ICYMI: A wrap of this week’s arts news


New public art at Carriageworks, latest program announcements, a ground-breaking Indigenous education program, Live Music Census results, and more.
ICYMI: A wrap of this week’s arts news

Image: Nell, CU View of Eveleigh Tree House from existing walkway on Eveleigh Green, supplied.

Intensive education program for prominent Aboriginal artists

From 3 December, leading Aboriginal artists and arts workers from across northern Australia will spend the next two weeks taking part in a ground-breaking Indigenous education program at the University of Melbourne.

It is the first accredited University program in Australia designed specifically for Indigenous arts workers from remote communities and is a possible gateway to a Masters in Cultural Materials Conservation.


It aims to enhance local Indigenous management of cultural collections in remote communities and further build Indigenous arts leadership across the Top End.

The Specialist Certificate in Cross Cultural Conservation and Heritage is the result of a unique partnership between the Arnhem, Northern and Kimberley Artists Aboriginal Corporation (ANKA), the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation and Trinity College at the University of Melbourne.

The nine participants in the course are from Arnhem Land, the Tiwi Islands and the Darwin/Katherine region of the Northern Territory and the Kimberly region of Western Australia.

As part of the course, they will investigate the development, management and care of important cultural collections held in remote communities with a team of senior artwork conservators led by Grimwade Centre Director Robyn Sloggett.

Participants are taking part in a cross-cultural symposium, learning about lab-based conservation and examining cultural collections to support their leadership at home.

Professor Sloggett said the program was also an opportunity for two-way learning. ‘The artists and arts workers will also be doing some of the teaching, sharing their traditional knowledge about harvesting natural materials and using them for the production of artwork with staff and other students at the University of Melbourne.’

In 2017 ANKA and the University of Melbourne produced Safe Keeping: A Report on the Care and Management of Art Centre based Community Collections, the first report on the important network of Art Centre-based community collections across northern Australia. The report identified the urgent need for local expertise and resources to care for remote community collections.

The piloting of the Specialist Certificate in Cross Cultural Conservation and Heritage has been made possible with funding from the Northern Territory Department of Trade, Business and Innovation; INPEX Ichthys LNG Project; Australia Council for the Arts; the University of Melbourne, and Trinity College.

Dance massive ANNOUNCES ITS 2019 PROGRAM

The sixth incarnation of contemporary dance festival, Dance Massive, was launched in Melbourne this week. 

Running from 12 – 24 March 2019, the program features 30 productions – including 15 world premieres – plus talks, screenings, workshops, industry events and large scale outdoor works.

Dance Massive is the only contemporary dance festival in the country dedicated exclusively to Australian makers and is a long-standing collaboration between three leading arts houses in Melbourne: Arts House, Dancehouse and Malthouse Theatre. It is driven by three artistic visions, offering a rare multifaceted perspective of the Australian choreographic landscape. For the next edition, Dance Massive has extended its scope to include new associate partners, The SUBSTATION and Abbotsford Convent, alongside its long-term partner Ausdance Victoria.

The program includes senior figures of Australian dance: Lucy Guerin, Russell Dumas, Stephanie Lake, Hellen Sky, Jill Orr, Narelle Benjamin with Paul White and Anouk van Dijk’s last work with Chunky Move – alongside a wealth of emerging talents.

Emily Sexton, Artistic Director – Arts House said: ‘Dance Massive is an extraordinary achievement, with the ingenuity and innovation of the Australian dance scene on full display. I’m delighted that Arts House’s program includes such a diversity of First Nations dance practice, alongside industry icons such as Lucy Guerin Inc and Force Majeure, and forward-thinking artists like Luke George and Melanie Lane.’

Angela Conquet, Artistic Director and CEO – Dancehouse said: ‘It is an absolute joy to see such diversity of artists, practice, site and form in this 6th incarnation of Dance Massive — a remarkable testament to the wealth of dance making and thinking currently in Australia. At Dancehouse, we are particularly proud to present seminal senior figures not often seen on our stages such as Russell Dumas and Hellen Sky as well as provocative site-specific experimental installations such as Jill Orr and Atlanta Eke.’

Sarah Neal, Executive Producer and Co-CEO and Matthew Lutton, Artistic Director and Co-CEO – Malthouse Theatre said: ‘Our Dance Massive program in 2019 is a testament to the extraordinary work of two choreographers who will open us up to experiences and emotional perspectives through the visceral vitality of physicality. We are very proud to be bringing Anouk van Dijk’s final work with Chunky Move to our mainstage and equally thrilled to be premiering Stephanie Lake’s brilliant new work for Dance Massive.’

Dance Massive runs from 12-24 March 2019. Visit www.dancemassive.com.au for the full program.

Private Sector Support Survey deadline extended

Creative Partnerships Australia has extended the deadline for its survey of arts organisations and private sector support until Friday 21 December 2018

The Private Sector Support Survey is designed to give arts and cultural organisations the opportunity to benchmark their fundraising efforts, increase their understanding of private sector support on a national scale, and identify areas for improvement.

Results from the survey will be used to develop or refine Creative Partnerships Australia's programs and sector development activities, to better support arts organisations to secure private sector support.

By completing the survey, arts organisations will be in the running to receive a fully-funded mentorship to enhance fundraising skills.

Visit the Creative Partnerships Australia website for more information.

Mapping Melbourne 2018 - Independent Contemporary Asian Arts Festival

Mapping Melbourne 2018 – a 16-day curated festival featuring over 100 artists from across Australia, China, India, Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand in 19 events of ­­contemporary independent dance, theatre, live art, music, visual arts, video and cross-cultural collaborations – has opened in Melbourne. Highlights include:

Street Connection is a live exhibition and workshop featuring Thai street artist, Mue Bon – who is at the forefront of the Asian street art scene with his unmistakable characters appearing on local road sides and shutters, to gallery walls and Art fairs worldwide.

Dumpling Boy Temple is a pseudo-shaman space on steroids where the kitsch-o-meter set to full on. Dumpling Boy Temple is an art installation space that provides a unique, kitsch shamanistic experience.

In collaboration with Project 11 and curated by Santy Saptari, #Perempuan (or woman), is a group exhibition featuring works by emerging Indonesian artists that explores current issues affecting women in Indonesia, including their visibility in public and their sociocultural role.

The Depth of Simplicity presents the works of four contemporary artists based in Melbourne: Annette Chang, Ellen Yeong Gyeong Son, Supina Bytol and Pimpisa Tinpalit.

MURTI, (‘moor-thee’) is a communal participatory installation about worship and ritual in our contemporary age. A Sanskrit term, ‘murti’ is an embodied icon of the Divine. Reflecting on the ancient Hindu ritual of bathing stone idols in water and milk, MURTI invites people to pour vibrant paint upon a large-scale sculpture that reimagines the most revered and abstracted Hindu icon – the Lingam.

Mapping Melbourne will be held across venues from 1-15 December. The full program can be seen here: multiculturalarts.com.au/event/mapping-melbourne-2018/ 

National touring exhibition launches at Logan Art Gallery

A new exhibition opened this week at Logan Art Gallery (QLD) – Safe Space – a major touring exhibition of contemporary sculpture, created in partnership with Museums & Galleries Queensland (M&G QLD).

According to exhibition Curator, Christine Morrow, “The title of the exhibition coaxes viewers to consider the ways these artworks engage the themes of safety and its lack; space in all its rich possibility and—perhaps unexpectedly—in all its difficulty. Sculpture is conventionally defined by the way it occupies three dimensions. Yet these works project into other psychological and cultural dimensions; those that cannot be contained within the physical realm.”

It showcases works by 12 contemporary Australian artists: Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, David Cross, Keg de Souza, Karla Dickens, Franz Ehmann, Will French, Claire Healy & Sean Cordeiro, Rosie Miller, Michelle Nikou, Alex Seton and Tim Sterling.

M&G QLD’s Executive Director, Rebekah Butler said: ‘Projects like Safe Space highlight the great outcomes that can be achieved by working together. ‘We trust audiences will enjoy engaging with this thought-provoking, diverse, often playful, sometimes confronting exploration of Safe Space.’

The Queensland Government supported this exhibition with $58,700 in funding from the Queensland Arts Showcase Program – Arts Ignite initiative.

Safe Space will be displayed at Logan Art Gallery until 12 January 2019, after which it will travel to regional and metropolitan centres in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria.


Carriageworks announced its 2019 Artistic Program on Monday, which will support over 900 artists and will present 86 projects, including seven world premieres, 25 international works and 36 new Australian commissions.

Carriageworks Director Lisa Havilah said, ‘2019 will continue Carriageworks’ strong artistic growth with a program of Australian and international works, including new commissions and world premieres by Australian and international artists.’

Highlights of the 2019 Artistic Program include world premieres by Carriageworks resident companies Sydney Chamber Opera and Moogahlin Performing Arts; new works by Back to Back Theatre Company; Matthew Sleeth with producer Kate Richards and composer Susan Frykberg; سدقلا Jerusalem by renowned choreographer Lemi Ponifasio (Samoa & NZ); and a large-scale installation by Australian artist Mike Parr. UNTIL, the monumental work by international artist Nick Cave (USA) will continue to present a public program of performances, events and creative responses until March 2019.

Visit http://carriageworks.com.au/ for details.

In related news, Carriageworks in partnership with Mirvac have announced that Sydney-based visual artist Nell, working together with design collective Cave Urban, has been commissioned to create a new public artwork at South Eveleigh, previously known as Australian Technology Park.

Eveleigh Tree House will consist of a series of interconnected pods created out of hundreds of individually forged steel gum leaves.  The tree house pods will be nestled amongst the existing gum tress at Eveleigh Green located within South Eveleigh, a 14-hectare multi-use precinct being developed by Mirvac.

Nell was inspired by the history and character of the nearby Eveleigh Locomotive precinct and wanted to pay homage to the Gadigal land on which the site stands. The work also embodies a personal connection to the site for the artist, whose great-grandfather worked as a boilermaker at Eveleigh from 1931-1952.

‘The Tree House will capture the essence of what we as adults remember tree houses to be —a place of imagination, observation and retreat from the world,’ explained Nell.

A series of public workshops are being held on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 December inviting participants to help forge – and stamp their initials on the back of – individual steel gum leaves that will be added to the bodies of the Tree House.

Nell has conceived a second public art work for the precinct, Happy Rain, which takes the form of a large-scale smiling cloud wall work created from LED lighting attached to the exterior of a high-rise building.

The two public art works are scheduled to be installed in 2019. Further announcements of artists commissioned to create work for the precinct will be announced in the new year.

Plans for the precinct will include a wider public art program, with additional site-specific public works to be announced in 2019.

Music SA releases Live Music Census results

There’s new proof that live music is a strength for Adelaide, with venues well and truly open for business and living up to Adelaide’s UNESCO designation as a City of Music.

Music SA’s Live Music Census has been conducted annually since 2015. Each year the research is a best effort exercise to capture and count gigs in licensed venues, and provides an indication of the state of play during the month of May (deliberately chosen each year so as to not skew figures with typically busy periods such as the Adelaide Fringe which boasts music as its second highest art form).

For the first time this year the census has been expanded to include a count of the entire state of South Australia. The 2018 findings revealed that South Australia hosted 1523 gigs across 309 venues.

The regions are certainly playing their part with 296 gigs across 108 venues. Tourism Australia research shows that after food and wine, music is the second most popular attractor for tourists to visit regional areas.

In metropolitan Adelaide there were 1,227 gigs across 201 venues during the month of May. This is roughly a 27% increase in gigs and a 28% increase in venues hosting live music in the metropolitan area from 2015 to 2018.  This approximately extrapolates to 15,000 annual live music gigs, or 300 per week, and is a healthy comparison to another UNESCO City of Music Glasgow, which hosts 150 plus live music gigs a week.

The news comes at a time when the State Government is working closely with the music industry and councils to continue to develop regulatory reform for live music.

In recent times, South Australia has seen the removal of entertainment consent from liquor licenses, as well as variations to the Building Code, the introduction of case management support services for venues and government funding for Umbrella: Winter City Sounds, a two-week live music venue-based festival held in winter every year.

General Manager of Music SA Lisa Bishop says, ‘With four years of data we now have a strong indication that the live music sector of Adelaide is in a sustainably healthy state, which is great for musicians who rely heavily on venues to build their fan base, develop their technical skills and hone their stage craft through invaluable instantaneous audience feedback.’

Download the Live Music Census here.


The Castlemaine State Festival, Australia’s largest regional arts festival, presents 10 days of over 70 performance, visual arts, talks and music programs in March 2019.

Presenting his inaugural Castlemaine State Festival, Director Glyn Roberts said the adventurous program is full of wonder and excitement, with Castlemaine at its core.

‘Castlemaine and its surrounding areas and incredible people have been the inspiration behind this festival. Castlemaine is a place that is contemporary, classical and, most importantly, communal and we are thrilled to have several exclusive-to-Castlemaine events taking place next year. If you are lucky enough to be a first-time visitor to the region you will soon notice that Castlemaine isn’t just a regional city, but a microcosm of Australian society with its diversity, successes, beauty all here in this one special place. We cannot wait to celebrate this extraordinary program of arts and culture right here in Castlemaine,’ said Roberts.

The Castlemaine State Festival takes place from 22-31 March 2019. Further information including a full program of events and tickets can be found at castlemainefestival.com.au.


Sixteen Australian First Nations artists will feature alongside Indigenous artists from the United States and Canada during First Nations Dialogues Lenapehoking/New York, an eight-day celebration of Indigenous-led performances, discussion, workshops and ceremony.

Taking place 5–12 January 2019, First Nations Dialogues include performances and events at contemporary live performance venues across New York City.

‘Four years of constructive conversations and collaboration has led to First Nations Dialogues,’ said BlakDance Executive Producer Merindah Donnelly.

‘BlakDance has been an active collaborator and working hard behind-the-scenes to ensure Australian First Peoples dance is well represented at the event.’

Australian First Nations artists attending are:

  • Paola Balla
  • Ngioka Bunda-Heath
  • Genevieve Grieves
  • Thomas E. S. Kelly
  • Kamahi King
  • Pauline Lampton
  • Erica McCalman
  • SJ Norman
  • Katina Olsen
  • Rita Pryce
  • Joshua Pether
  • Mariaa Randall
  • Taree Sansbury
  • Merindi Schreiber
  • Carly Sheppard
  • Kate ten Buuren

The Australian cohort have been supported by BlakDance to attend the event through travel bursaries or grant writing.

‘BlakDance is proud to support the participating artists’ Donnelly said, ‘Our support has helped ensure a strong showing of Australian Indigenous dance work in New York.’

For more information, visit blakdance.org.au/first-nations-dialogues.

Photo credit: Hamilton Lund

Sydney Opera House worth $6.2 billion to the nation

The Sydney Opera House’s economic contribution and broader value to the nation have increased significantly in the past five years, according to a Deloitte report released today.

The report, Revaluing Our Icon, comes at the midpoint of the Opera House’s Decade of Renewal, a program to ensure this 20th-century icon continues to inspire 21st-century artists, audiences and visitors. This new valuation by Deloitte updates its Valuing An Icon report, issued during the Opera House’s 40th anniversary celebrations in 2013.

Key findings include:

  • The Opera House precinct’s total economic contribution was $1.2 billion in 2016-17, up 44% in real terms on 2012-13;
  • The precinct supports about 8,700 full-time equivalent jobs, and for every person directly employed by the Opera House, 14 others are employed throughout the economy; and
  • The Opera House’s social asset value has increased to $6.2 billion in 2018, up 24% in real terms from $4.6 billion in 2013.

View the full Deloitte report: sydneyoperahouse.com/deloittereport

Verge Gallery partners with Running Dog

Verge Gallery is excited to be partnering with Running Dog in 2019, presenting several events across the year.

These events will expand on Running Dog and Verge Gallery’s commitment to fostering critical dialogue around creative practice, and engaging with audiences.

The first of these events will be curated by Running Dog’s founding editor Naomi Riddle, with the following each curated by Running Dog contributors: Em Size, Soo-Min Shim, and Mariam Arcilla. These events will take the form of panel discussions, poetry readings, artist interviews and film screenings, in response to the themes chosen by each curator. 

This series of events kick off in March 2019.

Running Dog is an online arts platform that publishes weekly articles about exhibitions and events taking place in Sydney and regional New South Wales.  Running Dog is committed to covering the work of emerging and established artists through circulating regular content about artist run spaces, collectives, commercial galleries, institutions, one-off events and festivals.

Verge Gallery is located on University of Sydney campus.

Libraries lead with photography exhibitions

This week, the State Library Victoria unveiled a new exhibition that takes a look at Melbourne’s mid-century architecture, while the State Library of Queensland the exhibition Home unravels and archive of 60,000 images.

Peter Wille: Out Driving will feature small and large scale reproductions from the Library’s collection of more than 6,000 colour slides by architectural draughtsman, design enthusiast and amateur photographer Peter Wille.

The exhibition will showcase a period of experimental design – from post-war austerity to the height of modernism – featuring the groundbreaking work of architects including Robin Boyd, Peter McIntyre, Kevin Borland, and John and Phyllis Murphy.

Exhibition curator Eve Sainsbury said the exhibition would explore how the types of buildings in four areas of Melbourne reflect their environment. Suburbs will include South Yarra and Toorak in the south east, Kew in the east, Beaumaris, Aspendale and Frankston in bayside, and the outer suburbs of Eltham and Warrandyte.

North, at the State Library of Queensland, another photography exhibition has been unveiled this week - Home: a suburban obsession (7 December 2018 — 14 July 2019).

It is the story mapped by a husband and wife team - Frank and Eunice Corley  - who cruised the streets in a pink Cadillac in the 1960s and ‘70s taking hundreds of thousands of photos of Queensland homes.

The Corley’s are thought to have taken over a quarter of a million photographs of houses throughout South East Queensland. In 1995, 67 boxes of their photographs featuring 61,490 prints were donated to State Library. It is one of the largest single photographic collections of Australian housing in existence.

In 2001, volunteers began the lengthy and complex process of sorting the prints; this involved translating Frank’s handwritten spool identifiers to crack the photographer’s organisational code.

State Librarian and CEO Vicki McDonald said: ‘The exhibition is so much more than a story of bricks and mortar; it is about the everyday hopes and dreams of Queenslanders and how it has changed over the decades.’

The Queensland Government provided funding of $80,000 through the Queensland Arts Showcase Program for the Home: suburban exposures exhibition, helping State Library to engage multi-disciplinary artist Ian Strange to engage with the Corley collection.

Bianca Beers; Image supplied

Sony Pictures commissions Spider-Man mural by Australian street artist

This week, Apparition Media artist and content creator, Bianca Beers was chosen by Sony Pictures to paint a custom piece in central Melbourne for the launch of the new film Spider-Man – Into the Spider-Verse.

Set to commence on 3 December, the mural will be painted in Melbourne Central’s Knox Place over five days, with various scenes from the animation / film scattered across a 28-metre canvas. 

Once a forensic scientist, the Sydney-based artist kicked off her career only three years ago and has since been commissioned to create custom designs for big brands like Nike, Asics, G-Star, The Galeries, Ministry of Sound, Sony Music and Puma.

‘When I graduated uni with a forensic science degree it took me a while to just bite the bullet and do a crash course in design. Once I took the plunge and started seeing my work in public, I didn’t look back,’ Beers said.

This is the second piece of Marvel magic Sony Pictures have commissioned from Australian out-of-home advertising agency Apparition Media, an outdoor advertising agency and art studio that produce high-quality, hand-painted murals.

Tyson Hunter, co-founder of Apparition Media said: ‘We’re immensely proud of our artists being recognised on the global stage, and really see this as doing our bit to help enmesh Australia into the global art scene.’

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