ARTLANDS was a part conference, part festival, all arts with four jam-packed days of activity, conversation, discussion, debate and inspiration from across Australia and overseas from 27-30 October 2016.
A reflection on the standout forum and festival program here as experienced by Kylie Harvey, Outback Arts Board member.
The opportunity to attend Artlands as part of Outback Arts was both enlightening and a reason to continue championing the cultural diversity of the towns in our region.
The thought provoking keynote speakers, both international and national, encouraged those present to embrace the role that Arts have in creating the culture of our communities.
Too often we work from a deficit model. Local councils and communities focus on what we don’t have. Money, facilities, even people who know what they are doing! The challenge was put out for communities to focus on what makes them unique. With the recent mergers and the possible merger which faces our own region, it is an opportunity for Outback Arts to recognise the unique Culture of each of our communities and how these can be used to promote our towns.
Artlands reinforced how the Arts build stronger communities, especially for children and young people. This strengthening of the cultural capital of our region means that there is something more for our young people to stay for.
The indigenous culture of our region is another unique aspect to be treasured. Fostering artists should continue to be a core function of our organisation.
As I continue to digest the many messages given Artlands conference, I am struck by the enthusiasm of those who attended and I look forward to strengthening the links I made to create resilient, vibrant communities.
We also wanted to give a shout out to the artists from our region who contributed to ARTLANDS…
From Coonamble we have Sooty Welsh, Anna Kaineder and Prue Cullen, who have been invited to participate in the Artworks@ARTLANDS exhibition that is showing in the foyer of the Dubbo Theatre throughout the whole event. From this show, these artists have both sold work and taken on other exhibition opportunities.
Also representing our region at ARTLANDS were the clever cookies from Lightning Ridge with their spectacular multimedia artwork called SPARK. SPARK was a celebration of Lightning Ridge, its landscapes, people, opals, ancient and recent histories. SPARK is about what makes Lightning Ridge so special and ‘why people come for a few days then stay a lifetime’ said creative producer Jenni Brammall. ‘And it’s about the nature, culture, technology and sheer wonder of an elusive gemstone formed in the darkness, yet blazing with light and colour’ Jenni said. Head to their website for more information.