Cooroora Institute Cultural Plan

Aim:

To share the song of the earth through creative practice…

Goals:

1.    To re-invest in fine craft as well as the site-specific visual and performing art.

2.    To recognise, respect, support, and inspire local artists and art communities.

3.    To act ethically, generously, and sustainably within a diverse community.

4.    To connect with skilled artists from around the world and bring their expertise to the local. 

5.    To recognise and converse with the artistry of the non-human: birds, trees, rocks, mountains, fungi, earth, water, insects.

6.    To explore, research, write about, and practice creative ideas and approaches which share the song of the earth.

Actions: 

Teaching

Run workshops and classes that celebrate the fine hand crafts: in furniture making, woodworking, metal working, copper smithing, blacksmithing, weaving, basket-making, jewellery, leather working, shoe making, painting, paper sculpture, ceramics, etc. 1, 2

Hold masterclasses with an internationally recognised artist (at least once per year). 4

Run workshops in writing, poetics, law, ideas, soundscapes, landscapes, that focus on our place in the natural world. 5, 6

Hold workshops that converse directly with small places (at least once per year). 5

 Poetics of Place - a immersive nature writing workshop with Dr Tamsin Kerr.

Poetics of Place - a immersive nature writing workshop with Dr Tamsin Kerr.

 

Performance

Hold concerts and performances with musicians who work with place and soundscapes (at least two per year). 1, 2, 4, 5.

Participate in external collaborations/ exhibitions and give talks and presentations, both nationally or internationally (between one and maximum of three per year). 1, 6

Publish written word pieces in books, magazines, and online. 6

 Dangerous Songs concert with Linsey Pollak and Lizzie OKeefe.

Dangerous Songs concert with Linsey Pollak and Lizzie OKeefe.

 

Community 

Hold Sunday afternoon gatherings for artists and interested community members to discuss art and share food and drinks (50 Sunday afternoons per year). 2, 3, 4

Identify and substantially fund local activities that speak to our aims (2 to 5 per year). 2, 3

Hold language of country talking circles with Indigenous elders (at least once per year). 3, 5

Involve young people through a volunteer program that exchanges labour for participation in studios and workshops. 2, 3

Manage other skilled volunteers with ongoing support and a developed program. 3

Provide free events and shared conviviality, from weekly Tai Chi to festivals, that celebrate our inhabitation of place (Currency of Birdsong, concerts, meet-the-artist, Long Tables, shared meals, etc). 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Exchange local resources (food, labour, tools, materials) to build webs of connection. 2, 3

 Long Table dinner at the Cooroora Institute

Long Table dinner at the Cooroora Institute

 

Support

Pay for international respected artists and artisans to stay as artists-in-residence. 1, 4

Provide free accommodation and food to visiting artists (~10 per year). 1, 2, 3, 4

Showcase the work of artists (local and inspirational) in our mini-gallery. 1, 2, 3, 4

Visit, support, and buy works from other local collectives including Tall Trees (Cooran), Quixotica (Cooroy), Old Railway Gallery (Pomona), and other local and located initiatives as they emerge. 1, 2, 3

Support (fund, promote, provide labour and/or participants to) Bunya Dreaming (Blackall Ranges), Floating Land (Boreen Point), Mary River Festival (Kandanga) and other local creative celebrations of place. 3, 4

 Beverley Hand, Kabi Kabi elder and organiser of the Bunya Dreaming.

Beverley Hand, Kabi Kabi elder and organiser of the Bunya Dreaming.

 

Making

Ensure time for artistic development of works by resident artists and support mechanisms for dreaming, making, and selling works through online and gallery promotions. 1, 2, 5, 6

 Celebrating fine craft.

Celebrating fine craft.

 

Infrastructure

Maintain and develop our studios, teaching and performance spaces, including wood studio, clay studio, metal area, teaching space, gallery, café, toilets, outdoor stages. 1

Maintain and promote our activities through web pages and social media. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Develop, catalogue, and make accessible, a library of art and environment and heritage books. 1, 2, 3, 4, 6

Provide ongoing studio space to local artists, as well as temporary space to visiting artists. 1, 2, 3, 4

Provide our own water, power, and waste management through tanks, solar and woodlot, composting toilets, compost, recycling, re-use and exchange. 2, 3, 6

 Celebrating spoon carvers outside the Cooroora Institute studios.   

Celebrating spoon carvers outside the Cooroora Institute studios.

 

 

 

Definitions: 

“Artists” include writers, musicians, soundscape artists, dancers and body workers, sculptors, painters, eco-dyers, ceramicists and potters, furniture and wood artists, jewellers, metal workers, art blacksmiths, and other designer-makers who fully practice the fine craft of place. Artists are non-human as well as human: the bark and grain of trees speak a language that human poets might translate; the song of the birds merges with the improvisation of the cellist; the wind moves in the grasses like the human hand with the woven reed. 

 

“Craft” is not a dirty word. There is a writer’s craft and a woodcraft; a craft of potters and of pottering; a sound craft of collaboration across this more-than-human world.  Craft is slowly learning a fine skill set through hand, heart, and mind. Craft is re-membering the world. Craft is listening to the voices of natural materials. Craft is learning to inhabit the flow of place and the song of the earth.