Cry Me a River: Williams River Valley Artists' Project
Artists challenge the Tillegra Dam
6pm, Thursday 30th September
To be opened by John Kaye MLC Greens
Suzanne Bartos, Neil Berecry Brown, Bonita Ely, Juliet Fowler Smith, Noelene Lucas, Bridget Nicholson, Margaret Roberts, Toni Warburton and David Watson
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. The precious ecosystems of one of the few remaining healthy rivers 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; and people in Australia would lose another precious water way. 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 Australian contemporary artists dismayed by this proposal. Their responses are elegiac, contemplative and strident - their works created during a series of local residencies, research trips and exhibitions that began in 2009. The first opened at the Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre in October 2009 followed by Tocal Agricultural College, Paterson in May 2010.
Cry Me a River at Tin Sheds Gallery, University of Sydney brings this project to Sydney at a critical time when the fate of the valley remains caught in the political process and the environment and the community continue to suffer the consequences. At a time when the community is focusing on questions of water management the project questions the folly of such environmental destruction.
Works developed for the exhibition cross media and ideas – from consideration of the social and emotional impact of unwanted change in rural communities to environmental concerns which have global significance. Key concepts of the project are thus memory and loss, the respect and honour for the landscape that holds those memories, as well as consideration of the local and worldwide implications of lost habitats and ecosystems.
For more information contact Juliet Fowler Smith firstname.lastname@example.org
Tin Sheds Gallery, Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning, 148 City Road, The University of Sydney.
1 - 23 October 2010
Currents and Reflections
Saturday 16 Oct. 2 - 4 pm
A round table panel discussion to keep alive questions encountered in the process of the Williams River Valley Artists' Project.
11am - 5pm
Tuesday to Saturday