Flying Arts – Blackall Cultural Association Artist-in-Residence 2015 – Images below.
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I certainly was an honour to be chosen from a field of twenty-five contenders for this two week artist residency in Blackall in October during the Heartland Festival. The residency brief involved a week of arts practice and a week of community engagement with workshops, artist talks, and judging of their annual Heartland Art Award.
This was a great opportunity for me to work on digital imagery for the RE:Location project for later fine art processing in my studio, photographing the environment, and writing chapters for my new book, in readiness for the first exhibition. So much happens during the Blackall Heartland Festival in this creative outback town that the time here has been hectic and flown by faster than I imagined it would.
Workshops I gave at the Living Arts Centre, my accommodation base with sole use of the Gallery Workshop room, included a full day of Creative Direction and the Inner Artist on the 8th October and another day Creating with all the Senses on the 9th. A half day on Professional Practice, Advice on Creating a WORDPRESS web page, and Writing that Book was well received on Tuesday 13th.
My Heartland Festival obligations opened with a 15 minute guest speaker talk at the Photographers Art Exhibition on the evening of the 9th and judging the Heartland art award on the 16th with another address to the opening awards audience on the 17th. This was followed by a high tea on Saturday morning 18th, before the Caulfield Cup Country town races in the afternoon. In between I had a stall at the Historic Woolscour on Market day and watched many activities such as sheep races, billy cart races, horse races and human races of various styles.
In between I managed to meet many inspiring locals and have several bicycle rides to the Barcoo River banks. I found unexpected things to explore like the artificial wetlands created by the artesian bore. My last experience in Blackall on the 21st October is the day with art students from both schools. I have exercises and talks for four classes studying abstract art, self expression, fantasy art and photographic landscape. Fantasy art might be the hardest one!
Peter Marshall drove our outback art mobile and caravan to Blackall via Mt Moffat in Carnarvon NP. He has been documenting all the events through photographs and video to produce various versions on DVD of the Artist in Residence and Festival for interested parties.
We came home via Yaraka, one of the tiniest towns in Queensland, two hours to the South West, and continue the outback circuit to Stonehenge before our return home. All in all a very inspirational time for my artist spirit with many memories and photographs of the wilderness to keep me motivated for artworks and coming exhibitions.
My thanks again to Flying Arts staff, the Blackall Cultural Association and in particular the lovely Sally, Lynette, Sue and Virginia, Kerry from Glass Creations, Boyd and Chris and the team at the Heartland Art Exhibition, and the women from Marmaladies catering who filled the Living Arts Centre with delightful home made cooking smells.
My thanks also to the lovely men and women who attended my workshops, who were attentive and gracious and gave me great feedback, the lovely Dynamic Duo band, Warren and Izzy, and apologies to anyone else I have failed to add to this list.