Fred Fowler, TWIG Residency 2014

Carrie McGrath, Lalbert TWIG 2014

Residencies, partnerships, farmers and seminars..

The ACRE team have itchy creative feet!

Even though you may not be able to see much of a ripple on this webpage, we’d love you to know that some great things are about to happen in 2014.. and we are planning another gathering of rural art and agriculture minds in 2015. Below is just a tiny taster of what is to come..

ACRE has partnered with DADAA WA to send TWIG artist Trevor Flinn over to Esperance to work with a couple of farming families as part of the FIVE project.

The ACRE team [via Regional Arts Victoria and Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery] has a partnership with Victorian College of the Arts, to deliver another two artist on farms residencies in September/October this year. These residencies will be an extended form of the TWIG model, and include public workshops with schools or community groups around the Lalbert and Ultima district!

There were some beautiful projects in the district at the beginning of the year, facilitated by the Arts and Culture team at Gannawarra Shire, and funded by Regional Arts Victoria’s Regional Arts Fund in the communities of Quambatook, Murrabit and Leitchville. Artists in residence in those communities included our ACRE artist Dave Houston, Lake Charm artist Angela Frost and Kurt Saggers from the Cats Pyjamas.  Congratulations to all involved in delivering some fantastic community workshops.. On facebook? Check out these magic photographs taken by Quamby local, Laura O’Dwyer. Photos of Quamby residency

We’re currently gathering ground with our ideas for an art and agriculture seminar for 2015! Previous seminars have included international and interstate speakers who tackle the topic of how art can rejuvenate rural communities. It’s too early to say much about what we will be focusing on in 2015.. Our last two seminars 2009/2011 had quite a dusty drought aesthetic.. not sure what the key issues will be next year.

We are writing up some of our projects in a newsletter [which will be posted here in the next few weeks], and updating our Facebook site when we can.. so do keep visiting us!

[there will be MORE on the 2014 residencies over the next few weeks – we are meeting our potential artists TOMORROW! exciting!!]


Remotely Connected

Catch up with a great article produced by Michael Shirrefs for ABC Radio National. Remotely Connected discusses the ways regional artists from across the world are connecting to produce work.

Image: Homage to Bowie Hancock by artist Juliet Fowler Smith, 2013. Installation at Neil Berecry-Brown’s farm in Mangrove Mountain

ACRE news..

It’s been a while since we’ve written up our news here at ACRE.
However, during all this time we have been flat out wrapping up TWIG, talking about TWIG – far and wide [more on that in a minute], planning our next projects for 2013 by talking with our farming and artist networks, and negotiating having TWIG head to WA in 2014!

So, where have we been?
In September, Ian travelled to Gawler in Qld, to speak about ACRE at the Creative Communities 3 – Risks and Possibilities conference at the Griffith University. He presented his paper, Seed of Renewal – the farmer and the artist

A month later and Kim was off to the Regional Arts Australia conference in Goolwa to do a short presentation about TWIG.

.. and now? Ian is visiting the arts collective M12 in North America, for an intensive week or so. More about M12 here!

We are also talking with one of our TWIG funders about a high profile exhibition of some of the TWIG pictures and sculptures..

By getting our TWIG concept out and about, we have been approached by other arts organisations in Victoria and WA about using our model of grass roots farmer/artist engagement in their rural communities. I expect TWIG Artist Trevor Flinn could travel the world doing farm residencies. The rural arts equivalent of couch surfing!

For our next venture in 2013, we are taking what we have learned in past projects and devolving that into a new model of artist and farmer collaboration. We are also drawing in some new artists representing diverse mediums to create a dynamic NEW project. We are also utilising the great resource we now have in our TWIG farmers, to get them to nominate the farms where this new project will go. We are building, building, building networks.. and creating new spaces for arts creation.

Watch this space for more news!

Speewa Hall Twig event

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The final Twig happened on the coldest night of Winter so far.. I thought it was going to snow!

Trevor pulled together pieces from each of the previous Twig residencies to create an evocative exhibition of rural-art, film, soundscape and sculpture.

A dedicated bunch came out in their beanies and long coats to experience the final Twig at Speewa Hall including each of the Twig residency farmers, Trevor’s parents from Dunkeld, a number of keen Twig followers from Melbourne and some first time Twiggers as well.

If you have taken any photographs during the Twig project – we’d love to see them! get in contact with us – at


Twig #4 Caccianiga’s Farm Manangatang

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The last of our farmstay Twigs was spectacular.. it was a ‘very big twig’.. We walked barefoot through the bush, through a walkway lined with mallee roots and branches, and reflected on the land, abundance and the cycle of all things.

A little further along was the dry dam bed which had been made into a labyrinth for us to walk through. I don’t think I have ever walked in a labyrinth before – and – I found it meditative and marvellous.

On the return walk back to our main Twig fire a blue light appeared in the distance.. as we walked closer we saw the side of a truck trailer had become a cinema screen. The film Trevor had made of his stay in Manangatang cycled over and over. I am not sure if it was us taking on the calm of the labyrinth.. or the sheer unexpectedness of a film being played in the open night sky on a farm in the middle of the mallee.. but we oohhhed.. and ahhhhed.. collectively for several minutes.
One of the images captured on the screen was of a white kangaroo which lives on the farm. The kangaroo was a recurring image throughout the Twig event, with her likeness being created out of deadwood and lit, watchful over our Twig activities.

The original soundscape for this event was made by John Britten – it’s lovely and really worth a listen.

There are literally hundreds of photographs of this event.. please check back to see more over the next week or so. Kim

australia's creative rural economy