The New Black workshop….

10 02 2010

Can’t tell you too much about last weeks’ New Black workshop because it was a Whitey Free Zone (well, apart from Megsie & Rach.) But it was a fabulous experience, and for all the right reasons – the mentors were wonderful, and the participants keen and receptive.

Here’s the media release,  just to put you in the picture…

At the end of last week the Bega Valley Regional Gallery ran an Indigenous Contemporary Art Mentoring Workshop, The New Black, aimed at encouraging local indigenous artists to begin considering their work in terms of a contemporary art practice; that is, as an expressive response to the specific socio-historic realities of their own experience, as opposed to stereotypical commercial “tourist” art.

Three prominent practitioners and arts educators – Garry Jones from Wollongong University, Michael Brogan, the Director of the Oorala Centre at the University of New England, and Melbourne based performance artist Constantina Bush (aka Kamahi Djordan King, Project Manager, The Deep Listening Project) – were invited to conduct a two day mentoring workshop with the local indigenous arts community.

All three are professional artists who deal with the broader issues of alienation, personal narrative and social history in their own work, and through a series of presentations, performance, group discussions and photographic projects, the group explored many diverse and relevant avenues of contemporary visual dialogue.

The first day of the workshop was held in the Bega Valley Shire Council Chambers, followed by a performance from Constantina Bush in the Regional Gallery in the evening. On the following day the group then shifted to Penders for the second half of the program (many thanks to Marr Grounds for his generous accommodation.)

Most importantly there was no formal/paternalistic/formulaic palaver going on – and the outcome was all the more genuinely successful for that. Day One was held at the Regional Gallery/Council chambers, and it was at once conventionally serious…

…interspersed with lotsa fun, and ending with a fabulous performance from Constantina…

Then on day 2 we went out to Penders for a day of yet more chat and artistic exploration…

More snaps here

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