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All aboard for a ‘counter-urban’ arts experience – Sydney to Cootamundra for ‘Days Like These’

An ‘Arts Bus’ will leave central Sydney later this month and travel 378km to the south west for a ‘counter-urban’ arts experience.

Cootamundra in the Riverina district is the destination; the arts experience is the culmination of a two-year residency by Western Sydney based performance company ‘Murmuration’.

Director, Sarah-Vyne Vassallo says, “The project has had two development stages over 2015 and 2016 and we are now thrilled to be taking ‘Days Like These’ into final development and presentation.”

‘Days Like These’ is a contemporary dance theatre work that explores the varied ways we, as humans, express our emotions and invites you to revisit and reflect on the best and worst days of your life.

Murmuration creates work that not only challenges society’s view of what artists with disability are capable of but also proposes a new artistic principle.

“Working in a regional setting the way we have over the last two years has shaped this work and taken our own understanding of an artistic life in new directions,” Sarah-Vyne says.

“I can’t wait for local people to see what their community and environment has created, but more so I am keen for our Sydney based fans to experience this work in the very setting that has helped influence it.”

The term ‘counter-urban’ is gaining a growing acceptance in the artistic communities of regional NSW. A cheeky phrase that springs from Lindy Hume’s recent Platform Paper – ‘Restless Giant’.

Lindy, the current Artistic Director of Opera Queensland and part-time resident of the Far South Coast of NSW, calls for a greater flow and integration between regional and metro arts ecosystems.

‘Counter-urban’ points to the conscious choice artists make in establishing an arts practise in a regional setting, a deliberate move to explore the influences of a country experience as opposed to those of the city.

Hume writes, “For those who seek a temporary oasis for reflection, research and creative development, an artist’s residency provides time and space away from one’s usual surroundings and commitments.”

“A milieu that encourages experimentation, risk-taking and changes of direction.

“The natural landscape of a residency in a regional setting becomes embedded in the experience,” Hume writes.

Murmuration is NSW's only professional adult integrated arts company, and this is their first production outside of their metro home in Western Sydney.

Director, Sarah-Vyne Vassallo says she can relate to Lindy Hume’s words.

“What we have seen emerge from our creative team and the themes they explore in the 70 minute performance is different to what we would have achieved had we done this back at home base,” Sarah-Vyne says.

The other inspiration behind ‘Days Like These’ are the images of photographer Rose-Lynn Fisher.

Fisher’s images of the microscopic structures of dried human tears highlight different and distinct molecules.

The image of the tear in this way provides a compelling blueprint of the human psyche.

“Each one of our tears carries a microcosm of the collective human experience,” Fisher describes.

The emotions causing us to cry - laughter, anger, or grief, are a colourful palate to work from.

Based at The Arts Centre Cootamundra, ‘Days Like These’ will take advantage of the theatre space, gallery, multimedia technologies and studio spaces.

This residency is the first of its kind in The Arts Centre, the production and those responsible for it have become embedded into this beautiful venue, a jewel in regional Australia.

‘Days Like These’ will play out over three performances between July 21 and 22.

All guests will start their journey through an experiential gallery space where they are invited to feel, smell, taste and connect with the concepts and designs of ‘Days Like These’.

The 2pm Saturday show is a ‘Relaxed Performance’ - some adjustments to the venue and performance have been designed to welcome diverse audience interactions.


Event starts
Friday 21 July, 2017
Event Ends
Saturday 22 July, 2017

New South Wales, Sydney

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