Monday, October 26, 2009

Opening on 24 October

WRVAP organiser, Juliet Fowler Smith (centre) with Sally Corbett of the No Tillegra Dam group (left) and local resident/campaigner, Patricia Middlebrook (right) at the opening of the Williams River Artists Project show at Muswellbrook Regional Gallery, October 24, 2009.

Project organiser, Juliet Fowler Smith reports: The opening of the WRVAP exhibition at the Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre was packed thanks to being on with the Muswellbrook Art Prize- the Mayor opened it and I got to say a few words too. A group from Dungog came which was great and we were able to get some signatures on postcards about the EAR submission re the dam, which the Wilderness Society is co-ordinating. We also got front page coverage in the Muswellbrook Chronicle and were interviewed by ABC local radio plus other coverage in local media. The show contains Noelene’s video of the river flow, my couch with water filled cushions, Bridget’s feet/shoes, Marg's No Williams River Collection on a digital photo frame, David’s beautiful image River Mourn and Suzanne's bedhead/surfboards.

WRVAP artists (left to right), Juliet Fowler Smith, Noelene Lucas and Suzanne Bartos, on Juliet's Water Couch (with water-filled cushions) in front of Noelene's video The Last Healthy River in the Hunter, at the opening of the Williams River Artists Project show at Muswellbrook Regional Gallery, October 24, 2009.

From the Williams River Artists' Project show at Muswellbrook Regional Gallery: L to R: R.I.P.- no chance, bed-head surfboards by Suzanne Bartos, Take Us Instead (and leave the water in the river) slide-show in wall photoframe by Margaret Roberts, Water Couch by Juliet Fowler Smith, River Mourn, photographic print by David Watson, and Touch this earth lightly, feet-work by Bridget Nicholson.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

WRVAP at the Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre

Up near Barrington Tops (200km north of Sydney) lies the glorious Williams River valley – 22 kilometres of pristine winding river flanked by rich dairy pasture, primeval forest and national park. However, the precious ecosystems of this last healthy river in the Hunter will be destroyed if Hunter Water's proposed $480 million Tillegra Dam proceeds. A dam the size of Sydney Harbour would flood the valley; Hunter residents would pay for it in their water bills; all of us would lose another sacred site. Initiated by artist Juliet Fowler Smith – whose family has farmed the valley for generations – the Williams River Valley Artists’ Project brings together a group of environmentally-dismayed Australian contemporary artists. Their by turns elegiac, contemplative and strident responses are being fuelled by local residencies, research and exhibitions starting in 2009. The first opens at the Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre on 24 October, followed by cry me a river at the Tin Sheds Gallery in Sydney in September 2010 and another at Maitland Regional Art Gallery after that.