Brisbane City Council LIVE story: Penelope Bell, August 2010

Each quarter, the Brisbane City Council pulish LIVE, a free pocket guide to arts, culture and entertainment events that take place throughout the city.

I was contracted to edit the copy for the 64-page July-September 2010 issue of LIVE, as well as writing a profile of Penelope Bell, an emerging Brisbane fashion designer who was one of the recipients of a $20,000 Lord Mayor’s Young And Emerging Artists Fellowship.

Click the below image for a closer look at the Penelope Bell profile, or read the article text underneath.

Brisbane City Council 'Live' article on Brisbane fashion designer Penelope Bell, by Andrew McMillen

In Focus: Lord Mayor’s Young and Emerging Artists Fellowship
by Andrew McMillen

The seed of inspiration was planted when Penelope Bell witnessed Elizabeth Harrison, CEO of New York-based luxury brand agency Harrison and Shriftman, speak at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival in August last year.

Not long after this experience Bell discovered the Lord Mayor’s Young and Emerging Artists Fellowship, a grant for creatives under 30 years looking to develop their careers through international training, development and mentorship programs. In her application, she described an internship with Harrison’s agency as her dream role.

Brisbane City Council LIVE arts/culture/events guide, July-September 2010Earlier this year, dream became reality for the 25-year old Toowong resident, who, like the three other fellowship recipients, will benefit greatly from the opportunity to gain professional experience within her chosen field. In September, Bell will travel to New York to participate in a three month internship with Harrison and Shriftman.

The young designer completed an Advanced Diploma in Textiles, Clothing and Footwear in 2006 before starting the Penelope Bell fashion label; boutiques across the city have routinely sold out of Bell’s bespoke designs;

Bell’s drive and dedication to the Brisbane creative industries impressed the fellowship’s judges. The majority of her $20,000 award will be put toward flights, rent and living expenses for her three month internship. Upon returning to Brisbane, Bell aims to put these newfound branding and marketing techniques into practice by overhauling her label’s luxury product line and broadening her market scope to encompass international buyers.

“The fellowship’s not just for me,” Bell says, “It’ll ultimately benefit other local designers because I’m hoping to help build up the fashion industry here in Brisbane by passing on what I learn and experience as a result of the fellowship.”

The Lord Mayor’s Young and Emerging Artists Fellowship isn’t just awarded to fashion designers, though. Bell’s fellow 2010 fellowship recipients include Sally Golding of West End, a moving image artist and curator undertaking mentorships in London and the Netherlands; Clare McFadden of Bardon, a community cultural producer who’ll travel to Italy to learn international best practices for engaging children in the arts; and Sherwood resident Jillian McKeague, an arts curator and producer who will undertake a 21-week mentorship at the London International Festival of Theatre.

The Lord Mayor’s Young and Emerging Artists Fellowship focuses on supporting Brisbane’s young artists and artsworkers to realise their dreams and their full potential.

To view the LIVE program online, visit the Brisbane City Council website. According to BCC, LIVE is an “innovative, socially inclusive and diverse program of arts and cultural events that includes music, festivals, cultural activities and community projects”. You can pick up a copy from culturally-relevant stores throughout Brisbane.

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