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‘Artists in Volatile Landscapes’ – Exhibition

The group exhibition, 'Artists in Volatile Landscapes' was the culmination of 18 months of creative development and research undertaken by 30 NSW artists under the Regional Futures umbrella, produced by NSW Regional Arts Network and funded by Create NSW. The artists with diverse practices and mediums responded to the question, 'What does the future look like in your region?' Download the catalogue  

Slider Photos Credit: Damon AMB

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Jul 21, 2023 - Sep 24, 2023

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9:30 am - 5:00 pm

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Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre

Photo: Damon AMB


Exhibition June 24 – September 24, 2023

‘Artists in Volatile Landscapes’ ran from June 24 – September 24, 2023 at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre. Showcasing new art works across mediums, artists responded to the question, ‘What does the future of your region look like?’ Artists engaged with critical thinkers across sectors (science, environment, agriculture) and consulted with their communities to explore key issues affecting their regions, revealing hopes and fears for the future. This group exhibition was provocative and contemplative, raising critical question of our times, encouraging us to think deeply about the future of our regions.

Photo Credit: Sarah Kukathas (Document Photography)

Artist: Anna Glynn

Artist: Joanne Stead

Artist: Jacob Charles

Artists: Kristin Rule & Ian Tully


‘Artists in Volatile Landscapes’ Symposium July 22

“Many more events like these are needed – and in large notable galleries. The regions have alot to say, and the art world needs to listen”

(Survey response, Symposium Participant)

‘Artists in Volatile Landscapes’ Symposium was all about discussion and debate.  We asked panelists and participants to consider the role of artists and creative practice in today’s climate, starting with the prompt ‘What does the future look like in your region?’

We wanted to break out of the arts echo chamber, taking a deep dive into questions that are uncomfortable, inspirational and future focussed.

Aimed at practitioners interested or working in cross sector discussion and collaboration, participants were immersed in a day of ideas and conversations, encouraging debate and critical thinking.

Bringing together practitioners across the fields of cultural practice, arts, science, economic development, agriculture, sustainability and energy; each session was curated to offer a diversity of perspectives, approaches and voices.

Artist: Julianne Piko

Artist: Ronnie Grammatica


Keynote Address

The Symposium started with a keynote address from leading thinker and writer on the creative life in regional Australia, Lindy Hume.

Drawing on her 2021 PhD thesis ‘A Bigger Picture – towards a landscape-oriented arts practice’, Lindy introduced us to the simple yet practical concept of the orientation shift from portrait to landscape as a metaphorical frame through which to view and shape cultural life in Australian communities.

In short, landscape-orientation offers a more expansive, inclusive perspective. In the context of creative thinking, leadership and practice, this more inclusive orientation frames a dynamic shared space where place, narrative, community, relationships and surroundings may all be in play.


Symposium Questions

Interdisciplinary collaborations / Artists as agents of change
How do artists contribute to the community’s ability to adapt to change & be prepared for the future ?  

Culture and Restoration / Artists as Healers
How do artists living in the regions facilitate healing of their regions/peoples to better prepare for the future? 

Community Engagement / Artists as Mediators
How do artists support communities and contribute to well-being and sense of belonging essential for communities to thrive?

Listening Better / Artists as Transceivers
How do artists enable us (humans) to be more attuned to the environments and the more than human world that we inhabit to ensure a healthy and thriving eco-system? 

Regional – City Divide / Artists as Trail-Blazers
What insights do regional artists bring to the table about resilience and living sustainably?

Closing Event – Breaking Bread

After a day of discussion, deep thinking and debate, the day ended with ‘Breaking Bread’.

Inspired by the ceramic work included in the accompanying Regional Futures exhibition by Somailian born Western Sydney artist Idil Abdullahi, guests were  invited to make and break bread.

The Menu included Damper and Johnny Cakes, Scones and Somalian Anjelo bread.  Accompanied by handmade jams, honey and condiments gathered from around the state, this event offered time for refelction and connection,  to end this day feeling positive for the future.


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