Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Country AND Western Mayhem

Mayhem don't actually know much about the burbs - migrating swiftly from the deep north (and I don't mean Lismore) to Newtown about 18 years ago (tho I did live in randwick for about a year - *shudder*).

So I'm an ex-country gal at heart, but still ain't that parochial. In my globe trotting travels over the summer/err winter or whatever it was- the stuff about Sydney that struck me as dynamic and new and fascinating - all - OK - not all - but LOTS of it - came from artists connected with Western Sydney and UWS - either as ex-students or part time staff - or residents, or whatever.

Western Sydney is not some scary region beyond the red travelpass zone - but is actually a central part of the Ozzie art world and the stuff that makes sinney inneresting. UWS graduate form an integral part of some of the amazing projects and collectives such as the squatspace collective, the Wildboys, Lempriere Winner Ben Denham, various members of Loose Projects, plus At the Vanishing Point and Don't Look galleries. and that's just off the top of my head..

Inspired by The artife's focus on suburbia as a site of meaning - I've decided to take the bull by the horns and jump on the Sari Kivinen Serial Promotion bandwagon -and start blabbing about how great western sydney art and culture is and how much greater it could be if it is able to keep and expand a decent university art school.

Ben Denham's current work has taken DRAWING to such astonishing levels that the guy deserves a bloody logie. and he's not from COFA or NAS but UWS. the SMH and other press trumpeters of 'back to basics' view of drawing as ye olde necrophilia seem to overlook that it's an incredibly dynamic and challenging practice.

Ben has written a great and reflexive account of his art education at UWS - and I reccommend it as a critical source of consideration of what art education can be and why it's so important.

so: in this spirit - I'm going to plug the Serial Promotion show at Mori (yes, again, call it nepotism but why isn't patron of contemporary art Gene Sherman taking this stuff on?). Organised by Sari Kivinen. opening is July 4th and their looking for contributions. for more info click here

Serial Promotion is not just about 'saving UWS' but is a demonstration of the interdependency and necessity of a VARIETY OF ART SCHOOLS IN SYDNEY. Having at least 4 different art schools with distinct pedagogical cultures produces a variety of graduates that CAN and DO depend on the diversity of our education and influences to feed off and stimulate each other's practice.

Sari and Mayhem are part of a BROAD ALLIANCE of artists, community groups, galleries, academics, researchers and others out to prove that WE CAN Save Arts Education in Western Sydney!!!

We have an email list, and are having meetings and are going to start a big media lobbying campaign... SOON! It's big, and it's getting bigger. Even Schappylle Scragg is getting involved

And we want yer support and interest and input. so drop a comment on this blog - or email: autonomouspromoter@yahoo.com.au

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