2019 Artistic Program Launch

Borrowed Scenery, Installation view, Campbelltown Arts Centre, 2019. Photo: Document Photography

Campbelltown Arts Centre – 2019 Artistic Program Launch

Focusing on transparency and the role of the institution, be it political, social, cultural or economic, Campbelltown Arts Centre’s 2019 artistic program places artists at the forefront to reform and respond to issues of the now and the future.

The opening exhibition for 2019, Borrowed Scenery, is an all-female identifying exhibition featuring over 50 artworks from the Campbelltown City Collection acknowledging the significance and influence of individual practice. As part of the exhibition C-A-C has engaged The Countess Report for a new commission responding to Borrowed Scenery and the discourses of female representation within collections and exhibitions. From this response C-A-C will place into action strategies that systematically adjust the power imbalance of gender within the institution. See the full list of artists here.

C-A-C presents Suzanne Archer’s first retrospective exhibition in March Suzanne Archer: The Song of the Cicada. Over five decades, Suzanne Archer has established herself as a painter, sculptor and installation artist, the exhibition celebrates the artist’s illustrious career and presents new work that proclaims that she has a lot more to offer.

In May the visual arts program will be exploring systems of democracy with an exhibition titled How to: Democracy. Artists including Deborah Kelly, Sarah Rodigari, Abdullah MI Syed, Eugenia Raskopoulos, Louisa Bufardeci, Lara Thoms and more to be announced, will be responding to the changing commentary of democracy in Australia’s current political climate with new commissioned works. The artists will be involved in an intensive residency component researching with journalists to unpack notions of democracy, justice and power.

Combining visual arts with performance in the presentation of womens’ voices from the Pacific, August brings together women of iTaukei (Indigenous Fijian) heritage in Western Sydney with iTaukei female artists from Australia and New Zealand in a collaborative exhibition, ERA YALOVATA NA MARAMA (Fijian Women Gathered Together).  In collaboration with the Veiqia Project group, this partnership between women in Australia and New Zealand explores lost traditions and modern identities and will feature new commissions and performative elements.

From the dance program, leading Indonesian choreographer, Eko Suprinyanto will be presenting the C-A-C commissioned dance-theatre work On Duty, a collaboration with the Youth Officers at Reiby Juvenile Justice Centre narrating the relationship with young people in their care. The final presentation of the work will be held in August.

Since 2017,  Campbelltown hip hop dancer Feras Shaheen and former profession footballer and performance-maker Ahil Ratnamohan (Belgium via Western Sydney) have been developing C-A-C commissioned work KlappingIntroducing a new form of urban movement built from the roots of football, training drills, battles and hip hop dance styles, Klapping explores the urban fringes where new expressions of dance have grown over the years, born from social needs and rage. The premiere of Klapping will be presented in March.

C-A-C and Western Sydney artist L-FRESH The LION present a new music mentoring program Conscious Project, for the next generation of local hip-hop artists to develop their artistic voice. L-FRESH The LION will develop bespoke residencies for five artists to develop their artistic practice and community engagement skills.

Ongoing Indigenous women’s weaving group, Yirran Miigaydhu, began in 2015, meeting on a monthly basis at C-A-C.  ‘Yirran Miigaydhu’ meaning ‘many women weavers’ reflects the gathering of women across ages and stages of cultural knowledge to connect and weave. This year C-A-C is working on expanding the number of workshops available as well as establishing new collaborations and identifying opportunities for the group to leverage their work and generate income for the artists.

Contemporary performance sees the second installment of Real Real, examining how digital space is affecting the way we think about performance, contemporary art and audiences. Subverting notions of conventional audiences and traditional theatre constructs, Real Real presents contemporary performances from Australia’s upcoming experimental artists streamed live on social media platforms. The first Real Real digital performance for 2019 will be presented in April followed by two more residencies and performances in June and August.

Coming into its fifth year, Little Orange working studio for contemporary Western Sydney artists that identify with a disability will continue to foster the artistic practice of the Little Orange artists. Little Orange actively pursues opportunities for each artist to promote and present their work to audiences and build relationships that contribute towards a prosperous artistic career.

“We have been collaborating with artists and the Western Sydney community for 30 years, moving forward we aim to strengthen and establish new relationships and enable artists to speak their truth by providing a platform that supports innovation, accessibility and experimentation. We’re focused on becoming a more transparent institution by reforming artistic structures that can respond to the changes in political, social and cultural landscapes as well as being agile to the fast-growing developments within the Campbelltown-Macarthur region.” Michael Dagostino, Director of Campbelltown Arts Centre

C-A-C have commissioned works that will commence development in 2019 with artists Justene Williams, Sarah Rodigari and David Capra.