UNIQUE: Noel Brady's ceramic urns.
UNIQUE: Noel Brady's ceramic urns.

Regional arts program promoting CQ talent

A SUCCESSFUL first round of the Central Queensland Regional Arts Services Network’ residency program has opened up a wave of new opportunities for the region’s artists.

Launched in May, Tough and Tender Beauty is the signature project for CQRASN and CQUniversity for 2020-21.

The project profiles the importance of the arts for creative response, resilience, recovery, memorialising and celebration in the wake of the tragic 2019 bushfires and COVID-19.

Round two of the project was launched this week, with Kingaroy artist Olivia Everett, Rockhampton writer/comedian Jodie Van der Wetering, Mackay songwriter Will Blume, Wakka Wakka and Kombumerri performer and choreographer Katina Olsen, Gympie region sculptor Nicole Jakins, Banana Shire artist Keemon William and Capricorn Coast region textile artists Nanette Balchin and Peta Lloyd all participating in a month of online sessions and professional development presentations.

CREATIVE: Melissa Peacock's handmade paper boxes.
CREATIVE: Melissa Peacock's handmade paper boxes.

CQRASN regional arts officer Julie Barratt said the response to the launch of the project had been overwhelmingly positive.

“The sessions have opened up new possibilities for the participating artists and has even led to the creation of some spectacular artworks,” Ms Barratt said.

Artist Tracey Hewitt said she enjoyed networking with other artists through the residency.

“Hands down, our weekly Zoom residency ‘meeting’ was my favourite part of the residency,” she said.

“Sharing process and progress isn’t entirely new to me, but the residency gave me a direction and pushed me to consider new ideas, which led to responses that helped close the creative ‘loop’.”

Fellow artist Noel Brady said the residency allowed him to learn new aspects to his own creativity.

“I have learned a lot from this experience, and at my age that just goes to prove you’re never too old to learn,” Mr Brady said.

“The residency may be over, but I’m sure all of us artists will continue to work away at what we have started.”

Melissa Peacock created eight handmade paper boxes to symbolise all of the artists who participated in round one.

“I’ve likened this experience to the friendships that I formed with fellow students in the shared studio at art school,” Ms Peacock said.

“It just goes to show what can be achieved in such a short amount of time when you know that you’re ‘all in this together’.”

A range of activities will take part place over the next 15 months with a culmination weekend in June 2021.



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