We Are All Connected To Campbelltown (One Way Or Another)

Rebecca Varidel
9th Aug 2018

We are all connected to Campbelltown (one way or another) is a new exhibition celebrating the milestone 30 year anniversary of the Campbelltown Arts Centre, and runs from August 11 to October 14.

The opening this Saturday August 11, is set to be a big celebration, featuring food from the bearded bakers Knafeh, a mammoth birthday cake, tarot card readings, a cocktail bar and animated building projections. 

Presenting new commissions and existing works, We are all connected to Campbelltown (one way or another) celebrates the Arts Centre and its diversity of culture, unique geographical landscape and local stories through the distinct works of thirteen artists with a connection to the area. To commemorate this significant milestone, the four directors of Campbelltown Arts Centre have also each selected one significant artist who they believe had the greatest impact on the gallery and the community during their tenure.

Multidisciplinary artist and social activist Candy Bowers’ new video work is a nod to afro-futurism, the satirical exploration of the colonisers of Africa, flipping history and ridiculing the oppressor. As the artistic director of Black Honey Company, she has pioneered a fierce sub-genre of contemporary performance that delves into the heart of radical feminist dreaming. Bowers was selected by current Arts Centre Director Michael Dagostino.

Danie Mellor was the winner of the 2009 National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award. 'The sound of a dream in a forest’ (see artwork in first image above, and Mellor with one of his works above) reflects upon the population and ecology of space in the Macarthur region. Mellor responds to the flora of Mount Annan Botanic Gardens over four panels of photographs printed on metallic photographic paper.

“The land story of a place has a significant role in creating and affirming a sense of belonging, wherever we come from”, says Mellor.

Shireen Taweel’s own cultural heritage within the Islamic Decorative Arts are a source of reference and inspiration in her practice. Her new work From Broken Hill to Campbelltown acknowledges the diversity of Islamic culture in Australia. Informed by the urban mosques of Western Sydney, the suspended semi-circular space invites visitors into the space and into the intimacy and physicality of prayer.

Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran’s five new sculptural commissions are a series of large glazed ceramic heads, elaborated with a range of found materials including bronze sticks, rubber snakes and other detritus. In a celebration of non-Western systems of design and representation, they also pay particular homage to the colourful festivals of South Asia and those practiced by the diaspora of Sydney.