, Cats and Circus OZ. Garry continues to challenge standard assumptions and accepted paradigms. His impressive list of upcoming works shows a strong commitment to telling Australian stories globally and championing talented writers.

WATCH > Introducing Dr Christian Thompson AO


Dr Christian Thompson AO is a contemporary artist whose work explores identity, cultural hybridity, gender & history. Christian himself made history when he became the first Aboriginal Australian to be admitted into the University of Oxford in its 900-year legacy. The confronting beauty of Christian’s work moves both indigenous and non-indigenous Australians, from a literal space to a lucid space. Christian occupies a grey area between binary opposites, referencing history to show its gaps and referencing his own lived experience to capture the struggle between identity narratives. Weaving together the disciplines of photography, sculpture and performance art, Thompson sings in his native endangered language and speaks with a keen awareness of critical and academic context. Christian is currently exploring the immersive realm of virtual reality, with a three-year scholarship from Mordant Family Commission VR. Awarded Officer of the Order of Australia in 2018, Christian serves as a bright light of possibility for young Indigenous artists.

Christian is currently a research affiliate at the Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy (Fine Art), Trinity College, University of Oxford,  a Master of Theatre from Amsterdam School of Arts, a Masters of Fine Art (Sculpture) from RMIT University and a Bachelor of Fine Art from the University of Southern Queensland. Christian has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally, having been included in exhibitions such as: ‘Australia’ at the Royal Academy for the Arts, London; ‘We Bury Our Own’, The Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford; Valencian Institute of Modern Art, Spain; ‘The Other and Me’, The Sharjah Museum, United Arab Emirates; ‘Hijacked III’, QUOD Gallery, United Kingdom and ‘Shadow life’ Bangkok Art and Cultural centre, Bangkok. ‘The beauty of Distance/ Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age’ also featured at the 17th Biennale of Sydney. Thompson’s work is held in major public and private collections across Australia, and is represented by Messums Gallery, London. He has been mentored by performance art luminary, Marina Abramovic. 

WATCH > Introducing Christopher Doyle


Christopher Doyle is an award-winning cinematographer. Works like Chungking Express and In the Mood for Love have been met with international critical acclaim, and have found a firm footing in Chinese cinema and international cinema in the West. Christopher himself reveals as much about the construct of the film world, as his film’s do the construct of life. Unperturbed by the prescriptions of Hollywood, Doyle’s power lies in his freedom for improvisation, sense of movement, and ability to think on his feet.Treating the frame as a space for discovery rather than a place for projection, Doyle’s is energised by the stories of Hong Kong and is also known by his chinese identity Du Ke Feng, meaning “like the wind.” He is a rare and enigmatic personality reveals to us that just as much creativity unfolds behind the camera as in front.

Christopher Doyle wrote, shot, and directed Warsaw Dark, Away with Words and Hong Kong Trilogy, an experimental portrait of three generations of Hong Kong people. He is famed for his collaborations with Wong Kar-wai and few people talk of In the Mood For Love, Happy Together or Chungking Express without mentioning Doyle. He has made more than twenty films in various languages as well as over fifty Chinese-language films. Among Doyle’s sixty awards and thirty nominations are the Technical Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival for In the Mood for Love, as well as the Osella d’Oro for Best Cinematography for Ashes of Time at the Venice International Film Festival. On May 26, 2017 Doyle was honored during the 70th Cannes Festival with the “Pierre Angénieux ExcelLens in Cinematography” award, in tribute to his successful and influential career. Filming in Hong Kong during the turbulent Umbrella Revolution protests, Doyle lent his voice to the political movement fighting for greater democracy and political autonomy in Hong Kong.

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