SFA is currently working on a collaborative presentation of a state-wide series of regionally based, interconnected, exhibitions and performances held in mid to late 2022, culminating in a survey of contemporary regional art practice at John Curtin Gallery (Perth) in September-November 2023.
Project Title: Open Borders
Unifying central concept
Open Borders’ is an exploration of the burden and blessing of demarcation. Inspired by Western Australia’s unique experience of containment during the Covid-19 pandemic, ‘Open Borders’ prompts state-wide reflection (across all nine of WA’s regions and metro Perth) upon the role of borders, and their impact upon our lives.
The project’s central provocation is encapsulated in a Curatorial Brief written by regionally based Lead Curator, Annette Davis. Visit her website for more info about her practice. https://www.annettedavisart.com/
An extract from her curatorial brief written for ‘Open Borders’ is below:
- A border is a barrier which can be tangible or intangible.
- Borders are used to keep things in and to keep things out. They can be protective and they can prohibitive.
- Borders within the mind direct thought, assumptions and conclusions.
- Borders manage behaviour.
- Borders are often managed by regulations which require evidence of authorized movement across a border.
- Borders can be contravened, overturned and broken down.
- Borders can be the site of protest.
- Borders can be permeable and impermeable.
- A border might be a clear red line on a map but it can also be shifting and nebulous, with grey areas subject to change.
- Over the past twelve months as the COVID-19 pandemic has spread, the presence of borders, and the fact that they can be closed and opened, has had innumerable impacts on our physical and psychological lives.
- International borders have been closed, not only to people arriving but during some periods, to Australian citizens leaving the country.
- State borders are closed and re-opened as State governments choose how to manage the risk of the spread of COVID-19.
- Regional borders within WA used to be accepted as a way of describing the different geographic areas of this huge state or of delineating government jurisdictions, but since 2020 they have at times become an enforceable barrier, restricting our daily lives in innumerable ways. Within regions, Indigenous communities have been protected by borders, and some towns have sought the protection of borders to keep COVID-19 out of their community.
- Stage 4.1: Regional Events Series Launch and Promotion (June – July 2022)
- Stage 4.2: Regional Events Series (August 2022 – May 2023)
- Stage 4.3 Regional Events Evaluation (June – July 2023)
- Stage 5: John Curtin Gallery survey (September – November 2023)
- Goolari Media (Broome)
- Waringarri Aboriginal Arts (Kunnunura)
- Junction Co (Port Hedland)
- Gascoyne in May (Carnarvon)
- North Midlands Project (Carnamah)
- Gardiner St Art Collective (Moora)
- Geraldton Regional Art Gallery (Geraldton)
- Tjuma Pulka Media (Kalgoorlie)
- Artgold (Kalgoorlie)
- Cannery Arts Centre (Esperance)
- Rave About Arts (Ravensthorpe)
- Creative Corner (Margaret River)
- Lake Grace Artists (Lace Grace)
- Arts Narrogin (Narrogin)
- Great Southern
- Denmark Arts (Denmark)
- South West
- Creative Corner (Margaret River)
- Southern Forest Arts (Northcliffe)
- Lost Eden Creative (Dwellingup)
Inclusion priority has been given to organisations within RAWA’s Regional Arts Network.
If your organisation is keen to be in the Triennial mix please get in touch with Fiona at Southern Forest Arts PRONTO.
We are currently exploring a range of funding and philanthropic options.
Annette’s Curatorial Brief can be downloaded here.
- Dance and puppetry - hosted by Goolari Media, Broome, Venue and Dates TBC
- Aerial performance - hosted by Gascoyne in May, Carnarvon, Venue and Dates TBC
- Music - hosted by Tjuma Pulka, Goldfields TAFE, Kalgoorlie, Dates TBC
12 group exhibitions
- Waringarri Aboriginal Arts Centre, Kununurra
- The Courthouse Gallery, Port Hedland
- The Bank Gallery, Carnamah
- Geraldton Regional Arts Gallery, Geraldton
- Artgold, Boulder
- Cannery Arts Centre, Esperance
- Venue TBC, Ravensthorpe
- Vancouver Arts Centre, Albany
- Nexus Gallery, Narrogin
- Painted Tree Gallery, Northcliffe
- Venue TBC, Margaret River
- Lost Eden Creative, Dwellingup
Where possible each activity will be enhanced with 'Open Borders Experiences' (such as artist/curator talks, workshops, live music and delicious edibles) designed to deepen community engagement and drive cultural tourism across the region.
- North Midlands Project - Carnamah
- Gardiner Street Arts - Moora
- Geraldton Regional Art Gallery - Geraldton
- Waringarri Aboriginal Arts - Kununurra
- Goolari Media - Broome
- Tjuma Pulka Aboriginal Media Network - Kalgoorlie
- Artgold - Kalgoorlie
- Cannery Arts Centre - Esperance
- Rave About Arts - Ravensthorpe
- Arts Narrogin - Narrogin
- Lake Grace Regional Arts Space - Lake Grace
- Denmark Arts - Denmark
- Vancouver Arts Centre - Albany
- Lost Eden Creative - Dwellingup
- Creative Corner - Margaret River
- Southern Forest Arts - Northcliffe
Developing capacity for the art sector
14 mentorships have been offered to 28 artworkers, to undertake 14 inter-connected Creative Developments in 13 regional communities across all 9 regions of WA.
These mentorships consist of:
- 3 producer mentorships to support the development and delivery of 3 original short performance pieces
- 11 curatorial mentorships to develop 11 group exhibitions.
Lead Curator, Annette Davis, and Lead Producer, Julian Canny, will offer expertise as required.
The Mentorship Program provides the core support and PD structure for the Regional Arts Triennial. It delivers consistency and connectivity across all 14 creative developments within Stage 3 and presentations within Stage 4.
Insight garnered throughout the project will be shared through the network, where learning from one mentorship can be applied to others, multiplying impact.
Open Borders mentorships provide professional development that's personalised and relevant to the community in which the exhibition/performance is presented, benefitting not just the mentees but the mentees’ community.
Where possible (and appropriate) Open Borders mentors will have previously been mentees in the Connect to The Creative Grid project. In this way the Regional Art Triennial model will build upon previous iterations, each reinforcing the skill gained as a mentee that becomes the confidence when imparted as a mentor.
Zoom sessions will allow project participants to share insights, resources and expertise to empower others.
REGIONAL ARTS TRIENNIAL
By working in conjunction with metro-based peak organisations that service the regions (including Regional Arts WA, GalleriesWest and Art on the Move) Open Borders offers the opportunity to road-test ideas alongside other investigative tools as part of the process to build a business case for designated future funding for an ongoing 'Regional Arts Triennial'. A written Triennial framework that is scalable, replicable and sustainable will be drafted by SFA in 2023/24. If secured, ongoing funding would support regular commissioning of high quality artworks, presented to expanded audiences that enrich regional communities with unique and regionally-relevant arts and culture experiences.