We are back from Artstate Tamworth, and what a great experience it was!
The four day event ran from 31 October to 3 November and drew artists of all varieties from around the nation and overseas, along with arts administrators and an array of agencies who support the arts industry in regional NSW. There were many goosebump moments, beginning with the Opening Ceremony in Bicentennial Park on Thursday night where performance art met cinematography, lighting up the trees with projected images.
The event was just as much about stimulating conversaton, awareness and showcasing outstanding artists and organisations.
Aside from international-standard exhibitions and performances, Artstate Tamworth contained a challenging speakers program involving water scientists, Indigenous leaders and artists together.
There were keynote speakers drawn from both National institutions and International delegates such as Canadian Indigenous Storyteller & Changemaker Patrick Shannon and Emma Hogg Executive Director, WildWorks theatre, Cornwall, UK.
Coonamble ceramic artist Prue Cullen and Bourke poet Andrew Hull were part of a panel tackling some of the tough topics under the Artstate theme of Arts in the Age of Uncertainty.
“We were super proud to have two accomplished artists from our region recognised by a state organisation and a national audience,” said Outback Arts Executive Director Jamie-Lea Trindall.
“It was humbling to know that we have such a loud voice in the industry.”
According to Communications and Touring Coordinator Maddi Ward, Ms Cullen and Mr Hull’s contribution was “the hit of the conference” with the audience clapping and nodding throughout their panel discussion.
“People want to know about the outback,” Mrs Ward said. “Looking through the eyes of our artists is a special way to do that.”
“It showed just how keen people are to know, not just about our artists, but about the way people are living out here at the moment.,” she said.
The location for the next Artstate event was announced at the Artstate dinner Saturday evening with Wagga Wagga to play host in 2020.