Steven’s column: Connection, isolation, solitude and other big themes
1 Dec. Steven’s weekly Western Advocate column looks at RAF projects funded for the Central West.
THE Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund (RAF) will support 18 new projects in regional, rural and remote NSW in 2021.
This includes four project recipients for the Central West region – and three are in Bathurst. They are:
Nicole Welch: AS ABOVE, SO BELOW, a new site-specific work in the Central West of NSW while in isolation.
Welch will record in photography and moving image her reconnection to the natural world in response to ongoing isolation imposed by COVID-19.
She will develop new techniques through the exploration of macro (astrophotography) and micro (miniature) photography to make new installations and performances for her LAND and BODY series of work, across sites at the Macquarie and Lachlan rivers.
The outcomes of AS ABOVE, SO BELOW will be exhibited at the Orange Regional Gallery and MAY SPACE Sydney.
Amala Groom: Embodied Performance.
Embodied Performance is a 12-month, self-directed professional development program that seeks to expand Groom’s embodied performative practice through online mentorships and critiques with artists/curators/dramaturgs across Australasia throughout 2021 and will act as research and development in the lead-up to the presentation of a new solo commission with Liveworks Festival (Performance Space), Sydney in 2022.
Bathurst Regional Council: Kangaroo.
Kangaroo, a new work written by Miranda Gott, tells the story of three people in a small regional community.
The work is dark, exploring solitude, isolation and death – all universal themes that make the work relevant beyond the regions.
Kangaroo will premiere in Bathurst and then be presented at The Joan in Penrith and at Cowra Civic Theatre.
The fourth project recipient is Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation: Condo SkyFest 2021.
SkyFest 2021 is a celebration of Wiradjuri culture, including astronomy and skylore, in Condobolin, where people experienced the full intergenerational impacts of colonisation, dispossession and racist government policies in the 19th and 20th centuries.
SkyFest 2021 is a way for the Wiradjuri community to recover, reclaim and revitalise its cultural heritage, pass it on to young people, and share it with the broader community in entertaining and engaging ways.
SkyFest 2021 will also introduce new ideas into the community and create new opportunities for cultural, social and economic development.
IMAGE: LONG VIEW: Nicole Welch’s in-situ LAND and BODY works explore personal, cultural and environmental histories, echoing the symbiotic relationship we have with an enduring natural world, and our ephemeral place within it. Table Top Mountain location shot, Eastern Interiors series. Photo courtesy of the artist.