In this issue

Think Tank Thoughts

The three year Splendid program is nearing completion but it was clear from discussions at the Splendid Think Tank, that it’s vision will live on. On August 4, over 150 contemporary art practitioners and key festival representatives convened at the home of Northern Rivers Performing Arts (NORPA) in Lismore, northern NSW, to explore the risks and rewards of new creative experiences in a festival context.

Keynote speaker Brian Ritchie shared his approach to curating MONA FOMA art and music festival, Rhoda Roberts advised how to get support for innovative projects, and Imogen Semmler described the Underbelly Arts program and her vision for its future - and, these were only a few of the day's delights! Arts writer, Sharne Wolff, reported on the event and provided her top ten thoughts of the day in her article 'What a Splendid Idea: 10 think-tank thoughts' for The Art Life.

"One of the benefits of including visual art in festivals is that it provides a better opportunity for organisers (and the artists) to seduce the festival crowd - ultimately providing the audience with a more authentic experience. Music might be the ‘comfort food’ of the festival but a well-curated visual art program can arguably provide a greater level of personal engagement and a collective experience." - Sharne Wolff

The Think Tank attracted artists, arts workers, festival and other creative producers from the region and interstate. We’re grateful that their participation in the Think Tank will enable Splendid's vision and methods to breathe elsewhere. Relive the memories on our facebook page.

“Any initiative that brings artists and producers together and gets them talking, thinking and arguing about how we make and present art is a good thing.” - Anonymous Think Tank Participant

Photographs by Nharyan Feldmann.

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Splendid TV: new releases

Our Splendid TV crew have been busy beavering away behind the scenes to complete the latest episodes for your viewing pleasure. They are now ready for release. We hope you enjoy them!

Episode 13: The Making of Close Encounters

Episode 14: The Making of Curious Creatures

Episode 15: Install at Splendour in the Grass

Episode 16: Artworks at Splendour in the Grass 2011

Episode 17: Arts Lab 2011

Splendid TV is made up of a small but dedicated team who have worked with us from the beginning. We would like to pay tribute to them all for their collaborative effort and talent in helping to share the story of Splendid as it has unfolded over the years.

Camera / Director: Poppy Stockwell

Camera / Director / Editor: Bassett Dickson VIII

Producer / Director: Carli Leimbach

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Jordana & Jimmy: the dynamic duo

Splendid Provocateur Jeff Khan, returned to Splendour 2011 to check out the works that our artists made this year.

“It does make me proud to have been involved in their development, especially knowing how hard both Jordana and Jimmy have worked to get up to this point through the various stages of development.” - Jeff Khan

Both Curious Creatures & Close Encounters were big crowd pleasers at the festival. As Jordana shared on Splendid TV, episode 16, about Close Encounters:

“The idea behind the work was to facilitate connecting people. To create a collective experience, a space for expression and dialogue. I feel like that's happening." - Jordana Maisie

Producing work for Splendour is one intense experience. It takes several weeks of R&R to recover, with artists (and staff) often reporting exhaustion, followed by withdrawals. It is art lived in the fast lane. 

"It's been a brilliant stepping stone for me, working with small budgets then stepping up to a large budget for an art project with a huge audience. It's been great for me as a professional development step." - Jimmy McGilchrist

As both artists have now had time to reflect on the experience with some critical distance, the next step is where these works should be toured. Jordana is negotiating with Coachella and Jimmy plans to let the creatures loose again in Australia over the summer and aims to tour the work to the UK and US in 2012. Stay tuned!

Photographs by Brenden Allen.

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Life post Lab

Sabrina D'Angelo described the final week of the Arts Lab as a time when "the silt [was] settling and everyone [was] sorting through the grit and finding their gold and finding gold they didn't even know existed". During the final week, each artist presented his or her 'gold' to the Splendid Curatorium for feedback and to inform the concept refinement process to take place post Lab. What has it been like to unleash their ideas in the big, wide world?

"Being in the wider world has allowed me to bounce my ideas off a wider range of people which perhaps gives me a more realistic idea of how a festival audience might react." - Dan Nunan

"Space away from the lab has meant a more rational thought process about the reality of what I want to make, what the process might look like and how it fits in with my life and my practise." - Beth Sometimes

"I am constantly on the phone! I can’t tell you how many people I have called for advice and information. What a wonderful opportunity to make contacts, and really develop something that would have previously seemed too daunting." - Clare Thackway

The Curatorium will select approximately 5 projects and the artists behind them will enter a mentorship phase managed by Carclew Youth Arts.

Photographs by Nharyan Feldmann.

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Goodbye from Carli

This year we have presented our most ambitious artworks at Splendour and hosted a two day national ‘Think Tank’ symposium. Splendid was featured on Qantas Inflight Entertainment and toured its first artwork to the Perth Fringe festival. We doubled our intact of artists in the final Arts Lab and engaged our first Mexican provocateur (aka Video Man).

One of the most enjoyable parts of my time with Splendid has been meeting all the artists, both ‘young and emerging’ and ‘old and fully fledged’.

Lismore lit up when the artists came to town for the inaugural Arts Lab. The sudden influx of creativity, inspiration and aspiration transformed the otherwise sleepy country town.

The Splendid artists continue to impress me with their passion and dedication to making art, it’s why we enjoy tracking them in our enews.

Many thanks to all of you who have helped to make Splendid the ongoing success it is.

After three years of committing myself to Splendid I am now moving on. I wish all those involved the very best of luck.

Yours Splendidly,


Carli Leimbach

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Tracking Splendid Artists

Alana Hunt has been awarded the Fauvette Laureiro Memorial Artists Travel Scholarship for her work Paper txt msgs for Kashmir. The art prize of $28,000 will allow her to spend time in Kashmir and the Balkans over the next two years to develop a new body of work.

Lachlan Anthony will complete a 3-month residency in Berlin at Takt Kunstprojektraum beginning 3 October with the support of The Australia Council, Ian Potter Cultural Trust and The Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Alice Lang has been featured in the August issue of das superpaper.

Bron Batten is set to perform at The 2011 Melbourne Fringe Festival alongside her parents. The cross-generational theatre work is called Sweet Child of Mine and will run for four nights only. Find more information here.

Michael Candy will exhibit a new work at Brisbane's LoveLove Studio alongside Kitty Horton. The exhibition explores ideas of landscape, light and nature and is called Terrarium. Find more information here.

Carl Scrase is attempting to crowd source the flights for two members of The Wemakeus Collective to attend the This Is Not Art Festival in Newcastle where they will present at the Critical Animals Research Symposium. Support The Wemakeus Collective on Pozible here.

Dan Nunan will exhibit as part of the City of Melbourne's 1200 Buildings Public Art Commission Exhibition. The exhibition will feature 11 proposals received for a sustainability-themed public art work at 490 Spencer Street. It will open on 28 September and continue until 5 October in the Atrium and Federation Square.

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Employment & Opportunities


The JUMP National Mentoring Program is currently accepting applications for its 2012 Mentorships. JUMP is the National Mentoring Program for Young and Emerging Artists that directly supports the career development of artists aged 18-30 who are in the first five years of their professional practice, by providing mentoring opportunities with established professionals in their artform. Applications close 28 October. Find more information here.

Do you have big ideas for an art project that takes creative risks and explores innovative ways to bring new forms of art to the Australian public? The Australia Council's Inter-Arts Office invites proposals developing ambitious new work for its New Art Initiative. It is part of the five-year Creative Australia funding program from the Australian Government. Applications close on Monday 10 October. Find more information here.

Playwriting Australia will hold the 2012 National Play Festival in Melbourne from 21-25 February. The organisation is currently accepting applications from Australians with a new, unproduced work ready for performance. Applications close on Monday 3 October. Find more information here.

New South Wales

Next month, the City of Sydney will seek expressions of interest from cultural organisations, creative enterprises, artists, creative practitioners and collectives who wish to apply for a short term lease of one of 2 retail shopfronts and 10 office suites on Oxford Street, Darlinghurst. Keep a look out for advertisements in the Local Government section of Sydney's newspapers and on this site.

South Australia

The Adelaide Festival Centre and Carclew Youth Arts will provide an opportunity to take part in a panel discussion with some of Adelaide's most progressive and proactive arts professionals where you can contribute and share your thoughts on what it takes to start, grow and sustain a career in the modern day arts industry. It is a panel discussion and networking opportunity called How Does Your Arts Career Grow? and it will take place at the Space Theatre on Monday 31 October at 6:30pm. The event is free and you can learn more about it here.

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