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City of Casey
Casey Arts
Public art image: Damien Vick, Faster Higher Stronger at Barton Reserve
Artwork that was a part of the 2017 Winter Arts Festival. Photography by (Jeff Valledor)
Portrait of Art Spaces artist Anna Konecny captured in the reflection of her artwork. Photo by Jeff Valledor, 2019

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 News / Exhibitions & Events / Artist Register / Art Spaces

Casey Arts

Casey Arts connects artists and creative communities, supporting a broad view of arts and cultural expression and participation.

In a City that is diverse, ever-changing and culture-rich, Council values arts and culture for its contribution to community strengthening, wellbeing and the local economy.

News and updates

To keep updated and promote your art event in Casey, subscribe to our 'Connect' Newsletter.  

'Connect' is delivered straight to your inbox. It's a two-month guide to arts news, events, opportunities, exhibitions, performances, interviews, events, special invitations and more taking place in Casey.  
 

Subscribe to the Connect Newsletter

Make a submission 

Local artists can submit news, a story, article or event to the Connect Newsletter.

The newsletter, which showcases arts in Casey, is produced every two months.

Before making a submission to Connect, please view our content guidelines.

Art promotion on social media 

Local artists are also able to promote their work or cultural event on Casey Art's Facebook and Instagram pages.

To promote your art or event, please email the Casey Arts team and include the event details and an image (minimum 3mb). 
 

Exhibitions & Events

Visit our events website for details on the latest exhibitions and events in the City of Casey. 
 

Sentiments of Suburbia Group Exhibition  - July 2020

This virtual exhibition is held together by works that reflect experiences of growing up, living and making in the suburbs. The works in this show shine a light on the sentimentality of the geographical locations we know and love; gardens, picnic spots, lounge-rooms, duck ponds, second hand stores, favourite local fish and chip shops and all the other great places that can only be found in the little nooks of suburban areas. These places and the people we meet there, play a role in forming our identity, and for many of us, informs our art practice and style of work. 

View the Casey Art Spaces Program - 2020 

 

Art Spaces

Art Spaces

The Art Spaces progam plays a significant part in the vibrant cultural life of the City of Casey.

The program promotes and supports traditional and contemporary art practice and artists. The dedicated spaces in libraries create access to visual art in a diversity of forms and gives artists the opportunity to reach new audiences.

The new Hayshed Studio at the Old Cheese Factory in Berwick offers a multi-arts studio with exhibition and workshops spaces.

How to apply

There are three parts to the Art Spaces Program.  The Art Spaces Guide gives you the information to choose the right Art Space for your exhibition.

The Art Spaces program offers artists the opportunity to apply to be part of a curated program of exhibitions held at Bunjil Place Library, Cranbourne Library and at the Hayshed Studio during the Winter Arts Festival. Applications are accepted each year from December to February. Exhibitions are selected and programed for the following March to August including the Winter Arts Festival and from August to November, as well as a group Christmas show. 

Current Art Spaces Program 

Book a self-curated Arts Space

The self-curated Art Spaces are the opportunity to curate and manage your own exhibition with the opportunity to promote through Casey Arts commutation channels. Contact the arts team to discuss and book your exhibition in 2021. 

To book the space, artists must read the Art Spaces Guide above and email the arts team to discuss and book your exhibition.  

Other exhibition opportunities

There are community facilities in the City of Casey that have spaces in which they hold exhibitions.

If you would like more information about these spaces, contact the Casey Arts team.

The Hayshed Studio 

The Hayshed Studio is a new art space located in the historic grounds of the Old Cheese Factory in Berwick. 

This multi-arts studio space with kitchenette is available for hire for art and craft, exhibitions and other small gatherings.  The Studio is equipped with hand building ceramic workshop equipment for up to 6 people and a kiln firing service on application. The Studio is connected a conference room available for hire, with a large screen and its own kitchenette.

To book the Hayshed Studio, please email the Casey Arts team.

Art Spaces program

Art Spaces

The Art Spaces progam plays a significant part in the vibrant cultural life of the City of Casey.

The program promotes and supports traditional and contemporary art practice and artists. The dedicated spaces in libraries create access to visual art in a diversity of forms and gives artists the opportunity to reach new audiences.

The new Hayshed Studio at the Old Cheese Factory in Berwick offers a multi-arts studio with exhibition and workshops spaces.

How to apply

How to apply

There are three parts to the Art Spaces Program.  The Art Spaces Guide gives you the information to choose the right Art Space for your exhibition.

The Art Spaces program offers artists the opportunity to apply to be part of a curated program of exhibitions held at Bunjil Place Library, Cranbourne Library and at the Hayshed Studio during the Winter Arts Festival. Applications are accepted each year from December to February. Exhibitions are selected and programed for the following March to August including the Winter Arts Festival and from August to November, as well as a group Christmas show. 

Current Art Spaces Program 

Book a self-curated Arts Space

The self-curated Art Spaces are the opportunity to curate and manage your own exhibition with the opportunity to promote through Casey Arts commutation channels. Contact the arts team to discuss and book your exhibition in 2021. 

To book the space, artists must read the Art Spaces Guide above and email the arts team to discuss and book your exhibition.  

Other exhibition opportunities

There are community facilities in the City of Casey that have spaces in which they hold exhibitions.

If you would like more information about these spaces, contact the Casey Arts team.

Hayshed Studio

The Hayshed Studio 

The Hayshed Studio is a new art space located in the historic grounds of the Old Cheese Factory in Berwick. 

This multi-arts studio space with kitchenette is available for hire for art and craft, exhibitions and other small gatherings.  The Studio is equipped with hand building ceramic workshop equipment for up to 6 people and a kiln firing service on application. The Studio is connected a conference room available for hire, with a large screen and its own kitchenette.

To book the Hayshed Studio, please email the Casey Arts team.

Artist Register

Casey Arts values the creative talent we have in the City and the Arts Register is the essential way for creative professionals, performers and artists to list their details and be found for their next gig.

Visual and performing arts, creatives, gamers, tutors and those with other creative offerings will be able to register to make your contacts available to a prospective clients and audiences. 

Please check this section for updates and application details.

Winter Arts Festival

The Winter Arts Festival, now in its second decade, is held from June to August with almost 100 events programmed and promoted to keep you inspired during winter. WAF supports performing and visual arts, workshops and the popular Open Studio bus tour.

WAF supports performing and visual arts, workshops and the popular Open Studio bus tour.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year's festival has been cancelled following Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recommendations.

Applications for the Winter Arts Festival will be accepted from March to May 2021.

Collections

The Public Art Program is guided by Council’s Art Acquisitions Policy . Council commissions artworks to enhance public places and celebrate the City’s community, heritage, innovation and the environment. Link to Art Acquisitions Policy in section below

The City of Casey through its Planning Policy allocates 1% of funding to the development of site-specific public art projects for all new Community Capital Works projects over $3 million dollars.

Committed to high-quality public artworks through standards of innovation and excellence across all aspects of commissioning processes, Casey has developed a public art collection that is progressive, stimulating, and explores a variety of mediums, scales and approaches.

Local Public Art 

With more than 250 public art projects across the City of Casey, the chances are there will be local artwork near you.

You can find your closest piece of art on Explore Casey.

Established in 2007, this annual arts award was named in memory of Cranbourne resident Lindsay King, whose vigorous commitment to the arts and passion for local history, tourism and culture made a positive impact on the Casey community.

2019 Recipient - Maurie Richardson

Maurie has been teaching music and performing arts to local residents for over 40 years both in his time as a teacher at Clyde Primary School, as a long-standing member of the Cranbourne Chorale and as the leader of a local U3A guitar group. He served as president of Cranbourne Chorale from 2003 – 2007, as Vice President from 2007 – 2018 and is the current sitting president. His contributions have meant that many local residents of Casey, particularly boys, have engaged with and forged hobbies and careers in music and performing arts.

2018 Recipient - Chantelle Riordan

Chantelle has received little formal recognition for her voluntary efforts in the past, it is perhaps a testament to her ‘quiet achiever’ personality and selfless attitude to simply help where she can without seeking reward. The Casey Community has benefitted greatly from Chantelle’s membership and/or involvement in many local arts organisations including the Cranbourne Lions Concert Band, the Casey Camera Club and BATS Theatre Company, as well as being a volunteer Ukulele Tutor at the Balla Balla Centre, the president of the Cranbourne Lions Concert Band and as a sitting member of Casey’s Arts and Cultural Advisory Committee.

Nominate someone for the Award

Nominations will open in the coming months for Casey's most prestigious arts award. Do you know of an individual – an artist or an arts supporter – who has made a significant contribution to the arts in Casey? If you have an arts champion in your community why not nominate them and have them recognised for their contribution to arts and culture in the community. 

Eligibility – who you can nominate

To nominate someone for the award, they must:

  • be a current or previous member of an arts organisation or group servicing residents in the City of Casey
  • be an individual who provides their expertise to further the development of the arts in Casey. The period of time, level of commitment and the positive impact the nominee has had on the arts in Casey is considered

Ineligibility – who we cannot accept

You cannot nominate:

  • yourself
  • groups
  • previous winners of the Lindsay King arts award

Council’s Civic Collection consists of objects, documents and photographs that trace the history of local government administration and the making of the City of Casey as it is today. 

Approximately 700 objects in the Civic Collection are being catalogued and will be made available online soon.

With the opening of Bunjil Place Gallery in 2018 came the occasion to plan for a Bunjil Place Art Collection guided by Council’s Art Acquisitions Policy.

When active collecting commences, the Collection will aim to acquire major artworks by Australian, and where possible, international artists held in trust for the community.

Public Art

The Public Art Program is guided by Council’s Art Acquisitions Policy . Council commissions artworks to enhance public places and celebrate the City’s community, heritage, innovation and the environment. Link to Art Acquisitions Policy in section below

The City of Casey through its Planning Policy allocates 1% of funding to the development of site-specific public art projects for all new Community Capital Works projects over $3 million dollars.

Committed to high-quality public artworks through standards of innovation and excellence across all aspects of commissioning processes, Casey has developed a public art collection that is progressive, stimulating, and explores a variety of mediums, scales and approaches.

Local Public Art 

With more than 250 public art projects across the City of Casey, the chances are there will be local artwork near you.

You can find your closest piece of art on Explore Casey.

Lindsay King Award

Established in 2007, this annual arts award was named in memory of Cranbourne resident Lindsay King, whose vigorous commitment to the arts and passion for local history, tourism and culture made a positive impact on the Casey community.

2019 Recipient - Maurie Richardson

Maurie has been teaching music and performing arts to local residents for over 40 years both in his time as a teacher at Clyde Primary School, as a long-standing member of the Cranbourne Chorale and as the leader of a local U3A guitar group. He served as president of Cranbourne Chorale from 2003 – 2007, as Vice President from 2007 – 2018 and is the current sitting president. His contributions have meant that many local residents of Casey, particularly boys, have engaged with and forged hobbies and careers in music and performing arts.

2018 Recipient - Chantelle Riordan

Chantelle has received little formal recognition for her voluntary efforts in the past, it is perhaps a testament to her ‘quiet achiever’ personality and selfless attitude to simply help where she can without seeking reward. The Casey Community has benefitted greatly from Chantelle’s membership and/or involvement in many local arts organisations including the Cranbourne Lions Concert Band, the Casey Camera Club and BATS Theatre Company, as well as being a volunteer Ukulele Tutor at the Balla Balla Centre, the president of the Cranbourne Lions Concert Band and as a sitting member of Casey’s Arts and Cultural Advisory Committee.

Nominate someone for the Award

Nominations will open in the coming months for Casey's most prestigious arts award. Do you know of an individual – an artist or an arts supporter – who has made a significant contribution to the arts in Casey? If you have an arts champion in your community why not nominate them and have them recognised for their contribution to arts and culture in the community. 

Eligibility – who you can nominate

To nominate someone for the award, they must:

  • be a current or previous member of an arts organisation or group servicing residents in the City of Casey
  • be an individual who provides their expertise to further the development of the arts in Casey. The period of time, level of commitment and the positive impact the nominee has had on the arts in Casey is considered

Ineligibility – who we cannot accept

You cannot nominate:

  • yourself
  • groups
  • previous winners of the Lindsay King arts award

Civic Collection & Bunjil Place Art Collection

Council’s Civic Collection consists of objects, documents and photographs that trace the history of local government administration and the making of the City of Casey as it is today. 

Approximately 700 objects in the Civic Collection are being catalogued and will be made available online soon.

With the opening of Bunjil Place Gallery in 2018 came the occasion to plan for a Bunjil Place Art Collection guided by Council’s Art Acquisitions Policy.

When active collecting commences, the Collection will aim to acquire major artworks by Australian, and where possible, international artists held in trust for the community.

Development

City of Casey Arts and Cultural Development Strategy 2018 – 2022 is grounded in research, providing the rational and direction for all Arts and Cultural Development activities.

The Art Acquisitions Policy confirms Council’s commitment to enlivening and enriching the municipality through the collection of art and commissioning of public art from leading professional artists.

Arts and Cultural Advisory Committee (ACAC) members represent the community in an advisory role to Council. Highly experienced in their filed, members provide knowledge and diverse perspectives about creative practice and arts participation in the context of relevant Council Plans, arts policies and strategies. 

Casey Arts engages with communities through the Arts and Cultural Advisory Committee, formal evaluation of programs and feedback received through our communication channels.

The City of Casey uses Casey Conversations to reach community members for specific feedback on initiatives of local interest. 

We will inform our arts community when we are seeking formal feedback and post information about these opportunities on our webpage.

You can provide feedback at any time by emailing us

Strategy & Policy

City of Casey Arts and Cultural Development Strategy 2018 – 2022 is grounded in research, providing the rational and direction for all Arts and Cultural Development activities.

The Art Acquisitions Policy confirms Council’s commitment to enlivening and enriching the municipality through the collection of art and commissioning of public art from leading professional artists.

Arts and Cultural Advisory Committee

Arts and Cultural Advisory Committee (ACAC) members represent the community in an advisory role to Council. Highly experienced in their filed, members provide knowledge and diverse perspectives about creative practice and arts participation in the context of relevant Council Plans, arts policies and strategies. 

Community Engagement

Casey Arts engages with communities through the Arts and Cultural Advisory Committee, formal evaluation of programs and feedback received through our communication channels.

The City of Casey uses Casey Conversations to reach community members for specific feedback on initiatives of local interest. 

We will inform our arts community when we are seeking formal feedback and post information about these opportunities on our webpage.

You can provide feedback at any time by emailing us

Connect

‘Connect’ is a bi-monthly guide to a range of arts opportunities, exhibitions, performances, interviews, events and more taking place in Casey.

Inside each edition you will find a range of news and events, spotlights on local artist and opportunities for local artists and art lovers.

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive ‘Connect’ straight to your inbox!

Submit a story or event

If you have a Casey arts or cultural event you would like to promote on our Facebook or Instagram pages, please email the Casey Arts team the details and include an image (minimum 3 mb).

Connect

Arts Agitators is an open collective that invites young artists to meet regularly, generate ideas, produce collaborative work, and progress the South-East’s creative community. The group’s fundamental motivation is to encourage agency in young people, offering a platform and opportunity they might not otherwise have, especially for underrepresented artists. The Agitators are also inspired by the power of art to promote social change.

Arts
In this time of isolation, our usual fortnightly meeting at Bunjil Place has morphed into a weekly online get-together. The group has become much more focused on its ability to be a strong support network for members – a key point of contact, conversation and connection amongst the widespread disruption of artistic projects and practices.
Some Agitators also split off into sub-groups, with both zine and podcast projects in being developed. These sub-groups are exploring digital ways to create and present work together and engage meaningfully with the broader community to give anyone else a chance to enjoy or contribute to something creative.

Sam Reeve from Arts Agitators: “Joining the Art Agitators has been a great opportunity to be a part of a community that thrives on their passions. There has been no shortage of fun and interactive community events that have been hosted by or cross promoted by the Agitators, always turning out a crowd of familiar faces and chances to meet new ones. Our meetings offer an open space that encourages the sharing of projects and ideas, as well as discussions with guest speakers from various disciplines and backgrounds. The big goal of the Aggies is to provide a place where anyone can come explore, collaborate and engage with creative like-minds and share that with their community.
Yad Umesh from Arts Agitators: “I love the Arts Agitators because it’s a group of people coming together to talk about life, which art is strewn through, and express our creations to each other and also build upon ideas of connection and collaboration in community. I love it.”

Get involved

Follow @artsagitators on Instagram and Facebook, and email them at arts.agitators@gmail.com to be involved.

How would you describe your art practice?
I use oil paint… it’s something that used to scare me, but I like to try all mediums. As for how people would describe my work… I’m not too sure honestly!


What makes you feel free?
Being creative makes me feel free and at home. Cliché, I know, but growing up I was having all different kinds of medical procedures done, and art became my safe space.


Where is your inspiration coming from at the moment?
Within my art I definitely look for things that make me feel powerful, yet still showcase a vulnerable side of me.


How is your work influenced by your surroundings?
I definitely tap into the theme of black excellence. Whether I am the muse in a photograph, to painting Egyptian royalty, to the people I use for the photos I take… I’m showcasing black excellence. I’m also in a way paying homage to my family. If it weren’t for them I don’t think I would be where I am today.


Are you working towards a project or exhibition for the future?
I’m currently not working towards anything specific. I choose to make art for me and my own. I am currently a student and I feel like all my creative energy is stripped away while being in class, so I’ve been taking this time to focus on what I want to do.

The Three Graces photo seriesThe Three Graces photo seriesThe Three Graces photo series

The Three Graces photo series (above)

Photo from Sugar Mountain Festival

Photo from Sugar Mountain Festival a festival. I was given the opportunity to be a part of a piece in which seven women posed and did a runway show that was inspired by Don’t Touch My Hair. (above)

A photo from the Visibility exhibition

A photo from the Visibility exhibition I did in November 2019 (above)

How would you describe your art practice?
My medium is acting, I am an emerging actor who works in film and theatre. Three words that would describe my practise would be; performance, thoughtfulness & spiritual.


What makes you feel free?
A strong and deep connection with my character and other actors who I am performing with. Feeling so immersed in the role that I am become something else.


Where is your inspiration coming from at the moment?
My inspiration comes from esoteric spiritual traditions such as Sufism. Also my imagination and my inner thoughts and feelings about being in solitude.

Oz Malik exhibition piece
How is your work influenced by your surroundings?
My work is highly influenced by my surroundings. As an actor I am constantly influenced by others in my roles. I’m also influenced by things; society, relationships, family, political climate and my ethnic & religious body in the Australian climate. My artwork attempts to show some of these themes throughout. Other times the current political, social, economic and environmental situation forces me to speak up through my work.

Are you working towards a project or exhibition for the future?
Yes, I am currently working on a few projects. Some individual short film works, and collaborating on projects with others.

What is the best and most challenging thing about being an artist in the South East?
Best thing is the ability to create from scratch, there hasn’t been an established youth artist movement in the past in South East, so you really feel like you’re creating a legacy and experimenting with ideas. I love the uniqueness of the South East and the stories that emerge from there. The most challenging thing is established opportunities to take your work to the next level, from grassroots/volunteer to paid and career.

Oz Malik exhibition piece

Oz Malik exhibition piece

Xingtong Huang art piece

My art practice mainly comprises of watercolour and acrylic paintings and I find that my pieces have a strong sense of flow and softness to them. I really love how colours naturally blend so that is a reoccurring style that transcends through my artworks. People often describe my artworks as meticulous, confident and balanced.


As the leader of the project group “Every Stitch Counts: Save The Reef”, I have been coordinating community members to knit or crochet sea creatures and coral to contribute to the knitted coral reef installation. While it initially felt like the COVID-19 crisis made our project come to a halt, the extra free time that I’ve now got on my hands meant that I could find time to crochet and make something for my project. This silver lining has also given community members time to knit something in their otherwise very busy schedules.


Additionally, as Art Captain of St Margaret’s School in 2020, I would like to start a calligraphy club for students to participate. I think the newfound time we all have will give me a great opportunity to teach students calligraphy and to keep them occupied during this tough time. Practising calligraphy is also a great way of finding peace and relaxation amongst the cloud of uncertainty we are all living under. Instead of seeing this isolation period as having an extremely negative impact on our lives, I’ve tried to use it to my advantage and see the positive side of events.


As people around me would know, I participate in numerous extra-curricular activities during the school year, so I do not have a lot of allocated time to create my art. Since coming to St Margaret’s School in Year 7, I have been actively involved in art at school, so art classes have allowed me to be creative and provide some relaxation from my other very content-heavy subjects. I do attend art classes at a studio on the weekends so that is another space that I use as a creative outlet.


My project “Every Stitch Counts: Save The Reef” aims to create a sustainable art project that can be continued long after it has “finished”. I have encouraged contributors to use wool at home or recycled wool from the op-shop instead of buying brand new wool. The textile industry is notorious for creating large amounts of waste where recycled material could be used. Even though the project requires lots of wool, the net amount is not very much, making this project quite sustainable.


As someone who believes strongly in justice, equality and tries to be socially aware of issues concerning the world, my art reflects this part of me. During my time studying VCE Studio Arts Unit 1 and 2 last year, I have explored themes such as female empowerment, the injustice of sweatshops workers and the fast fashion industry through paintings, embroidery and sculpture work. Creating these activist art pieces has given me the opportunity to reflect on these themes and express my thoughts through art, rather than words. As for the subject matter, I try to look at different subject matters and expand my
horizons, however when I am painting for fun or to brush up on my skills, I love paintings sunsets so I will take lots of photos of the sky and use them as references. Sunsets also give people a sense of hope, which is really important for all of us to get through this tough time.

My knitted coral reef project is a form of activist art, as it aims to highlight the damaging effects of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef, through a combination of colourful and white coloured knitted pieces, to represent the bleaching of reefs. In Year 9 camp, we visited The Great Barrier Reef and listening to the tour guides talk about the destruction of the coral reef due to bleaching inspired us to do something about it.


My 3 tips for self-care through this period of isolation are to stick to a daily routine, but also to catch up on lots of sleep and get some fresh air. For many students like me, taking classes online has given us the opportunity to receive education while having the freedom to plan our day and to do self-care activities. This isolation period has given me the urge to cook so I have been cooking, as well as hopping on the bandwagon and making dalgona coffee. I’ve also been knitting and crocheting during my free time for my knitted coral reef project, which is a great way to occupy myself.


Right now, my inspiration is mostly coming from nature. For my final VCE Visual Communication Design Unit 3 and 4 project, my client is an owner of a Reiki business so I have been looking towards nature for inspiration and using that as the basis for my final folio presentation. I’m very lucky to live in an area that is surrounded by nature and lots of greenery to look at so I will definitely use that to my advantage.


If not mentioned enough already, I am currently working on the project “Every Stitch Counts: Save The Reef”! It was scheduled to open to the public on the 16th of April to 10th of June at Bunjil Place Library’s Community Art Space, however, it has unfortunately been postponed. The exhibition would consist of a hanging art installation with knitted sea creatures and coral, as well as accompanying informative posters about endangered and invasive species in the Great Barrier Reef and the effect of climate change on the Reef.


What drove me to work on this project was my love for art and the duty as the upcoming generation to protect our environment and create a great place for us to live in. My school has given students the opportunity to complete the Certificate of Global Citizenship, a program designed to allow students to implement projects that create positive change in the community. Coincidently, the idea of this project was mentioned to me by our School Principal Ms Annette Rome last year at my school’s VCE Studio Arts Unit 3 and 4 exhibition which I attended as the upcoming Art Captain. From there, I formed a small group with a couple of students and together we developed a project plan that has led us to where we are now. Our project is currently entered into the Global Social Leaders Global Goals Competition 2019/2020 and we regularly update followers of our progress on our Instagram page @every.stitch.counts, which everyone is free to follow!


My project group consists of Mehr Ali, Trent Mitchell and I, and working with them has been a great experience so far. We work together really well and are really supportive of each other, whether it’s for our project or school life in general. We also aren’t afraid to give each other honest and constructive criticism which has pushed us to achieve our personal best. Because we’re from different year levels and campuses, we have been able to bring our different skillsets and experiences together to create something meaningful and worthwhile.


I taught myself how to knit and crochet in the summer break before starting Year 7. It was frustrating at first because watching someone do it through YouTube is very different from watching someone do it in real life. I didn’t get an opportunity to pick it up again until the start of this year when I started preparing for this project. Now, knitting and crocheting are much easier as I’ve been doing it quite frequently. It is very relaxing and therapeutic, to the point where I will accidentally spend an hour making something without realising.


If you are interested in participating in my project, please message me on Instagram at @every.stitch.counts, our email info@everystitchcounts@gmail.com or through St Margaret’s School’s contacts.

Arts Agitators

Arts Agitators is an open collective that invites young artists to meet regularly, generate ideas, produce collaborative work, and progress the South-East’s creative community. The group’s fundamental motivation is to encourage agency in young people, offering a platform and opportunity they might not otherwise have, especially for underrepresented artists. The Agitators are also inspired by the power of art to promote social change.

Arts
In this time of isolation, our usual fortnightly meeting at Bunjil Place has morphed into a weekly online get-together. The group has become much more focused on its ability to be a strong support network for members – a key point of contact, conversation and connection amongst the widespread disruption of artistic projects and practices.
Some Agitators also split off into sub-groups, with both zine and podcast projects in being developed. These sub-groups are exploring digital ways to create and present work together and engage meaningfully with the broader community to give anyone else a chance to enjoy or contribute to something creative.

Sam Reeve from Arts Agitators: “Joining the Art Agitators has been a great opportunity to be a part of a community that thrives on their passions. There has been no shortage of fun and interactive community events that have been hosted by or cross promoted by the Agitators, always turning out a crowd of familiar faces and chances to meet new ones. Our meetings offer an open space that encourages the sharing of projects and ideas, as well as discussions with guest speakers from various disciplines and backgrounds. The big goal of the Aggies is to provide a place where anyone can come explore, collaborate and engage with creative like-minds and share that with their community.
Yad Umesh from Arts Agitators: “I love the Arts Agitators because it’s a group of people coming together to talk about life, which art is strewn through, and express our creations to each other and also build upon ideas of connection and collaboration in community. I love it.”

Get involved

Follow @artsagitators on Instagram and Facebook, and email them at arts.agitators@gmail.com to be involved.

Ngino Amum

How would you describe your art practice?
I use oil paint… it’s something that used to scare me, but I like to try all mediums. As for how people would describe my work… I’m not too sure honestly!


What makes you feel free?
Being creative makes me feel free and at home. Cliché, I know, but growing up I was having all different kinds of medical procedures done, and art became my safe space.


Where is your inspiration coming from at the moment?
Within my art I definitely look for things that make me feel powerful, yet still showcase a vulnerable side of me.


How is your work influenced by your surroundings?
I definitely tap into the theme of black excellence. Whether I am the muse in a photograph, to painting Egyptian royalty, to the people I use for the photos I take… I’m showcasing black excellence. I’m also in a way paying homage to my family. If it weren’t for them I don’t think I would be where I am today.


Are you working towards a project or exhibition for the future?
I’m currently not working towards anything specific. I choose to make art for me and my own. I am currently a student and I feel like all my creative energy is stripped away while being in class, so I’ve been taking this time to focus on what I want to do.

The Three Graces photo seriesThe Three Graces photo seriesThe Three Graces photo series

The Three Graces photo series (above)

Photo from Sugar Mountain Festival

Photo from Sugar Mountain Festival a festival. I was given the opportunity to be a part of a piece in which seven women posed and did a runway show that was inspired by Don’t Touch My Hair. (above)

A photo from the Visibility exhibition

A photo from the Visibility exhibition I did in November 2019 (above)

Oz Malik

How would you describe your art practice?
My medium is acting, I am an emerging actor who works in film and theatre. Three words that would describe my practise would be; performance, thoughtfulness & spiritual.


What makes you feel free?
A strong and deep connection with my character and other actors who I am performing with. Feeling so immersed in the role that I am become something else.


Where is your inspiration coming from at the moment?
My inspiration comes from esoteric spiritual traditions such as Sufism. Also my imagination and my inner thoughts and feelings about being in solitude.

Oz Malik exhibition piece
How is your work influenced by your surroundings?
My work is highly influenced by my surroundings. As an actor I am constantly influenced by others in my roles. I’m also influenced by things; society, relationships, family, political climate and my ethnic & religious body in the Australian climate. My artwork attempts to show some of these themes throughout. Other times the current political, social, economic and environmental situation forces me to speak up through my work.

Are you working towards a project or exhibition for the future?
Yes, I am currently working on a few projects. Some individual short film works, and collaborating on projects with others.

What is the best and most challenging thing about being an artist in the South East?
Best thing is the ability to create from scratch, there hasn’t been an established youth artist movement in the past in South East, so you really feel like you’re creating a legacy and experimenting with ideas. I love the uniqueness of the South East and the stories that emerge from there. The most challenging thing is established opportunities to take your work to the next level, from grassroots/volunteer to paid and career.

Oz Malik exhibition piece

Oz Malik exhibition piece

Xingtong Huang

Xingtong Huang art piece

My art practice mainly comprises of watercolour and acrylic paintings and I find that my pieces have a strong sense of flow and softness to them. I really love how colours naturally blend so that is a reoccurring style that transcends through my artworks. People often describe my artworks as meticulous, confident and balanced.


As the leader of the project group “Every Stitch Counts: Save The Reef”, I have been coordinating community members to knit or crochet sea creatures and coral to contribute to the knitted coral reef installation. While it initially felt like the COVID-19 crisis made our project come to a halt, the extra free time that I’ve now got on my hands meant that I could find time to crochet and make something for my project. This silver lining has also given community members time to knit something in their otherwise very busy schedules.


Additionally, as Art Captain of St Margaret’s School in 2020, I would like to start a calligraphy club for students to participate. I think the newfound time we all have will give me a great opportunity to teach students calligraphy and to keep them occupied during this tough time. Practising calligraphy is also a great way of finding peace and relaxation amongst the cloud of uncertainty we are all living under. Instead of seeing this isolation period as having an extremely negative impact on our lives, I’ve tried to use it to my advantage and see the positive side of events.


As people around me would know, I participate in numerous extra-curricular activities during the school year, so I do not have a lot of allocated time to create my art. Since coming to St Margaret’s School in Year 7, I have been actively involved in art at school, so art classes have allowed me to be creative and provide some relaxation from my other very content-heavy subjects. I do attend art classes at a studio on the weekends so that is another space that I use as a creative outlet.


My project “Every Stitch Counts: Save The Reef” aims to create a sustainable art project that can be continued long after it has “finished”. I have encouraged contributors to use wool at home or recycled wool from the op-shop instead of buying brand new wool. The textile industry is notorious for creating large amounts of waste where recycled material could be used. Even though the project requires lots of wool, the net amount is not very much, making this project quite sustainable.


As someone who believes strongly in justice, equality and tries to be socially aware of issues concerning the world, my art reflects this part of me. During my time studying VCE Studio Arts Unit 1 and 2 last year, I have explored themes such as female empowerment, the injustice of sweatshops workers and the fast fashion industry through paintings, embroidery and sculpture work. Creating these activist art pieces has given me the opportunity to reflect on these themes and express my thoughts through art, rather than words. As for the subject matter, I try to look at different subject matters and expand my
horizons, however when I am painting for fun or to brush up on my skills, I love paintings sunsets so I will take lots of photos of the sky and use them as references. Sunsets also give people a sense of hope, which is really important for all of us to get through this tough time.

My knitted coral reef project is a form of activist art, as it aims to highlight the damaging effects of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef, through a combination of colourful and white coloured knitted pieces, to represent the bleaching of reefs. In Year 9 camp, we visited The Great Barrier Reef and listening to the tour guides talk about the destruction of the coral reef due to bleaching inspired us to do something about it.


My 3 tips for self-care through this period of isolation are to stick to a daily routine, but also to catch up on lots of sleep and get some fresh air. For many students like me, taking classes online has given us the opportunity to receive education while having the freedom to plan our day and to do self-care activities. This isolation period has given me the urge to cook so I have been cooking, as well as hopping on the bandwagon and making dalgona coffee. I’ve also been knitting and crocheting during my free time for my knitted coral reef project, which is a great way to occupy myself.


Right now, my inspiration is mostly coming from nature. For my final VCE Visual Communication Design Unit 3 and 4 project, my client is an owner of a Reiki business so I have been looking towards nature for inspiration and using that as the basis for my final folio presentation. I’m very lucky to live in an area that is surrounded by nature and lots of greenery to look at so I will definitely use that to my advantage.


If not mentioned enough already, I am currently working on the project “Every Stitch Counts: Save The Reef”! It was scheduled to open to the public on the 16th of April to 10th of June at Bunjil Place Library’s Community Art Space, however, it has unfortunately been postponed. The exhibition would consist of a hanging art installation with knitted sea creatures and coral, as well as accompanying informative posters about endangered and invasive species in the Great Barrier Reef and the effect of climate change on the Reef.


What drove me to work on this project was my love for art and the duty as the upcoming generation to protect our environment and create a great place for us to live in. My school has given students the opportunity to complete the Certificate of Global Citizenship, a program designed to allow students to implement projects that create positive change in the community. Coincidently, the idea of this project was mentioned to me by our School Principal Ms Annette Rome last year at my school’s VCE Studio Arts Unit 3 and 4 exhibition which I attended as the upcoming Art Captain. From there, I formed a small group with a couple of students and together we developed a project plan that has led us to where we are now. Our project is currently entered into the Global Social Leaders Global Goals Competition 2019/2020 and we regularly update followers of our progress on our Instagram page @every.stitch.counts, which everyone is free to follow!


My project group consists of Mehr Ali, Trent Mitchell and I, and working with them has been a great experience so far. We work together really well and are really supportive of each other, whether it’s for our project or school life in general. We also aren’t afraid to give each other honest and constructive criticism which has pushed us to achieve our personal best. Because we’re from different year levels and campuses, we have been able to bring our different skillsets and experiences together to create something meaningful and worthwhile.


I taught myself how to knit and crochet in the summer break before starting Year 7. It was frustrating at first because watching someone do it through YouTube is very different from watching someone do it in real life. I didn’t get an opportunity to pick it up again until the start of this year when I started preparing for this project. Now, knitting and crocheting are much easier as I’ve been doing it quite frequently. It is very relaxing and therapeutic, to the point where I will accidentally spend an hour making something without realising.


If you are interested in participating in my project, please message me on Instagram at @every.stitch.counts, our email info@everystitchcounts@gmail.com or through St Margaret’s School’s contacts.

We proudly acknowledge the traditional owners, Casey’s Aboriginal communities and their rich culture and pay respect to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge Aboriginal people as Australia’s first peoples and as the traditional owners and custodians of the land on which we work and live.