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Western Sydney artist awarded prestigious Rome residency

Creative Australia 4 mins read

Acclaimed visual artist Khaled Sabsabi will spend two months in residence at the American Academy in Rome, after being awarded the highly sought-after Mordant Family and Creative Australia Affiliated Fellowship. 


Khaled Sabsabi's practice is sustained and extraordinary. He is a champion of the diversity of Australian art and his contribution is only just starting to be properly acknowledged. He is known for his immersive installations and sound art experiences. In 2023, he was awarded a Creative Australia Award, recognising his contribution to Australian visual arts.  


Since 2016 an Australian artist has had the opportunity to pursue their work in an inspiring, collaborative, and supportive environment, with accommodation and studio space in the American Academy’s historic building in Rome. This once-in-a-lifetime professional development opportunity is generously supported by the Mordant Family.   


Khaled Sabsabi said:  


“For more than 30 years, my artistic process and practice has involved working across art mediums and with communities in the Australian and international context. I see art as an effective tool to communicate and converse with people, through a familiar language to create contemplative and engaging experiences.  


I wish to thank the Mordant Family and Creative Australia for this opportunity, which affords me the time and tension to further question, reflect and define ideas around processes, place and practice.” 


Simon Mordant AO said: 


“We are excited that Khaled Sabsabi has been appointed the next Australian Affiliated Fellow at the American Academy in Rome. Khaled is a visionary artist whose work transcends boundaries and engages with critical social themes. Our family believes strongly in the transformative power of art, and we’re excited to see how Khaled’s time in Rome will enrich his practice." 


The Affiliated Fellowship is open to established visual artists with a significant record of exhibitions in public institutions and galleries.  


Creative Australia CEO Adrian Collette AM said: 


“Since 2016, we have seen a diverse array of Australian visual artists take part in this fellowship. Khaled Sabsabi joins an illustrious list of alumni, including Lynne Roberts-Goodwin, Jenny Watson, Alex Seton, Barbara Campbell, Reko Rennie and Angela Valamanesh. We are grateful for the continued support of the Mordant Family for partnering with us to enable Australian visual artists to develop their creative practice and enhance their professional networks internationally, while immersed in the history and culture of the American Academy in Rome.” 

President of the American Academy in Rome, Peter Miller, said:

“The American Academy in Rome supports innovative artists, writers, and scholars living and working together in a dynamic international community. The encounter with Rome represents now, as it has done since 1894, something unique: a chance for artists and scholars to spend significant time working in one of the oldest, most cosmopolitan cities in the world. The richness of Rome’s artistic and cultural legacy and its power to stimulate creative thinking served as the initial impetus for the Academy’s founding. Today, this tradition lives on, transformed by the dynamism of the Academy’s constantly evolving community.”

Established in 1894, the American Academy in Rome is the oldest American overseas centre for independent study and advanced research in the arts and humanities. 


Through the Affiliated Fellowship Program, artists and scholars from all over the world have the opportunity to pursue their work in an inspiring, collaborative and supportive environment, with accommodation and studio space provided in an historic building on the Janiculum Hill. 


Media enquiries:

Brianna Roberts, Media Manager, Creative Australia

Mobile: 0498 123 541



About Khaled Sabsabi


Born in Tripoli, Lebanon Khaled migrated to Australia with his family as a child in 1976. They settled in Western Sydney where he continues to live and work. In 2001, Khaled returned to Lebanon and the surrounding region for an extended travel period. This journey became a significant moment in his creative career as he questioned, reflected and redefined his philosophical perspective and contemporary visual arts practice. In 2005 he completed a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of New South Wales.

Khaled Sabsabi’s process involves working across art mediums, geographical borders and cultures to create immersive and engaging art experiences. He sees art as an effective tool to communicate with people, through a familiar language. Sabsabi makes work that questions the rationales and complexities of nationhood, identity and change. His practice speaks to audiences in ways that interconnect the interrelatedness and cycles of daily life.  


Khaled was awarded an Australia Council for the Arts CCD fellowship in 2001, Helen Lempriere Travelling Art Scholarship 2010, 60th Blake Prize 2011, MCG Basil Sellers fellowship 2014, Fishers Ghost Prize 2014, Western Sydney ARTS NSW Fellowship 2015, Sharjah Art Programme Prize 2016, International Council of Museums' and Heritage Awards, Video Art Prize 2016 and University of NSW Annual Alumni Award ‘Art and Culture’ 2019 and the Creative Australia visual arts Award 2023. He is represented by Milani Gallery, Brisbane and has produced more than 65 major mixed media and installation-based works to date and exhibiting in over 90 solo and group art exhibitions in Australia and abroad. He has participated in the 5th Marrakech Biennale, 18th Biennale of Sydney, 9th Shanghai Biennale, Sharjah Biennial 11, 1st Yinchuan Biennale, 3rd Kochi Muziris Biennale, Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art 2018 and the 21st Biennale of Sydney. 



Contact details:

Brianna Roberts, Media Manager, Creative Australia

Phone: (02) 9215 9030 / 0498 123 541




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