Speakers Program Themes

Image: Keynote Speaker Karoline Trollvik on stage at Artstate Lismore, 2017. Photo by Katelyn-Jane Dunn.

A Sense of Place & Robust Regions

The themes for Artstate Bathurst are A Sense of Place — Regional arts practice that responds to culture and landscapes and Robust Regions — Exploring the contribution of the arts to regional communities. In developing these themes we referred to the feedback and reports from Lismore and thinking about the different strengths of each region in NSW.
In moving Artstate from the lush hinterland of the North Coast to the cooler climate of Australia’s first inland city, we hope to provide our 2018 delegates a different experience to our 2017 program. The built environment of Bathurst set within the inland vista of rolling hills provides a new backdrop to the conversation.
Our rapporteurs from Artstate Lismore, Associate Professor Adele Wessell and Dr Kristin den Exter from Southern Cross University commented that Artstate “questioned the very notion of regionality and the perception that artists working outside metropolitan areas are hindered by location” and we are interested in expanding this theme. In talking about a Sense of Place, how do artists respond to the landscapes and communities in which they live? What stories do they tell? Does this make a difference to their practice?
The second strong theme that emerged from Artstate Lismore was “the interdisciplinarity of arts practice and partnerships throughout regional NSW. The arts are integrated in rural and remote areas within the community, traversing the barriers and silos that can be built around specialist areas of expertise and disciplines in more populated areas.” Under the theme Robust Regions, we want to explore the contribution that the arts make to regional and rural communities. What is the secret ingredient that causes some places to thrive and become desirable places to live and work, while others struggle? Who are the community drivers? How are the collaborations and partnerships developed and maintained over the longer term? What is the role of the artist?
Above all Artstate Bathurst will maintain the priority to engage with First Nations peoples and Aboriginal Arts practitioners and organisations as an integral part of the regional arts landscape.
Join us in Bathurst to continue the conversation with an exciting line up of international, national and local presenters providing inspirational high level thinking around the arts in regional areas and to demonstrate the reality of regional excellence.