Cementa: Workshop Roadshow

This week Cementa Inc. launches the Workshop Roadshow initiative with three workshops by new media artist Michael Petchkovsky.  The workshops will engage distance education students in Dubbo and primary and high school students in Wellington with how to make art out of discarded technologies. Michael uses redundant technologies such as old video cameras, oscilloscopes and tv monitors to create unusual sound and visual patterns that are then made into video and audio artworks.  The students will be learning about the history of this artform and then trying their hands at making their own audio video artworks.

Workshop Roadshow was conceived by Cementa Creative Director Alex Wisser as a way of giving youth in regional NSW a taste of contemporary art that they normally would not have access to.  The program will deliver 20 contemporary art workshops to schools and youth organisations across regional NSW.

Alex is excited to finally begin the program: 'Having moved into the regions five years ago, one of the things I noticed was how difficult it was for regional schools to access the art culture that is sometimes taken for granted in the cities. Some amazing things are happening artistically in Australia, and it’s just not fair that regional kids often miss out because it’s difficult to get that art into the smaller towns and schools. It occurred to me that we at Cementa bring up to 30 artists a year into the regions to make work in preparation for the festival and this might be a resource we can tap into to make contemporary art more accessible in the regions. It’s great to see the idea finally coming to life.'

Workshop Roadshow is generously funded by Dlux Media Arts and Sydney Mechanics School of Art and is supported by Orana Arts.

For more information contact Alex Wisser: 0413 555 860 awisser@cementa.com.au

hacktothefuture-236-2.jpg

ARTS 2025 Regional NSW Sessions

You are invited to join Create NSW for one of two sector engagement and information sessions taking place in our region:

Coonabarabran
Monday 28 May, 2–4pm
Community Services Meeting Room

Dubbo
Wednesday 30 May, 2–4pm
Drama Room, Community Arts Centre

These sessions are a chance to have your say about art and culture in our region and to discuss your own plans and projects with Create NSW representatives.
RSVP to communications@oranaarts.com by Thursday 24 May.  

 

JST010_Create_NSW_logo_2col_CMYK-1.jpg

Meet the New Orana Arts Board

Orana Arts is pleased to announce a new board structure and the election of a new executive. As part of our strategic plan, Orana Arts has been working towards a new structure which will maximise skills and allow us to host cultural forums in communities across our region, so that everyone gets a say in arts and culture in the Orana Region. 

Chairperson
Anne-Louise Capel

Anne-Louise has a Bachelor of Business and volunteers for community groups including the Coolah District Development Group. She has an agricultural background and is a Warrumbungle Shire Council Councillor. In her second term as Chairperson, Anne-Louise continues to value preserving and enhancing a strong sense of community and communication across the region, as well as working collaboratively to implement the Orana Arts Strategic Plan in a timely and fiscally responsible manner.

Deputy Chairperson
Virginia Handmer

Virginia has extensive local government and community services experience, having worked across art forms and in youth engagement for many years. She is an artist and curator at Number 47 Gallery in Rylstone and has a strong track record of volunteering for community cultural events. Virginia lends her expertise to cultural committees, including the Rylstone Sculptures Inc, Mudgee Readers’ Festival and the MWRC Cultural Development Committee. 

Secretary
Danielle Littlewood

Danielle is the Marketing and Events Manager for Zest Events. She brings a range of experience working in community engagement, event planning and project management to the Orana Arts board. Danielle has a sound track record in client and event management, customer service, stakeholder facilitation and community empowerment obtained through her previous roles as Regional Landcare Facilitator for Central Western NSW, Environmental Consultant with GHD Pty Ltd, and Catchment Officer with the Lachlan CMA. Danielle has an eye for detail, an understanding of community engagement and a strong sustainability ethos.

Treasurer
Jessica Moore

Jessica has had a significant career in the arts for close to 20 years, including working in Council Cultural and Public Arts Development units, regional galleries, TAFE and the commercial arts sector. Currently employed as the Collections Officer at the Western Plains Cultural Centre, she has also previously been a committee member of the Dubbo and Districts Australian and Decorative Arts Society and a founding member of the Dream Festival. She remains an active and committed contributor to a number of ongoing cultural projects and initiatives in the Orana region.

The Orana Arts Executive wishes to thank the outgoing board members for their services. The new board looks forward to supporting the exciting strategic plans for the organisation, including cultural forums across communities in the Orana Region. 

For any questions about the Orana Arts board or constitution, please contact Alicia Leggett: rado@oranaarts.com

Orana Arts swirl.png

Announcing Soup Sessions: Winter 2018

Soup Sessions: micro-funding for community projects.

Creatives
Bring your 5 minute project pitch. Sell the audience on your idea and answer questions over dinner. If you receive the most votes you take home the proceeds (less costs) and any donations made on the night.

Audience
You have the power! Entry fee of $15 includes a bowl of hot soup, bread roll and one vote. Support your local creative community and choose which project gets the funds.
 
Soup Sessions are a fun way to network and raise money for your creative project. This year we will be running three Soup Sessions across the region, in collaboration with local community groups. Start coming up with your project pitches for:

Mudgee: 14 June at The Stables
(youth soup session, pitches from creatives 12—25 years)
Coonabarabran: 26 July at Coonabarabran Town Hall
Wellington: date and venue TBC

If you would like to discuss bringing a Soup Session to your community, please contact us

Screen Shot 2018-05-08 at 8.52.22 pm.png

ART UNLIMITED entries closing soon

Entries close soon for Art Unlimited, Dunedoo’s annual competition for hanging art, photography and ceramics.

Artists in these three fields must submit entry forms by Thursday 19 April to be eligible to compete for $11,000 worth of prizes on offer.

Works are due for personal delivery on 12 and 13 May, with postal deliveries due prior to 10 May.  The exhibition will be staged at Dunedoo Central School hall from 19 to 27 May, with a ticketed preview reception at 7pm on Friday, 18 May. 

The prize pool includes the $3000 Peabody Wilpinjong Prize for Hanging Art, the $3000 ib vogt Prize for Photography and the $3000 Art Unlimited Ceramics Prize.

Other prizes are Dunedoo Rural Harware People’s Choice Prize of $500, Orana Arts Indigenous Artist Prize of $500, and the Janace Holmes Family Memorial Prize of $250 plus a trophy. ABC Western Plains offers $300 worth of ABC merchandise for the work that best depicts the Western Region.

The Art Unlimited 2018 judging panel consists of acclaimed painter Graham Cox, photographer, graphic designer and educator Jenet Stewart, and Mudgee-based ceramicist Ro Francis.

Full details about Art Unlimited, including entry forms, can be found on the website: www.artunlimitednsw.com.au. Entry fees are $12 for each work submitted and there is a limit of five works per entrant per category.

Tickets for Art Unlimited’s preview evening on 18 May are $35 which include drinks and canapés, with fine wines provided by multi award-winning Mudgee winery, Robert Stein. Bookings are essential. Tickets can be purchased via the Art Unlimited website.

The Art Unlimited exhibition will be open to the public from Saturday 19 May to Sunday 27 May. Entry fee is $5.

Screen Shot 2018-04-11 at 12.07.45 pm.png

CETA: The Common Thread

Lead artist in the CETA: Ukerbarley project, Paris Norton, gives us an update on the magic that's being spun in Coonabarabran through The Common Thread. 

The Common Thread is a creative outcome of the CETA project in Coonabarabran NSW. Inspired by the diverse ecological communities at Aboriginal area Ukerbarley, the CETA team saw the potential of interaction with these environments, connecting again with Aboriginal traditions of fibre craft.

A group of local women with interest in the environment and arts were invited to an eight week program to learn textile skills across forms, such as natural fabric dyeing, Indigenous weaving and looming. These workshops were put together to invest in the skills development of the group and to create a unique collaborative artwork at the end of the process using the natural plants and materials from Ukerbarley. This artwork will be exhibited in Coonabarabran in May 2018.

Each week 15—20 women have taken part in these workshops, with guest artists Tijanara Talbot (weaver/photographer from Wellington NSW) and Kelly Leonard (looming and textile artist from Mudgee NSW) sharing their skills and experiences. These workshops, although covering a diverse range of techniques, always come back to the message of remembering the language of design, shape and pattern. With focus on Aboriginal Australia’s ability to communicate through this form of language, the group have shared stories with Indigenous artists and each other, forming works of art that are rich in knowledge of the landscape and its mixed history.

Coming into these workshops it was anticipated that this artwork would be a direct reflection of the landscape. I have seen though, as this project progresses, that it reflects more so how we see ourselves within this landscape. The group is diverse in age and experience, creating a beautiful atmosphere of mother and sisterhood. Each week another person will reveal their hidden talents and bring another powerful element to the work. It was the first time in my life that I had seen my Indigenous grandmother harvesting on country — her country — to create fibre craft that she was always meant to create. In that moment I had succeeded with this process regardless of the outcome.

Screen Shot 2018-04-02 at 6.19.27 pm.png

Our first Ukerbarley harvest was really successful, with each person being able to take away a basket full of materials. Each person moved through the country slowly and respectfully, introducing themselves to the landscape as it did in return to them. The energy of the place was intense as it always is and left its mark on the group. They are all excited to go back out again for our final harvest and were buzzing with ideas to reflect on and put into practice.

Our final group session will be the piecing together of everyone’s artwork to make one large piece. My role as an artist in this project in to turn the final piece into a sensory interactive installation. 

Screen Shot 2018-04-02 at 6.15.16 pm.png

Announcing I Heart Art 2018

Narromine has attracted some big hitters in the art scene to exhibit in its third I Heart Art Show, from 23-24 March 2018 at Soul Food Design Depot and Gallery. 

Internationally renowned artists such as David Bromley will feature, along with some of the best local and regional artists, sculptors and photographers. Works from local artists Susie Rae, Nikki McCutcheon and Vicki Gainsford will sit alongside those from the some of the best around NSW including award winning Lara Scolari, Catherine Stewart, Jacinta Haycock and Kyah Wilson. 

The show aims to bring top quality art to the small, culture-loving community and to raise money for local school St Augustine’s Primary. 

Screen Shot 2018-02-26 at 12.05.42 pm.png

Holly Davies, part of the event team, says that the exhibition is fast becoming a firm fixture on the regional art scene. 

'The first event was difficult to attract artists to exhibit their works at a brand new show in a small town but the event’s reputation has grown exponentially, with this year featuring our top 20 artists from our previous events, plus an additional five. Notable new artists include Mudgee-based illustrator Warwick Behrens and painter Charles Smith. 

The town has embraced the show as well, with hundreds of people attending to see some fantastic artwork and many digging deep into their pockets to make sure that some of the fine works find a new home in Narromine.' 

The event will be held over two days, featuring a gala night and auction on Friday 23 March, where people will have the first opportunity to purchase their pick of the works on offer. 

On Saturday 24 March the exhibition will be open from 10am–2pm for art lovers from across the region to take in some of the top quality works on display. The day will also feature activities for budding young artists. 

A children’s art competition is running in conjunction with the exhibition on the theme Creativity Takes Courage. Children from preschool to Year 12 can share in cash and prizes by submitting their paintings, drawings, photography or sculpture works to St Augustine’s School, Narromine by Wednesday 21 March. Winners will be announced on Saturday 24 March. 

To purchase tickets for the gala evening click here

DSC_0202.JPG

CETA Lab 2: meet the mentor (part two)

Part two of our interview with the creative technologist Annie McKinnon sees her talk about the CETA Ukerbarley project and her response to the Ukerbarley environment. If you haven't read part one yet – about art and technology and mentorship – you can find it here

On her first visit to Ukerbarley:
It was totally calming – I went in putting a lot of pressure on myself about the project and feeling anxiety around how we might look at a place as rich and vast as Ukerbarley. I was aware of the rare, vibrant and thriving ecologies within this larger landscape.

I was sitting in the backseat of the ute. Jill and Jeremy – the National Parks and Wildlife Service rangers – were driving us through and I was just sitting there and I just felt so calm. I was looking at this place and thought wow, it’s so beautiful. It was like a blanket sitting on top of you and I immediately felt calm. That was my first experience of Ukerbareley.

entering Ukerbarley .png

On Ukerbarley:
It makes me feel amazed. I’m constantly in awe of the colours – wherever you drive or walk in that environment there’s something new to look at; it’s full of different textures. Growing up in Coonabarabran – my dad works for the National Parks – so I’ve been to the Warrumbungles hunderds of times and you see such beautiful ecologies and textures.

On the first Ukerbarley visit we saw an emu with six chicks running around and rare rock-tailed wallabies just hopping around and they had vibrant yellow tails. It just makes it feel very precious; there’s something really powerful about the place, like it has so much to give and there’s so much there to explore.

What stands out for me the most is just how welcoming the landscape feels – it feels like a massive mouth and you’re driving into it and the trees come around you like a big hug. You look up into them – one morning we stopped there and the birds were all singing and I’ve never heard that many birds at once singing. We got the recorder out and we caught all of that. There aren’t that many words for how that feels, being completely immersed in nature. I came straight from the city and you feel like you’ve been taken into another world but in another way you feel connected to who you are and what you’re doing; your role on the planet, specifically in this place.

It’s a very generous place. I feel when I’m at Ukerbarley that I have a huge responsibility – that landscape and that environment has been able to communicate that to me or awaken that in me. I have a responsibility to give back in some way or to listen and to understand what I can of this place. It does feel like it wants to give and that it’s very, very much alive – it feels quite magical and surreal.

On CETA:
What excites me about this project is that Paris is wanting to push boundaries and challenge ideas and I’m getting to feed these super-exciting ideas back and forth with her – being at Ukerbarley takes you out of the riff-raff of the everyday. I guess what excites me about it is how large the project can be but also how centred the project is and how we can actually make quite a big statement together, or I can be part of Paris’ process in making an artwork that can inform a connection to place and a practice of connecting to place that may not have been documented in such a way through art and community; engaging with interactive technologies: it’s the bringing together of all of those things that excites me the most.

We’re right in the middle of it right now and I’m full of thoughts and ideas around it and I’m just so excited to see what becomes of it and how it plays out in the future. I hope that it keeps growing – it’s an incredibly exciting time. 

IMG_7735.JPG

Country Arts Support Program: CASP recipients announced!

Minister for the Arts Don Harwin has announced that regional and rural arts organisations from around NSW are to benefit from nearly $250,000 in small-grant funding.

The Country Arts Support Program (CASP) will fund 76 organisations to support community arts and cultural development across NSW and there are a number of exciting projects coming up in our region. Congratulations to the following organisations and look out for these projects coming to a town near you in 2018:

Creatives Collective: Develop, Support, Display - Artists with Disability Coonabarabran
(Part 1)
($2,420)
Creatives Collective will create a 12-month project to develop local artists with disability through a series of workshops with professional artists with disability. The project will culminate in an exhibition exploring what it is to create art with disability. 

Kandos Museum Inc: Creative Fundraising Practical Workshop Series at Kandos Museum ($3,000) 
Kandos Museum will host two workshops to teach skills in designing and hand-printing souvenir tea towels and tote bags. The workshops will focus on building capacity for community groups, with participants learning how to produce authentic, local artwork as a sustainable means of funding and promoting their group. 

Moorambilla Voices Ltd: Yabang Taiko (taiko path) ($2,745)
Moorambilla Voices Ltd and Taikoz will join forces to bring Japanese percussion ‘taiko’ to rural remote Baradine, establishing a group of young adults that will undertake an intense taiko workshop to gain the appreciation in the art form and strengthen their performance. 

Narromine Shire Council: Trangie Water Tower Art ($2,594)
The Trangie Action Group will identify suitable buildings in the area and work with a selected artist to install a series of murals across the town.

Nyngan Arts Council: Our Place Our Spaces ($5,000)
Our Places, Our Spaces - an exhibition of new work created by two Nyngan artists, will explore the concept of places and spaces within the Bogan Shire. This exhibition will be curatorially supported by Western Plains Cultural Centre and exhibited at the Nyngan Fire Station Arts Centre and WPCC. 

Western Plains Cultural Centre - Our Stories: Cultural Walking Tours of Dubbo ($1,700)
Using the development of a walking tour of the public art of central Dubbo as a foundation of this project, digital media artist Kim V. Goldsmith will deliver two two-part community workshops in June/July 2018 to encourage individuals and community groups of the region to tell their stories as tours. 

For the full list of CASP recipients visit the Regional Arts NSW website.

 Image: 2017 CASP project, the Mudgee Zine-Makers (credit: Amber Hooper)

Image: 2017 CASP project, the Mudgee Zine-Makers (credit: Amber Hooper)