Editorial

Regional arts

Regional arts are enjoying new levels of activity, prominence and support. Innovative models of participation, infrastructure and audience development are emerging as a generation of regional artists are making significant work with an impact far beyond their homes. The interplay between urban, rural and outback artists is also reaching a new level of intensity.

Our original impulse was to do a brisk national survey of innovations in regional arts practice and support networks, but the enormous volume of activity in New South Wales alone suggested we start there before moving on to other states in later editions of RealTime. While we were preparing this edition, Meeting Place, Regional Arts Australia’s 2004 conference, was being held in Horsham, Victoria with record attendances, forums, exhibitions and performances.

Space and Place, a hybrid performance work at the conference by Victorian regional artists, featured interactive animation, music, aerial dance and shadow play on the 27m high Natimuk silos, attracting an audience of 2,500 to a town of 480 people. The work was directed by Jillian Pearce and performed by physical theatre company Y Space, with animations and still projections by Dave Jones, puppetry and shadow play by young people from Natimuk led by local artist Mary French, choral music and sound by Warburton artist Santha Press and the Wallup Mara Indigenous dance group directed by Farren Branson. Another work on the conference program, Fire Dog—Smoke Lizard combined sculpture, neon, fireworks and sound on the Wimmera River and its banks.

More regional arts & film

There’s more from the regions in our reports from the Darwin Festival, in multimedia performance group Bonemap’s northern Queensland collaboration with British artist Simon Whitehead and, also from Cairns, JUTE Theatre’s My of course life at the Brisbane Festival as well as their collaboration with Darwin’s Knock-em-Down Theatre on Surviving Jonah Salt, for the Darwin Festival. We also report on FTI’s Making Movies Roadshow which teaches participants, often young Aboriginal people in regional areas of Western Australia, how to script, film and edit short movies.

Performance Space turns 21

2004 continues to be a year of birthdays, the most recent and one of the most significant being Sydney’s Performance Space celebrating 21 years of nurturing and hosting performance, dance, visual arts and debate. See our cover and a report on the celebratory events, reflections on the history of the space and a polemical reponse to how we think about it. Many Happy Returns Performance Space! RT

RealTime issue #64 Dec-Jan 2004 pg. 3

© RealTime ; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

1 December 2004
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