Western Riverina Arts brought the exhibition RE//CREATING to Narrandera as part of ‘Activating Narrandera Arts’, a program that will feature contemporary art exhibitions in Narrandera Council’s beautiful new gallery space.
“Over 2 years 'Activating Narrandera Arts' will see 8 curators employed to each put on an exhibition in the Narrandera Arts Centre,” says Western Riverina Arts’ Executive Officer Derek Motion. “The project has been made possible by the Federal Government through the Regional Arts Fund, and we hope that the sustained activity in the Narrandera Arts Centre will inspire other arts activities well into the future. We were really pleased to welcome the locally-based Sarah McEwan as our first curator, exhibiting RE//CREATING.”
With recent studies confirming the lack of representation of female artists, the art world obviously can’t be excluded from gender bias. A fact that curators Sarah McEwan (Cad Factory) and Dr. Julie Montgarrett (School of Communication and Creative Industries, Charles Sturt University) tried to change in the past three years with a series of exhibitions aimed to actively address gender inequities in the creative industries.
“RE//CREATING is the third and final exhibition in our series that provides opportunities for regional female artists. The artists in the exhibition represent emerging and more established artists in dialogue with contemporary art. You will see ambitious work in the gallery that speaks about current world issues, Wiradjuri culture, rural life, landscape and spirituality,” says curator Sarah McEwan.
The exhibition is featuring the outstanding works of 23 female Riverina artists while also celebrating International Women’s Day, highlighting the social, cultural, economic and political achievements of women. Under the theme ‘Be Bold for Change’ to help forge a better working world with more gender inclusivity, the women aimed to foreground strong regional voices through visual culture.
Narrandera based artist Julie Briggs describes the process as a genuinely wonderful experience. “Being one of more than 20 women from the Riverina to be invited to take part was a great gift. Over the three years we were given opportunities to learn through critical conversations, to be supported by our peers and to express ourselves and develop our very diverse practices within a very supportive framework.”
Curator and CSU Lecturer Julie Montgarrett says “The School of Communication and Creative Industries, Charles Sturt University has been proud to support three International Women’s day Exhibitions since 2015 – Re//Assembling; Re//Constructing and Re//Creating featuring the works by Riverina women artists. The opportunity for our students and staff to take part in these projects is both a privilege and invaluable experience in ground breaking Feminist Regional arts practice.”