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Haunting, Vic McEwan and George Main plus Vanishing Point, Julie Montgarrett, Vic McEwan, Clytie Smith

On Common Ground

A three day festival of textiles, performance, video projection, installation, story telling, music and more. It took place “along the Murrumbidgee” in the Narrandera Common from 16 - 18 October 2015.

The Murrumbidgee river has a long history as a contested site. Colonisation, the development of agriculture, species extinction and reduction, continuing environmental changes and resource management initiatives such as the Murray Darling Basin Plan, make this location and its surrounds a place of consternation with many conflicting views.

Featuring 26 artworks from 19 local artists, 7 visiting artists, 36 students and 20 community members, On Common Ground was a celebration of what links us through all of our different viewpoints and histories; an attempt to allow a neutral place, a place for discussion and reflection for three days and beyond.

Artworks were presented between the entrance at Lake Talbot and extended all the way down to the Koala Count marshaling area and across to Second Beach, over 1km apart. Part of the experience of On Common Ground was walking through this beautiful natural environment.


Download the full program


On Common Ground was a FREE event.

Public Programs

Tour Bookings

To book for the Murrumbidgee Field Naturalist Tour, Cultural Tour and ar(tour) please email or go to the 'tour stall' in the Common over the weekend.

Friday 16 October

10am - 4pm: Open to the Public

10am - 2pm: Schools’ Day for Riverina Students
7pm - 10pm: Opening and Haunting Projection Event at Second Beach

Saturday 17 October

1pm - 6pm: Open to the Public

1pm - 3pm: The Leeton Lacemakers will be demonstrating how to make lace
1pm - 6pm: Help make the Community Fish by weaving material onto King Cod’s sister

1pm - 6pm: Meg's Face Painting Stall

3pm - 3:30pm: ar(tour) by Dr Neill Overton. Discover the fascinating history of the Holbrook family and their lasting legacy to Australian art history

3pm - 5pm: Nicole Barakat and members of the Eco-Dyeing Circle will show you how to draw colour from local plants and create a piece of eco-dyed cloth to take home

7pm - 10pm: Opening and Haunting Projection Event at Second Beach

Sunday 18 October


1pm - 6pm: Open to the Public

1pm - 3pm: The Leeton Lacemakers will be demonstrating how to make lace
1pm - 6pm: Help make the Community Fish by weaving material onto King Cod’s sister

1pm - 5:30pm: Lions Train Tour. Ride this iconic Narrandera vehicle through the Common to view the artworks. Jump on and off as you please

1pm - 1:45pm: Murrumbidgee Field Naturalist Tour by Nella Smith. Discover the intimate details of the flora and fauna in the Common

2pm - 2:45pm: Cultural Tour by Lee Reavley. Discover the Wiradjuri histories that exist in the Common

3pm - 3:30pm: ar(tour) by Dr Neill Overton. Discover the fascinating history of the Holbrook family and their lasting legacy to Australian art history

3pm - 5pm: Nicole Barakat and members of the Eco-Dyeing Circle will show you how to draw colour from local plants and create a piece of eco-dyed cloth to take home

3pm - 6pm: Meg's Face Painting Stall



Artists and Team

Vic McEwan
Artist and Artistic Director

Vic McEwan is composer, sound and installation artist, producer and director based in Birrego. Vic is interested in landscape, communities, remote spaces and cross art form collaboration. He creates sound for theatre, dance, performance and conceives, creates and directs large scale site specific collaborations that often involve dance, projection, installation and sound.

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Sarah McEwan
Artist and Creative Producer

Sarah McEwan is an artist, musician and an artist-curator based in Birrego. She is interested in feminism and social change. Sarah creates solo work, installations and sometimes works under the pseudonym Her Riot. Sarah collaborates with other artists, community members and young people in gallery spaces or site specific locations.

Clytie Smith
Artist and Production

Clytie Smith is a lighting designer, production manager, rigger and installation artist. She is engaged by the possibilities of spaces in-between; between art forms, the distance between people, cultures, between two trees on a river, between what is known and unknown, what is loved and unloved. She collaborates in a variety of roles with artists across many genres, from contemporary dance and performance, to site specific work and live art.

Bec Dean

Bec Dean is a curator, writer, producer and educator based in Sydney where she is researching towards a PhD at the University of New South Wales. Her interests span the gamut of contemporary art and performance practices and she has fifteen years professional experience in producing and presenting multi-artform programs. Her own practice is focused on curatorial care and lively materiality; interdisciplinary collaborations across art and science; and curating and commissioning site-specific programs, exhibitions and laboratories. 

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David Gilby

Born in London, educated at Sydney University, lecturing in English at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, for four decades, David Gilbey writes and performs poetry. David is the founder of Wagga Wagga Writers Writers which birthed Booranga, the Riverina Writers’ Centre at CSU, and is interested in fostering all aspects of creative wordsmithing in the Riverina, especially connecting with other artists and their forms. His work ranges from familial, ironic ‘confessionals’ through witty erotica and wry satires, from private to public worlds, travelling through Australia, Europe, Japan, in many styles, from haibun to sonnets, from lyrics to occasional and ‘Slam’ poems.

Elizabeth Gay Campbell

Elizabeth Gay Campbell is based in Narrandera and is a visual artist whose primary practice is drawing portraits in different media. However, her real love is three dimensional work. She is fascinated by people, animals, creation and faith. She combines various materials, both new and recycled, utilising any or all of the following; modelling, sculpting, knitting, weaving, sewing and any other ideas she can come up with to explore the project at hand.


Gay has been commissed by Narrandera Arts and Creative Network

Emma Piltz

Emma Piltz is an emerging artist who lives in Narrandera. Emma is interested in the collection of objects to suggest a greater and deeper meaning of the intangible. Her work involves installations created from these collections, often ephemeral in nature, making the work temporal and subject to change and decay over time. 


Emma's work has been made with the assistance of Megan Corbett.


Emma has been commissed by Narrandera Arts and Creative Network

George Main

George Main works as a curator and environmental historian at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra. He is particularly interested in the cultural and historical dynamics that transformed inland places into modern farmland. George develops and contributes to a range of exhibition, collection and research projects that allow objects and places to convey useful understandings about human ties to the rest of nature.

Greg Pritchard

Greg Pritchard is writer, producer, conceptual artist, performer and arts administrator who is currently based in Dubbo, working on Artlands 2016. Greg is interested in metaphysics, psychology, and how we exist in the environment. Using a grab bag of old techniques and new technologies he seeks to create work that questions art and our relationship to the world.

Jacqui Ryding

Jacqui Ryding is a visual artist and poet with a passion for education; currently teaching Art and English at Narrandera High School. Jacqui is interested in collaborative work encouraging others to explore their own creativity. In her own artwork she endeavours to explore the local environment  through process of sacrisalisation, a process where a specific site is chosen, allowing the site to resonate deeply to inform her artistic practice and materials used.


Jacqui has been commissed by Narrandera Arts and Creative Network

Joyce Spencer

Joyce is a tactile artist who lives in Narrandera and likes making 'things' 

associated with arts and crafts, exploring the history and techniques of weaving, painting, ceramics and more. Joyce loves sharing her knowledge by teaching and giving workshops. Joyce has published five books over the years, with "Folk Art Cards" a best seller among craft circles. Joyce's personal motto is, "a creative mess it better than tidy idleness.”


Joyce's work has been made with artist assistants Fiona Charles, Gwen Lee, Holly McEwan Josie Middleton, Julie Briggs, Kathleen Foster, Maxi Bohl, Sarah McEwan, Doreen Angove, Lindee Russell, The Men’s Shed.


Joyce has been commissed by Narrandera Arts and Creative Network

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Julie Briggs
Artist and Project Coordinator

Julie Briggs is a writer and occasional maker and a long time Narrandera resident. She is interested in environment and social inequality. Julie writes poetry, vignette, creative non-fiction and enjoys collaborations with visual artists.

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Julie Montgarrett

Julie Montgarrett is a textile artist, curator and lecturer at CSU, Wagga Wagga NSW whose practice includes  solo and group exhibitions, site specific installations, public art commissions and community-based arts projects in Australia and internationally. Her main interests are in the areas of drawing and textile to extend the conceptual and spatial possibilities of textile as narrative questioning dominant Australian histories; to explore doubt and fragility via visual narratives in complex installations. 

Kerri Weymouth

Kerri Weymouth is a mixed media artist based in Coleambally. Kerri is interested in the Australian bush, textiles and communities. Kerri creates artworks from found objects of different textures and colours; she also loves to express her self through textiles and printmaking.


Kerri has been commissed by Narrandera Arts and Creative Network

Lorraine Tye

Lorraine Tye is a Wiradjuri Elder, artist and maker using basketry techniques and other fibre practices. Lorraine has exhibited widely in the Riverina region and beyond. She has recently completed studying Wiradjuri Language, Culture and Heritage at Charles Sturt University Wagga Wagga. Having learnt more about her culture, Lorraine is creating work that reflects place and connection to Country.

Marilyn Manning

Marilyn Manning has a love for the ‘domestic arts.’ She has co-ordinated many craft workshops in schools and her work has been displayed by The Embroiders Guild of NSW. The Textile Art movement has allowed Marilyn the freedom of expression and the opportunity to have…FUN! Marilyn is a member of the Narrandera Wetlands Committee.

Nicole Barakat

Nicole Barakat is an artist, educator and curator based in Sydney, NSW.  She works from a place of love and patience to unpick the borders of art and life.  With a focus on contemporary drawing and textile practices, Nicole creates solo and collaborative works often using everyday and discarded materials. 

Rachel Viski

Rachel Viski is a graphic designer, digital artist and writer. Rachel is interested in uncovering the stories from within and bringing them to life with the eloquence of design. She creates visual marketing communications material for artists, small to medium sized businesses and individuals for use across digital and traditional mediums.

Kimberley Beattie
Project Assistant

Kimberley Beattie is a Narrandera local with a passion for environmental community engagement. She enjoys discovering new ways to connect people with the natural world, local history, and each other. As a short fiction and non-fiction writer, and poetry buff, Kimberley loves the power of story-telling in all its forms as a means of bringing people together despite the barriers of time, distance and culture.

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Michael Petchkovsky
Production Manager

Michael Petchkovsky is a multidisciplinary artist and events organiser living in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. With a strong focus on community oriented, collectively implemented, DIY solutions, he likes to explore and facilitate discourse around issues of social dynamics. His art practice revolves around materials and electricity, finding liveness in mediums ranging from computer source code to light beams and from stone building construction to composites and the mixing of metal alloys.

James Farley

James Farley is a photographic artist based in Wagga Wagga. His work explores the relationships between humans and non-human beings as well as the environments they create, alter and occupy. James has a diverse approach to photography, mixing traditional and alternative processes, photobook making, aerial photography/video and site specific installation. 

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Kevin Ng

Kevin Ng is technical producer, production manager, and performer based in Sydney, working with numerous Sydney independent festivals, companies, and artists, including Shopfront, PACT, Rocksurfers, and Milkcrate Theatre to name a few. He’s interested in emerging and experimental art in both video and performance as well as socially engaged art events with marginalised young people and communities in Sydney. As an artist he has created a number of intimate one on one performances for festivals as well as facilitating young people led performance – making processes.

Narrandera Arts and Creative Network
Community Group

Narrandera Arts and Creative Network is run by a dedicated group of volunteers who aim to create links between creatives and support them through workshops, access to their workshop space and more.


This project was born when The Cad Factory and NACNet met to discuss ideas to create a large arts event to take place in various locations around Narrandera, back in 2013. During this meeting NACNet member Gay Elizabeth Campbell suggested the Common as an important local location.  From this initial converation, On Common Ground has been developed over the last two years.


NACNet has commissioned five local artists to make new work for the festival. 

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Eco-dying Circle
Community Group

Performance Space has sent Sydney based artist Nicole Barakat and their Curator-at-Large Bec Dean to hold a series of eco-dyeing workshops to create a new site-specific installation for On Common Ground.


A group of 20 community members have been working on eco-dyeing, stitching and weaving material to create this large artwork.  

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Pen to Paper
Community Group

Narrandera Pen to Paper Writers’ Group was formed in 2013 by Narrandera writer Fran Foley and is now a sub-group of Narrandera Arts & Creative Network Inc. Pen to Paper provides, through fortnightly gatherings, and occasional workshops,  a sharing and enriching environment for anyone interested in any genre of writing. 

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Murrumbidgee Field
Community Group

The Murrumbidgee Field Naturalists are a keen group of nature enthusiasts from Narrandera, Leeton and Griffith who get together every month to explore natural areas throughout the Murrumbidgee region. Their goal is to facilitate and promote the knowledge of natural history, and to encourage the preservation and protection of the Australian natural environment, especially that of the Murrumbidgee River Valley. They produce a detailed newsletter every month which is published on their website, and are always happy to invite new faces along on their walks. Copies of their local flora field identification guide, and regional birdwatching sites map are available from the Narrandera Visitor Information Centre.