Page 3315 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 19 October 2022

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MS CHEYNE: I thank Mr Pettersson for the supplementary. The City Commissions program brought three new temporary public artworks to Canberra. artsACT engaged Canberra Art Biennial, through contour556, to commission these three works. The three artists, Alison Alder, Michael Sollis and Sammy Hawker, were asked to explore how diverse communities experienced COVID-19 in Canberra.

The artists worked collaboratively with a chosen community group to deliver these works in public locations across Canberra. In Reconciliation Place, Alison Alder’s work, created in collaboration with members of Hands On Studio, explored the group’s experience of COVID through six-metre-high banners in various locations across Tuggeranong. Sammy Hawker’s work with young people from headspace Tuggeranong showed traces of an individual’s experience of the pandemic using photo negatives. At the University of Canberra Hospital, Michael Sollis’s work took the form of a custom-designed sound bollard that played a combination of contemporary classical music along with recordings of Michael’s conversations with immunocompromised people speaking about their experiences of the pandemic.

DR PATERSON: Minister, what are some of the other key outcomes of the Creative Recovery and Resilience Program and how have artists responded to this program?

MS CHEYNE: I thank Dr Paterson for the question. The outcomes of the program are incredibly pleasing. There were 189 artists supported across the Creative Recovery and Resilience Program, with 51 arts workers supported and 86 other arts professionals, including mentors and workshop speakers, engaged.

Particularly pleasing was the emphasis on diversity. Approximately 13 per cent of artists were people with a disability, 19 per cent identified as LGBTI+, 16 per cent were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders, 14 per cent were culturally or linguistically diverse, and 17 per cent were under 25.

The program saw significant increases in professional practice capability through self-directed artist-led residencies, skills development workshop programs and through mentorship with local, national and international artists. It also of course fostered meaningful connections between artists and arts workers that strengthen networks. These connections are invaluable in a post-COVID environment supporting wellbeing, reengaging in creative practice and enriching perspectives and ideas.

Activities under the Creative Recovery and Resilience Program took place right across Canberra, including in Belconnen, Tuggeranong, Parkes, Civic, Braddon, Griffith, Turner, Dickson, Mitchell, Kambah, Lyneham and Holt. Better than my words is a quote from one of the artists engaged through the program:

To be part of a program that takes so seriously the idea that creative arts based research and practice is about engaging with this really wide cross-sector group of people… the questions about how creative arts knowledge and arts research can bring those people into conversation, to have that at the centre of this program, is astonishing.

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