Central West Reflections

The Central West Project was a choreographic residency and network program connecting artists working in dance and choreography to the Central West NSW region, with the intention of supporting more regional arts development.

Following her participation in the 2018 project, Susan Barling is embarking on a week-long research period exploring her local connections in and around the town of Rylstone, most particularly the Kandos Museum.

Susan’s wish is to create a solo dance, inspired by an exhibit at the museum; the “Cement Dress”. The dress was created in 1996 by local artist, Annaleigh Moore, when the Cement works were still operating.

Susan will co-operate with Central West textile artist, Kate Hodgkinson, who is also fascinated and inspired by “the dress”, to further her exploration.

In Discovering the Central West and Beyond, Dr. Rakini Devi reflects on Critical Path’s Central West project (2018), in the context of her own practice and experiences of creating work in regional areas. The comparisons to her past experiences of artist residencies, both here in Australia and India, aim to contribute to developing further projects that introduce urban artists to regional NSW communities.

“Last November, when I was project manager briefly for Critical Path, one of my projects included the Central West, beginning with my attendance at the Artstate Conference in Bathurst. Six months later, after my travels in India and new partnerships and projects in regional NSW, my own perspective has changed. I have had more time to reflect on my response to that experience, which has led to new projects in regional NSW, and the development of my practice that has previously always been centred in the inner city area. This article is a sharing of my reflections on my experiences, in the hope that it may serve as a suggestion for future connections and partnerships in the Central West/Regional NSW. Most importantly, my contribution is from both perspectives, that is, as an artist, and as facilitator/project manager, and how I would envisage future artist residencies that are mutually beneficial to the artist and the regions explored.”

Rakini Devi,
May 2019

Image credit: Julie Vulcan Basemetal and Mike Oakey courtesy Kandos Museum

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