Talking PLACE Program

Welcome to Country

12:00pm Welcome to Country – Gerry Moore

CEO welcome

Deborah Ely

Opening Address

12:30pm Linda Kennedy (Future Black, Yuin Nation)

Linda Kennedy is a Yuin woman from the South Coast of NSW. She is an architectural designer and design activist with a focus on decolonisation. Her independent design studio, Future Black, was established in 2017 as a development of her blog – Decolonising Design in Australia’s Built Environment.

Principles and Projects: Regional residencies as custodians of place and sites of exchange



Michael Cohen, Director, City People

These days it seems everyone is talking about ‘curated places’. Chances are your local shopping strip has already been or soon will be ‘curated’ within an inch of its life. It’s interesting because sometimes this proliferation of place rhetoric seems to take us further and further away from where we are. The worlds of ‘placemaking’, ‘place visioning’ and ‘place activation’ are often dominated by blunt tools of sameness – pallet furniture, oversized pot plants and the like.

Michael will consider Bundanon’s project Siteworks as an event series that embraced this corner of the Shoalhaven in all its layers of convergence and contestation. And as a project that closely curated and interrogated this place in a considered way.

Dr Marco Marcon, Director and founder, Spaced.

Marco’s presentation will highlight some of the key organisational and conceptual issues at play in art residencies that aim to facilitate the creation of new work through an engagement with communities, histories, and environments. With a brief reference to the activities and program structure of IAS, he will discuss issues such as the ethics of hospitality, the limits of artistic autonomy, the expectation imposed on artistic projects that take place outside mainstream institutional envelopes and the challenges/opportunities ensuing from the convergence/divergence of artistic and social objectives.

Ian Tully: Director, Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery; ACRE Project.

Seven years after the first TWIG Artist on Farm residency Ian will reflect on the model, the success and the potential for similar residencies into the future. At the end of the millennial drought, farmers and communities were understandably buoyed but still there were issues, the drought had taken a toll on many, as we are witnessing now in NSW and in other parts of the country. Through the TWIG Project the arts were able to illuminate 12 family farms and provide an opportunity for a positive and supportive focus on various aspects of the farming life, the operation and history of the farm, the personal stories, and the country itself - and a contemporary arts outcome that was experienced by a new audiences.

Followed by discussion with audience.

2:20 – 2:45pm Afternoon tea


2:45pm Moe Clark: Current Artist in Residence, Bundanon Trust

For the past six years Métis artist Moe Clark has been engaged in a land-based practice of learning one of her ancestral tongues, nêhiyawêwin (Plains Cree language) through a process of composing songs. In collaboration with two knowledge keepers and artists, Cheryl L'Hirondelle and Joseph Naytowhow, they've created 13 songs in three different territories. Each song is an offering, a medicine created as an affirmation to restore and remember living relationships to land, ceremony, and the greater kinship community.

For Talking Place, Moe will share some of these drum songs and invite audiences to envision and embody their relationship to country, community and continuum in a participatory round dance. In 2011 the indigenous movement Idle No More swept across Turtle Island (Canada) in a series of flash mob round dances. These dances mobilized, in a life-affirming way, indigenous sovereignty and voice, while inviting settler allies to join. They served as a resistance to the complacency of the conservative government at the time, while activating a national movement.


The Social Life of Artist Residencies: Connecting with people and places not your own.



Dr Marnie Badham, Vice Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow, RMIT

Offering a broad typology of residencies as ‘social forms for encounter and exchange’, Marnie will examine the negotiations between artists, communities and institutions. While residencies were once an endeavour of creative solitude, they increasingly provide opportunities for socially and politically motivated artists to develop site-responsive projects for public and community interaction. Some residencies have received criticism, including lack of flexibility, the absence of community engagement, and the circulation of elitism and privilege. When artists work in communities not their own, there is potential to reproduce colonial relationships, sometimes under the guise of ‘enlightening’ the locals. Marnie will consider a range of models, before describing the re-emerging trend of artists seeking sustainable practices at a local scale.

Followed by discussion with audience.

Intersections: The changing face of regional residency programs



Vic McEwan: Artistic Director, The Cad Factory

The Cad Factory is an organisation led by Artists Vic and Sarah McEwan which creates an international program of new, immersive and experimental work guided by authentic exchange, ethical principles, people and place. The Cad Factory advocates for the role that the arts can plan in understanding and sharing the lived experience of people and place and at the heart of their work is a deep commitment to the ethical dimension of an arts practice that involves the lives of people. Vic will share the journey of The Cad Factory as it developed into an organisation delivering practice based on processes of reciprocal immersion and exchange between peoples, places, contexts and subjective and objective viewpoints.

Alex Wisser: artist and co-founder, Cementa Contemporary Art Festival

Cementa's curatorial frame is simple: to make work that relates directly to issues of concern to regional people. This breaks with the established circuit of art and culture produced in the urban context and then imported into the regions, producing an ongoing culture of temporary exhibitions, that come and go without fundamentally contributing to a living regional culture. Cementa is interested in cultivating the ground on which art culture grows, rather than being the vehicle for importing it from where it already grows under very different conditions.

R e a : artist, Lecturer in the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Unit at The University of Queensland

r e a is an interdisciplinary artist, curator, activist, cultural educator, creative thinker whose ongoing practise-led research takes its development from new and critical discourses exploring intersectionality and positionality, through the cultural convergence of Aboriginality; with in the creative arts and technology, history and colonialism, the body and identity, gender and queer politics. r e a is a descendant from the Gamilaraay/Wailwan/Biripi nations’ of Indigenous Australia, from the central western region of New South Wales.

Closing conversation

4:30 – 5:15pm led by Prof. Ross Gibson