Friday, March 27, 2015

Instruments of Democracy at Cementa15


The Williams River Valley Artists’ Project will present Instruments of Democracy in Cementa15 at the Kandos Scout Hall, open 10am to 4pm, 9–12 April 2015

At 10am and 2pm each day WRVAP’s project is animated by Instruments of Democracy, a performance work that takes on the role of witness to non-violent direct action. The piece has been developed over six months through workshopping our responses to the courage, ingenuity, discipline and stamina of environmental activists—from all walks of life—who oppose the terrible impacts of open-cut and long wall coal mining, and CSG/fracking. Vast environmental destruction is wreaked by large corporations that do not have the right to misuse, contaminate and deplete our ground water, destroy forests and natural habitats, and fray the social fabric of farming communities. When government fails, people act: urgent concern about the future is driving a new form of democracy. Instruments of Democracy is inspired by this development, especially by the the art-like actions using lock-on devices that we witnessed in the Leard, Newcastle and Gloucester blockades. It was also prompted by a performance that also bears witness—An Immaterial Retrospective of the Venice Biennale by Alexandra Pirici & Manuel Pelmușthat was seen by WRVAP artists in Venice in 2013. 

Alongside the collaborative Instruments of Democracy performance, there are individual artworks by WRVAP artists:
•Suzanne Bartos Another Meeting Pool (after Merlyn Skipper) (2015) puppets
• Neil Berecry-Brown Social Licence (2013) text
Sue Callanan Breath by Degrees (2015) coal, felt
• Juliet Fowler Smith Barking Owls and Weeping Woodlands (2015) drawing on paper, mixed media
• Noelene Lucas Death by Coal (2015) video
Margaret Roberts Life 4 Coal (2015) floor cut-outs
Toni Warburton AgitPots H2O (2015) clay and ceramic
David Watson Australian Navigators (2015) photographs, Koala Diplomacy (2015) prayer flags, Checkout + Ransom Note (with Denise Corrigan) (2013) powerpoint

WVRAP would like to acknowledge and thank the Rev Peter Green and  Silver Street Baptist Mission Marrickville for providing access to facilities to help us develop this project.