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

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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.  

 

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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

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CETA Lab 2: meet the mentor (part one)

Annie McKinnon is a creative technologist and sound artist, currently based in Sydney. Annie grew up in Coonabarabran and moved to Sydney in 2010 to study a Bachelor of Sound and Music Design at UTS. After she completed her studies she started as a research assistant in the Interaction Studio and as part of that team became much more immersed in interaction design and creative technologies.

Annie has come on board for Lab 2 of CETA: Ukerbarley and after an intensive and invigorating stint working on the project, she shares her thoughts with us in the first of a two-part interview.

On working as a creative technologist:
I work with electronics, sound and software to create artworks or products. I’ve worked in lots of different industries with many collaborators. CETA is so different to the project that I was working on twelve months ago – to design an exhibition that would tour for three years – so my project briefs are always changing. I’ve got a bit of a mish-mash of skills so I get to work on quite varied things; really I’m a bit of a ‘jack of all trades’ – sometimes that’s hard and sometimes that's good. It’s a bit of a rollercoaster. You don’t always know when your next job will be but it’s exciting to be an artist in this space – it’s always changing and evolving, and I’ve always got new tools to work with, which I really love. 

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On technology and art:
I don’t think that tech and art necessarily have to work together. I think it’s important that each of those things separately are always commenting on one another—as an artist you can use technology as a tool just like a painter uses a paintbrush. As a technologist, being aware of art and the value of art and how that can inform your practice is important as well… I do think that our current society is very dismissive of artists and art and the value that it brings, which is to our detriment because a lot of the time art is able to communicate things that we don’t yet have a language for or capacity to explain.

Technology is something that is ever-changing and rapidly morphing our world into something new – it’s uncharted territory – and using art and tech, those two things working in symbiosis will bring an understanding that will be much richer than the two being totally singular. There’s a cross-pollination and from that you get some really exciting things.

On the mentor role in CETA:
My role in CETA is as a mentor to Paris Norton but I see Paris much more as a collaborator and a friend—we get along really well and our families are both from Coonabarabran. It was probably ten years ago when I saw Paris at a friend’s birthday party and we started talking – it was pretty late at night – and we both were really keen even at that time to talk about ideas.
I do remember saying that it would be really cool to work together one day so it’s really great to finally – ten years later – have that opportunity. I’m really excited and grateful that Paris and Orana Arts contacted me to be a part of this project because I think it’s really important and exciting.

Click here to read part two of our interview with Annie McKinnon — about the CETA Ukerbarley project and her response to the Ukerbarley environment. 

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CETA Lab 1

The CETA (Contemporary Environment Technology Arts) project is running full steam ahead in Coonabarabran. The final stage of Lab 1 was completed last week through community consultation sessions, after the initial mapping of the Ukerbarley property by artists Paris Norton, Annie McKinnon and Dylan Goolagong, with the support of National Parks and Wildlife Services rangers.

The first stage of CETA – with a planned roll-out across the region – is Ukerbarley. Ukerbarley is a property that until recently hasn’t been accessible to Aboriginal people or the broader community. Since the 1920s it has been a private property and is now in the care of National Parks and Wildlife Services, acting caretakers for the traditional owners of the land.

Lead artist Paris Norton – a Gamilaroi woman raised in Coonabarabran – has a reverence for the space. She says ‘The environment is really striking. It’s been untouched for so long. What’s there has always been – it’s uncleared and the animals are unafraid, undisturbed and full of curiosity. The energy of the place is really special.’

The property contains many Aboriginal sites, the meaning of which hasn’t yet been fully explored. Looking at how technology and arts could help a community – to access and map a space in different ways and connect it back to culture – is what inspired the project.

CETA is a chance to reclaim the space culturally. It has become the community’s property through the National Parks and Wildlife Service, which identifies Ukerbarley as an Aboriginal area and so ‘a project like this is an opportunity for community to take back the narrative,’ says Norton.

The community consultation process has revealed a wealth of ideas of how to map and share this narrative, with technological elements allowing an access to Ukerbarley not otherwise possible for some community Elders. These ideas will be developed through Lab 2, which will build on cultural and community engagement and present documentation to the community by the end of the year.

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