Dispatches from western Sydney arts frontier

I’m taking a short break, so I thought I’d deliver a few quick dispatches from the Frontier.

Victor Valdes with Mexican Baroque harpJuly 30 – Sydney Sacred Music Festival director Richard Petkovic announces that master of the Mexican baroque harp Victor Valdes, left, has joined the Sydney World Music Chamber Orchestra. Richard says he was talking with Victor recently, when Victor described how he was playing his harp at a funeral and responded intuitively by playing new music for a few hours. Victor’s sense of responding to what was needed at the time harmonised completely with the spirit of other members of the orchestra. The exchange of energy that followed was a gift to them all.

Richard is very proud that the 14 highly talented cross-cultural members of the newly formed chamber orchestra all come from Western Sydney. Check out Sydney Sacred Music Festival.

RAHS - Penny Stannard, John Newton, Naomi Malone presentAugust 13 – The Royal Australian Historical Society hosted their third in the History is Hot! series of presentations by fledgling historians. Penny Stannard, left, John Newton and Naomi Malone gave 20 minute presentations about their postgraduate studies at UTS. Three years ago, Penny began her doctoral research on the topic – Cultural Policy and its Convergence with Suburban Australia. Now her focus is a case study of Campbelltown from the mid-1950s to 1988, when the Campbelltown City Bicentennial Art Gallery was opened. The gallery has since been redeveloped to become Campbelltown Arts Centre. See Royal Australian History Society. There’ll be a report of Penny’s talk soon.

1-Dance Makers Collective - Sketch and Between Two and Zero-001August 13 – Dance Makers Collective issues an invitation to attend their upcoming premiere of two new works Sketch & Between Two and Zero, Riverside Theatres, from September 11 to 13, at 8pm. Sketch converges old and new technologies to intercept lines, curves and colours with choreographic and sound scores. Tickets from Riverside.

1-UTP - Democratic Garden 0814August 14 – Urban Theatre Projects reveals a crossover to visual and environmental arts in its latest e-newsletter. From their Bankstown base, UTP is looking for Blacktown residents interested in creating a vertical garden as a public art work to be displayed at Blacktown Arts Centre in October. Democratic Garden will reflect the demographics of Blacktown using flowers, herbs and edible plants. Enquiries Democratic Garden.

UTP - Verge of Bloom 0814In the meantime, Bankstown Arts Centre, home to Urban Theatre Projects has a display of flowers across its facade made entirely from  recycled household materials. On the Verge of Bloom has successfully weathered its first few weeks and remains on display until the end of the month.


FOOTNOTE –  Any mention of a long proposed centre for the visual and media arts  has been conspicuously absent from recent public discussion of the Framework Master Plan for the North Parramatta Precinct. If you want to make a submission about this, contact Urban Growth NSW.

1-IMG_5591croppedAnd just a final note of thanks to Geoff Lee, state member for Parramatta, who earlier this year, went out of his way to assist with promotion of my book Passion Purpose Meaning – Arts Activism in Western Sydney. As you can see, this was before work began on alterations to the Lennox Bridge. Geoff has been leading the planning push for North Parramatta.


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