A cross-region creative collaboration between inland and coastal NSW opens up conversations about what the future holds for the regions in a post-carbon world

Today, two more artists join the Orana Arts and Arts Mid North Coast collaboration on the Statewide Regional Futures project—a two-year program of commissioning and conversations that places artists at the centre of a dialogue exploring a future vision for the places they live, work and create.

The two-stage project is being managed by the NSW Regional Arts Network and funded by Create NSW. Artists have been appointed across all 15 Regional Arts Development Organisations (RADOs).

Multi-disciplinary artist Allison Reynolds of Dandry near Coonabarabran (Orana Arts/Regional Futures) and photographer/storyteller, Ronnie Grammatica of Coffs Harbour (Arts Mid North Coast/Regional Futures) today join Dubbo-based digital media artist/storyteller, Kim V. Goldsmith (Dubbo Regional Council ) and poet/painter, Kit Kelen of Bulahdelah (Arts Mid North Coast). Goldsmith and Kelen were commissioned earlier through negotiated partnerships.

Central West-based Orana Arts Executive Director, Alicia Leggett explains the artists will be developing concepts and artworks through self-directed residencies responding to the prompt ‘What does the future look like for your region in a post-carbon world?’, with the resulting works creating insight into the issues, challenges and opportunities for regional NSW.

“This is an exciting group of artists to have working on this project—all of them are strongly connected to their regional communities and bring multi-disciplinary elements and experiences to their practice and the topic. I expect many conversations to spring from this exchange, extending into the communities at the heart of Regional Futures.

“Through our cross-regional collaboration, we’re asking them to particularly consider what the regions may be like in a post-carbon world, given our communities are currently transitioning to renewable energy sources and we’re seeing the impact of droughts and floods affecting the liveability of our inland and coastal regions in very real ways.”

As part of the partnership with Dubbo Regional Council, which has commissioned Kim V. Goldsmith for the project, an artist residency is being piloted at Wellington Caves. It’ll allow Goldsmith to learn more about ancient landscapes and past climates as she explores the use of renewable energy and future climates in the Dubbo Regional Council area. It’ll also provide a meeting place for the Regional Futures artists to come together and learn more about each other’s practices and the issues they’re looking to explore.

Dubbo Regional Council’s Cultural Development Coordinator, Jessica Moore said their involvement in Regional Futures is supported through the Dubbo Regional Cultural Plan, SPARC, supporting a number of outcomes embedded in the plan.

“Regional Futures will also allow us to highlight the many educative and emotional layers to a site like the Wellington Caves and to highlight its potential for ongoing re-evaluation, reconnection and what it can tell us about long term environmental journeys.”

The first stage of Regional Futures ends on 30 June, with the development of work for presentation to get underway over the following 12 months.


Image: The Source, 2019, UHD video + experimental multitrack soundscape, image: Kim V. Goldsmith