More western Sydney arts milestones

1-1985 image - KK FacebookIn the eight months since Western Sydney Frontier  was launched the blog has attracted more than 3000 views by about 1500 visitors. While most of the visits and views come from within Australia, this week alone has included views from the US, UK, Indonesia and Ukraine. So word of activities in western Sydney is getting around. Special thanks to everyone who has added links to the blog from their Facebook pages, Twitter, LinkedIn and many other connections.

1-SfJ - Bell - Henry V 2014The Joan at Penrith presents Bell Shakespeare‘s Henry V from October 16 to 18. Described as an “unflinching” production it is the first directed for Bell by Damien Ryan, artistic director of award winning independent theatre company Sport for Jove. Damien had to think long and hard about whether he could bring a fresh and meaningful interpretation to the play, but after intense study of the text, he is confident it has powerful contemporary relevance. “Is King Henry V a courageous leader, a cowardly manipulator or simply a little boy lost?” Click here for booking information

It’s almost 20 years since Guildford artist Jacqui Douglas began work on a project, which evolved into The Early History of Guildford 2161 Report by academic historian, Michael Flynn. Guildford’s postcode is 2161 and the report will be launched at Guildford Leagues Club, Wednesday, October 29, 5.30 to 7pm. Everyone is welcome to attend.

From 1-History 2161her own indigenous background and her expressed “longing for belonging”, Jacqui’s interest was sparked by a reference to the small township of Portland Place, near Prospect Hill, which had disappeared from the historic record by 1802. Was the land simply unsuited to cultivation, or was it Aboriginal resistance that led to abandonment by settlers? Holroyd Council supported the first stage of historical research in 1997 and Michael Flynn prepared the first report. Even before that, Jacqui had initiated the Guildford Road Project with three other local artists. Their primary purpose was to capture the essence of the Guildford Road neighbourhood and to share their affectionate observations with the local community.

Preparing the report has been a labour of love, assisted by many others along the way, and now Jacqui will have the pleasure of returning to Guildford for the launch. Historian Michael Flynn will speak at the event. Copies of The Early History of Guildford 2161 cost only $10 and will be available from Friends of Linnwood.

Ian Willis is a Camden historian who writes the blog Camden History Notes. In his most recent post, he describes The Camden Theatre Group, which operated in the area for more than 20 years from 1953. Local identities who played leading roles in company operations include the late Liz Kernohan, subsequently state member for Camden and local mayor. Click on this link to read Ian’s story.

Hawkesbury ValHawkes Valley Heritage Tours - Clint's Barnley Heritage Tours are conducting a special interest tour of their region, on October 31, from 9.30am to 5pm. The tour will be conducted by passionate local historians Carol and Geoff Roberts with leading local artist Greg Hansell in conjunction with his annual studio exhibition. Visitors will be taken to a selection of historic sites depicted in Greg’s current porfolio of works, including Tizzana Winery, the gardens of Greg’s historic homestead Tara and his studio, and Richmond Lowlands, where UWS Riverfarm is located. The photo above is of Clint’s historic barn. The full day coach tour includes morning tea, lunch, cheese and wine tasting. Enquiries 02 4577 6882 or click on website

1-PFFP - Silent Systems launchParramatta Female Factory Precinct: Memory Project launched its latest publication at Parramatta’s Wisteria Gardens Festival last month. Silent System – Forgotten Australians and the Institutionalisation of Women and Children is a collection based on a public history conference in September 2013 and edited by Paul Ashton and Jacqueline Z Wilson.

The history conference was another collaboration between PFFP and UTS Shopfront as they continue to research the history of more than 500,000 children who grew up in “out of home” care in more than 800 institutions in 20th century Australia and its intergenerational impact. The project has been driven by former “Parragirl” Bonney Djuric, seen here with Parramatta MP Geoff Lee, left and Professor Paul Ashton. Click here for book information.

Wagana prepares for DenmarkFresh from the excitement of participation in the Commonwealth Youth Dance Festival in Glasgow, in July, Wagana Aboriginal Dancers are preparing to travel again next year. Here, group members rehearse Sum of My Ancestors for performance at Dance and the Child International next year in Denmark. There is no funding but plenty of passion and commitment from Jacinta Tobin, Jo Clancy and Becky Chatfield for teaching and sharing NSW Aboriginal dance stories and song. Wagana managed to raise $45,000 for their Scottish tour and are aiming to do something similar for Denmark. Join them for their fundraising Island Night on Saturday 29th November at the Grandview Hotel in Wentworth Falls. $35/head which includes finger food, live music and prizes for the best dressed. Click on bookings.

The List, a multi-disciplinary arts project addressing youth culture in Campbelltown, continues at Campbelltown Arts Centre to October 12. Das Platforms and Campbelltown Arts Centre have co-produced a series of video interviews with artists Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Zanny Begg, Pilar Mata Dupont, Daniel McKewen, director Michael Dagostino and curator Megan Monte. Click here to watch the full series of videos.

Campbelltown Arts Centre has just taken delivery of a new supply of my book Passion Purpose Meaning – Arts Activism in Western Sydney, which is the inspiration for this blog. It’s full of great stories, facts and information. Click on The Book for information and purchase details.

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