Baci (Kiss), 2020. E.L. Elliott.
Something to Say
At Artstate Wagga
4–8 November 2020
Wagga Wagga Art Gallery
Curated by Sarah McEwan and Julie Montgarrett
In a time of climatic unravelling, a global pandemic and widening inequalities, there is a need for ‘unmaking’ the present world from the errors of our past. The artists and artworks in Something to Say are considering positive and meaningful ways to reimagine life on the only planet we have; where all life is considered and valued.
April Phillips is a Wiradjuri-Scottish woman of the Galari people. Her practice includes working as an illustrator, researcher and arts educator based on the far south coast of NSW on the lands of the Djiringanj people of the Yuin nation (Bermagui). April is interested in combining emerging technologies with professional arts practice and her career as a creative learning producer for arts and social impact organisation Big hART. April was successfully awarded the 2019 Create NSW 360 Visions funding, to develop spatial drawing for VR and AR for Aboriginal artists in NSW.
Barbara Quayle is a Barkindji Elder from Menindee NSW. She is a photographer who has been documenting the Barka River and its catastrophic changes over the last few years. In collaboration with Cindy Bates and Cheryl Blore, Barbara has been painting protest signs to make visible the water issues in Menindee. These three Barkindji Elders have been loudly advocating for people outside their community to see what is happening to their vital, life-affirming Barka (Darling) River.
Cheryl Blore is a Barkindji Elder from Menindee NSW. She was employed at the Menindee School for many years and would attend art classes with the students, learning from Rick Ball. Cheryl has been collaborating with her sister Cindy Bates and fellow Barkindji Elder Barbara Quayle to paint protest signs to share with people the unprecedented environmental changes that are occurring to the Barka River. This water source holds significant importance within Barkindji culture. If the land is sick, then the people are sick. The health of the Barka (Darling) River impacts the mental health of all Barkindji people.
Cindy Bates is a Barkindji Elder from Menindee NSW. Along with Barbara Qualye, they painted an old bus with protest messages about the mismanagement of the Murray-Darling Basin river system. This bus has become an iconic feature within the landscape and explains to visitors a Barkindji perspective of why the Barka (Darling) River is crucial for survival and cultural practices.
E.L. Elliott is a performance poet and artist masquerading and punning life as it unfolds around her. She is an observer of moments and her writings authenticate her journey; the voyager, verging on the figurative narrative and cryptic symbolism, as visual text and spoken jest. She has recently undertaken a 12 day writing residency in the window of Eastern Riverina Arts.
Her Riot is the musical project of Birrego-based artist Sarah McEwan, where she creates songs, videos and installations that range from sincere and contemplative to irreverent punk pop. In a reimagining of how you can be a musician, Her Riot is navigating what an interdisciplinary practice can look like.
Jackie Atim is a Poet/Spoken Word artist from Wagga Wagga. After bursting onto the local scene in 2016 she continues to go from strength to strength having been chosen to support former Australian Poetry Slam winner Zohab Khan on his regional tour. Jackie received a Variety Heart scholarship to publish a number of her works in a collaborative project with other artists. She was invited as a featured artist to the Mother Tongue Multilingual showcase in Canberra 2018 and was recently featured in FECCA’s Australian Mosaic magazine.
Vicky Okot is originally from South Sudan and arrived in Australia in 2005. Vicky began learning photographic techniques during workshops run by dLux Media over 2013 -15. These workshops allowed Vicky to produce her first series of artworks in 2014 called ‘Traditional African Portraits: Remixed’. Her artworks focus on representations of black women and girls, to empower them to be fearless and embrace their individuality and self-worth.
Juanita McLauchlan is a Gamilaraay woman living on Wiradjuri country in Wagga Wagga. Juanita enjoys the thrill, complexity, texture, chaos and control of the printmaking medium. While her material and conceptual problem-solving processes of making are experimental, Juanita’s work is equally indebted to, and guided by her indigenous heritage.
Dr Julie Montgarrett is a textile artist, curator and former University lecturer. Over three decades her practice has included more than 100 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 and new materialities to question dominant Australian histories and to explore doubt and fragility via visual narratives in complex installations.
Kerri Weymouth is an artist from Coleambally NSW. Kerri enjoys working with all art forms but has a connection with mixed media in her arts practice, using found objects, connecting with her environment and a felt sense to explore her visual communications.
Kelly Leonard is an artist based in Broken Hill NSW. As a teenager, Kelly was taught weaving by a second-generation Bauhaus weaver, Marcella Hempel, in Wagga Wagga NSW. Since 2017, Kelly has been making work responding to the sight, sound, smell and feel of the environment, where she places woven artworks in conversation with place, to activate new meanings and relationships. Like the Australian environmental philosopher Val Plumwood, Kelly also believes that struggles for social justice and environmentalism cannot be separated from each other and are inextricably linked.
Kerrie Rudd is an artist from Wagga Wagga NSW whose painting, mixed media and installation practice explores light, colour, tension and erratic lines. This kind of mark making is a way for Kerrie to answer the unknown questions that endlessly orbit their way around her body, history and fears. Within each artwork, there is an unspoken universe, waiting for a viewer to explore.
Samra Angilo is a dancer and painter who interprets portraits vibrantly in her work. She has exhibited in End of Year Exhibition (2018) at the Riverina Community College Gallery, Yield (2019) at Griffith Regional Gallery and End of Year Exhibition (2019) at the HR Gallop Gallery. Since 2018 Samra has been a member of the Art Factory supported studio in Wagga Wagga.
Place in space - Augmented Reality Workshop with April Phillips
Wednesday 4 November
3:30pm – 5pm
10 places in real life
10 places via Zoom
$15 or free to concession card holders
This one hour augmented reality workshop with April Phillips is followed by a 30 minute conversation event with Aunty Cheryl Penrith.
What does it mean to be political in regional NSW?
Wagga Wagga Art Gallery
Thursday 5 November
1pm – 2:15pm
Join Barbara Quayle, Cheryl Blore, Cindy Bates, Holly Conroy, Julie Montgarrett and Sarah McEwan as they share examples of political actions they have taken in order to create the world they want and need. This conversation across cultures and locations will investigate what it means to be political in regional NSW.
This project is a partnership between the Cad Factory, Eastern Riverina Arts, Regional Arts NSW, Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, Riverina Community College, West Darling Arts and Artstate. Supported by the Country Art Support Program, Create NSW, Sidney Myers Fund and the Australian Government through the Indigenous Language and the Arts.