Creative practice research flourishing between the cracks

8 DECEMBER 2021

Creative practice research flourishing between the cracks

Spurred by continuing cuts to creative arts, a group of artists associated with Charles Sturt University is determined to make the most of the remaining spaces available ‘between the cracks’ to create and exhibit.

  • Charles Sturt University’s Creative Practice Circle opens the ‘Crevice Communities’ online art exhibition at 5pm on Thursday 17 December to highlight the case for creative practice as a vital form of research within universities

Spurred by continuing cuts to creative arts, a group of artists associated with Charles Sturt University is determined to make the most of the remaining spaces available ‘between the cracks’ to create and exhibit.

With far-reaching cuts to the creative arts and within universities across Australia, the exhibition ‘Crevice Communities’ makes a bold claim for the value of creative practice as a form of research that is able to shine light on current social and environmental issues.

The exhibition is presented by the Creative Practice Circle (CPC), a research group connected to the Charles Sturt Faculty of Arts and Education, whose members are arts-based researchers who have been supporting new work and ideas for more than four years.

The exhibition features animation, soundscape, photography, installation, painting, collage, textile arts, and creative writing, and has attracted international engagement and respected artists outside the University.

The works were all created in response to a provocation calling for works that explore what remains, or what may be created, within the ‘cracks and hollows’ of a world in crisis.

CPC facilitator Associate Professor Jennifer Munday said, “Global warming, the COVID-19 pandemic, and growing social upheaval around the world have thrown us into a state of anxiety calling to be emotionally processed – a process arguably as important as the search for practical solutions”.

Members of the CPC group include Professor Jennifer Munday, Dr Bärbel Ulrich, Dr Louise Curham, Dr Sam Bowker and Charles Sturt PhD candidates Ms Louisa Waters, Ms Tracy Sorensen, Ms Sandra Stewart, Mr Jock Cheetham and Ms Michelle O’Connor.

The Faculty has engaged Dr Elizabeth Wulff as research associate to help develop the exhibition.

Contributing artists from outside the University include American poet and curator Ms Nancy Kuhl, and Ms Karen Golland, a co-director of the prestigious Sydney-based gallery First Draft.

With fellow poet Karla Kelsey, Ms Kuhl has created two poems that reference “ … interstitial spaces – not unlike the interval that is a break or seam in a rock face. Our collaborative practice allows for the creation of an interdependent, creative, ‘crevice community’ in the ‘thin soil’ of a fraught era.”

Ms Golland’s animation explores ‘what is left behind’ by playfully reworking jars of plastic beads left behind by a woman who loved to craft, treating them not as worthless remnants but as precious artefacts.

For the exhibition, Senior Lecturer in news and media Mr Jock Cheetham contributed a short poetic documentary video exploring the role of running in helping to deal with grief, loss and pain.

“The arts provide an engaging and productive space for exploring questions around ‘what it is like’, and ‘what does it mean?’, when facing current challenges in health, the environment, and social dislocation,” Mr Cheetham said.

The exhibition will go live at 5pm on Friday 17 December and attendees can register to attend the Exhibition Opening. See more information about the Creative Practice Circle.

Media Note:

To arrange interviews with Mr Jock Cheetham (Bathurst) or Associate Professor Jennifer Munday (Albury-Wodonga) contact Bruce Andrews at Charles Sturt Media on mobile 0418 669 362 or via news@csu.edu.au. High-resolution images of the artworks are available on request.

Image: detail of work by artist Leanne O’Toole.


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