Artlands Victoria Returns This October

This October in Bendigo and Castlemaine, Artlands Victoria will bring together over 700 delegates and artists who will gather for meaningful exchanges and critical dialogue about regional arts in Australia.

Linking the arts sector with industries that export growth, productivity and innovation in a regional context, Artlands Victoria curates a dialogue that advocates a model that is socially, creatively, financially, environmentally and artistically sustainable.

With a spotlight on the dynamic and distinctive connections between people and place, Artlands Victoria connects the art sector with education, technology, manufacturing, transport, agriculture, health, retail, hospitably, finance and tourism.

Reinterpreting the context of arts policy and practice, and aligning strongly with the vision of Dja Dja Wurrung Country Plan, the Artlands Victoria framework was developed to focus on nine key themes which has set the tone for all programming:

  1. People - Djaara (our people)
  2. Practice and process - Cultural practices and customs
  3. Cross industries - Cultural heritage
  4. Place - Bush tucker
  5. Exchange - Rivers and waterways
  6. Creative risk - Land
  7. Leadership - Self determination
  8. Sustainability - Traditional owner economy
  9. Advocacy - Joint management

Designed as a multi-art, cross industry and intergenerational gathering, Artlands Victoria is an integrated conference and cultural program that combines a selection of curated exhibitions, dance, music and theatre, alongside works in progress, explorations and commissioned projects with an engaged speakers program.

Exchanging the latest trends, case studies and projects, Artlands Victoria will program a series of plenary sessions on innovation and best practice; panels with speakers sharing knowledge and expertise; workshops to develop skills, insights and connections; poster room interactive sessions on art practice and process; and open round table dialogue about regional practice.

Artlands Victoria Creative Director Ros Abercrombie explains, "Artlands Victoria has been designed to reflect and respond to the emerging trends and needs of regional artists and arts industry that will stimulate critical reflection and provide a much-needed opportunity for industries to gather, present work and enter into meaningful exchange. We will include a range of voices across generations, cultures, practice and industry through our participating artists, speakers and delegates."

Artlands Victoria
10 - 14 October 2018


Speakers and presentations

Drawing on one of the Artlands Victoria key themes of creative risk (land), the following recently announced speakers will contest the social, cultural and political constructs of art-making, challenge the notion of where art can live (beyond major institutions in Capital Cities) and present new ideas about what regional arts practice can be.

Practice on Country - Trent Nelson and Rodney Carter (Dja Dja Wurrung)

Joined by Dja Dja Wurrung artists, the opening Artlands Victoria keynote will be led by Trent Nelson, Chair for the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation, and Rodney Carter, Chief Executive Officer of the Dja Dja Wurrung Group. Through their extensive experience in cultural heritage and land management, Nelson and Carter will provide a context that links 'people to landscape' and expand upon the key themes that influence the Artlands Victoria framework.

Sue Jane Taylor (Scotland)

Sue Jane Taylor's practice is founded on exporting growth, productivity and innovation for arts practice and regional industries. Well known as a visual documenter and interpreter of technology, engineering and the United Kingdom offshore energy sector, Taylor questions the relationship between art, environment and industry and develops ideas about labour, industry and their place in the natural world.

Creative People and Places - Amanda Smethurst and Jenny Rutter (United Kingdom)

Creative People and Places is a United Kingdom based national arts and social change program that brings together an extraordinary range of people across 21 locations. Amanda Smethurst (Creative People and Places National Peer Learning Manager) and Jenny Rutter (Super Slow Way producer) will highlight how art and creativity can develop strength and connectedness within communities.

The Gannawarra: Art influences a creative economy - Tom O'Reilly and Roger Griffiths (Australia)

The Gannawarra initiative recognises that artistic thinking can create vibrant towns and develops a creative economy that can influence innovative agriculture, renewable energy and nature. Gannawarra Shire Council representatives, Tom O'Reilly (Chief Executive Officer) and Roger Griffiths (Manager Economic Development), will lead an exploratory keynote extrapolating the integral relationship between economic development, the creative industries and artistic practice.


Cultural projects

Specifically woven to complement the conference and speaker program, the Artlands Victoria cultural projects highlight artistic process, practice and experiences - they provide opportunities for cross-disciplinary sharing and facilitating cross-industry partnerships in a highly visible way. Each cultural project embodies the Artlands Victoria vision to share knowledge, trade resources and exchange gifts.

Crafting the Merch

Linking specifically into the agricultural industry, Crafting the Merch showcases the talents and creativity of wool crafters and artists across Victoria, who created over 700 scarfs with yellow Australian wool supplied by Bendigo Woollen Mills. Artlands Victoria partnered with the Woolly West Fest in Hamilton, who contributed over 500 scarfs to the initiative through a variety of designs and techniques, including knitting, crocheting, felting, weaving or on machines. The scarfs created will be used for merchandise for all Artlands Victoria delegates.

Cultural Pharmacy

An ambitious cross-disciplinary site-specific installation in the Conservatory in Bendigo's Rosalind Park, Cultural Pharmacy brings together installation and visual artists, Darryl Cordell and Eliza-Jane Gilchrist with Castlemaine-based performance ensemble Such As They Are and the Kyneton-based writer Jill Rivers (author of The Arts Apothecary). Participants can attend the Cultural Pharmacy to obtain their cultural prescription, which curates an injection and engagement with some of Bendigo's arts offerings.

Subject/Object - Damon Moon

Developed by Shepparton Art Museum in partnership with Bendigo Art Gallery and La Trobe Art Institute, artist Damon Moon will present collections of vessels or pots that are specific to each institution, history and context. Using slip cast multiples and repetitive forms, Moon explores the subtle shifts in technique and materiality between his work and the selected ceramics. The inspirations include the utilitarian vessels of early Chinese migrants; domestic-wares made by Bendigo Pottery; and a series of works selected to respond to a building's architecture.

Tribe, Totem, Trade and Terrain - Lee Darroch

A Yorta Yorta, Mutti Mutti, Boon Wurrung artist, Lee Darroch is an Artlands Victoria artist in residence whose large scale installation exhibition, Tribe, Totem Trade and Terrain, at Dudley House represents the 38 language groups of Victoria through different artefacts, including baskets, kangaroo cloaks and possum skin cloak.

Local Curated Works

Selected artworks created by visual artists from central Victoria will be exhibited in the historic locations that make up the Artlands Victoria precinct, including throughout the Ulumbarra Theatre and on the billboard space on the View Street Fire Station. Responding to change, transition and impermanence, the works will integrate with the built environment to create a material expression of remembrance, including through building projections, installations, sculptures and ceramics.


Timing considerations

Aug 2018 Media Kit: Artlands Victoria (including some speakers and cultural projects)

Sep 2018 Announcement: Artlands Victoria full program

10 - 14 Oct 2018 Artlands Victoria (media passes available)


Artlands Victoria

Celebrating twenty years in 2018, Artlands is the biennial event that shines a national spotlight on Australia's regional arts. Scheduled every two years by Regional Arts Australia to circulate around the country among its member organisations, Artlands was last presented by Regional Arts Victoria in 2004 as Meeting Place in Horsham.


Regional Arts Victoria

Regional Arts Victoria inspires art across the state. Through creative facilitation, touring, education, specialised resources, artistic projects and advocacy, we develop and sustain creative communities and artistic practice all over Victoria. Regional Arts Victoria is an independent, not-for-profit, membership-based organisation working in long-term partnerships with every level of government, fostering contemporary and innovative regional cultural practice across five decades. We advise and impact on decision-making across multiple portfolios and levels of government. Regional Arts Victoria is the peak body for regional artists and arts organisations, and the leading organisation for regional creative practice in Victoria.

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