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Expanded program for Cementa 15 Festival

Image: 63 – Beata Geyer & James Culkin: Geometries: Kandos (photo: Alex Wisser) 2015

The four day contemporary arts festival in Kandos, Cementa returns to the town from 9 to 12 April.

Cementa15 follows on from the highly successful inaugural festival in 2013, and this year more than 60 contemporary artists from regional NSW and Sydney will participateing in nine new venues. Cementa15 celebrates the state of contemporary art in Australia and the community of artists that generate this strange, challenging, and wonderful way of looking and thinking about the world.

The festival also celebrates its host town and takes its name from the product that sustained Kandos for almost 100 years – cement. Kandos came into existence in 1913 when a cement works was set up to take advantage of local supplies with limestone being conveyed from the quarries by means of an enormous aerial ropeway. The plant provided the much needed cement used in the building of Sydney homes and office blocks, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Underground Railway and the Opera House.

The nature of the festival is eclectic with artists exhibiting and performing artworks in shop windows and garages, in pubs and churches, in community and scout halls and vacant blocks across the town.   There will be robots and sound art, mushrooms, poetry and music, and artists will perform with shadows and drums; they will make art out of earth and recall the past through the sounds of birds.

This year there is a larger representation of artists living and working in the region, with more works engaged directly with the community, including Liz Day’s field of mushrooms knitted by local craftspeople, Sean O’Keefe has directed a fanfilm remake by the local high school, and Karen Therese’ conversation with people from the area.

A series of workshops for children aged seven to 14, funded through the Country Arts Support Project (CASP), an Arts NSW project administered by Regional Arts NSW and the Regional Arts Boards, will be held from April 9 to 11.

The workshops, run by artists Michael Petchovsky, Tina Havelock Stevens, Karen Gollard and Heidi Lefebvre, aim to give children an opportunity to engage with and understand the contemporary art being exhibited during the festival.

Children will be encouraged to create work in the style of the artist whose workshop they are attending. Full details here.

The festival this year also includes greater content from Aboriginal artists including Aleisha Lonsdale, Central West Aboriginal Arts Development Officer at Arts OutWest. A recent graduate of the Wesfarmers Indigenous Leadership Program at the National Gallery of Australia, Aleisha works to support Aboriginal artists in their practice.  During the festival she will make a work of concentric circles using earth and different materials to represent the different stages of encounter and transformation since first settlement. Jason Wing will be using native birdsong to evoke relationship to country.

For all the details visit the Cementa15 website.

Children’s workshops at Cementa 15 are funded through the Country Arts Support Program. casp_RANSW_logo_2013