Robyn Daw scholarship: keeping alive the mission of an artist and inspiration
Robyn Daw, the respected and much-loved artist, educator and driving force behind the Creative Industries team at Logan City Council, had a passion for amplifying the work of young, multicultural artists in Logan.
Before her sudden passing in 2022, she worked tirelessly to help these artists find their artistic feet, and showcased their work, creating a tight-knit and inspired arts community in Logan.
It’s her passion for uplifting young artists’ voices that led her long-term partner, Ian Friend, and son, Dexter, to launch the Robyn Daw Young Visual Artist Scholarship. They have donated $50,000 over 5 years to fund the scholarship.
‘It was such a shock when Robyn died and we felt very strongly that her work wasn’t finished,’ Ian says.
‘The best way to keep her work going was to keep on encouraging young artists, which was what she was engaged with. It’s what she would have wanted. She used to say there was such a diverse body of artists in Logan and she wanted to really enhance this community.
‘This manages to achieve some of what she would have achieved herself – not all of it, but enough to have an impact.’
One artist per year will receive a $7000 cash scholarship and private mentor session, and up to 8 will be shortlisted to attend a professional development and workshop program.
Ian says there are no stipulations to how the money is spent, and he wanted the process of applying to be simple.
‘Robyn was also an artist herself, so she understood what it was like to have that experience,’ he says.
‘I think these awards will hopefully make a difference to the artists; the path that the artists tread is made slightly easier in terms of trying to realise their goals.
‘Any artist will tell you that it is the financial side that stymies production and something like this does assuage some of those issues.’
At the home they shared, Robyn’s ashes sit in her favourite place in their garden, where Ian nurtures her favourite fruit trees and plants. He says he is pleased to know that she would be happy with how he is tending to her garden, and her passion for young artists alike.
‘She lives on,’ he says.
‘I’m not letting her go. People deal with grief in different ways – for me, busy hands are happy hands. It is ensuring that her legacy continues.’
Applications are being taken for the Robyn Daw Young Visual Artists Scholarship until 20 November. For more information about the scholarship, head here: Robyn Daw Young Visual Artist Scholarship – LoganARTS.