We are thrilled to partner with Southern Forest Arts on the Creative Grid Project.
WEST ARTHUR PHOTOGRAPHIC EXHIBITION OPENS TODAY!
It’s no secret that the Rural Room mission is to unapologetically shed light on regional creative projects, stories and artistic talents in the sticks. The Rural Room community is designed to support, converge and promote the creative groundswell in the regions so our partnership with the Creative Grid is something we are extremely excited about as it’s very synergetic. Connect to the Creative Grid is an unprecedented collaborative initiative empowering and enlivening regional WA communities through art. Through the Creative Grid, visual artists, arts professionals and arts organisations from across regional WA will engage 32 local communities in an exciting series of interconnected and enriching arts experiences that enhance social, cultural and economic vibrancy. We’ll be announcing the partnership officially next week and we look forward to sharing the vision, artists and behind the scenes processes aligned to this incredible collaboration.
One of the first events associated with the Creative Grid is the West Arthur Photographic Exhibition that will be unveiled tonight at the West Arthur Community Resource Centre. The exhibition explores connection with place, it’s people and the empowering functions of community. Small regional towns across Australia provide fertile soils for nurturing a sense of shared community. Towns like Darkan, Arthur River and Duranillin located on the western edge of the Wheatbelt within the Shire of West Arthur, where resident, Les Hart says, “Of all the communities I have lived in over my life - none compare to this community”.
ABOVE FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:
LYRIC TE KAPA - PHOTOGRAPHED BY ASTRID VOLSKE
FRANK CHIA (FARMER) – PHOTOGRAPHED BY HIS WIFE KERRYN CHIA
PETER RHIND (SHEARER) - PHOTOGRAPHED BY LEHUA CHISWELL
LES HART - PHOTOGRAPHED BY CARO TELFER
“I have been welcomed since the day I arrived,” adds farmer, Frank Chia, “It has opened my eyes to all the benefits that being involved in community can bring. A friendly and safe place to raise a family, live life and grow old, surrounded by people who genuinely care and look after each other.”
Les and Frank joined dozens of other West Arthur residents to explore their own sense of connection to community in this photographic project. The exhibitions celebrates some of the diverse faces and stories from the region: farmers, shopkeepers, shearers, students. Each face hinting at a life beyond the page, collectively they provide a thumbprint in time of the threads that bind them together in more than just shared geography, but shared connection to each other.
The photos are the result of a four-month mentorship between local professional photographer, Caro Telfer, and the Darkan Photo Club. Caro has supported the group develop techniques of portraiture that enabled them to capture their subjects in moments of authentic exchange with the viewer. Daughters snapped fathers, wives shot husbands. Friends turned the lens on each other. The exhibition runs for 10 days and is part of the Shire of West Arthur's annual Cultural Day, September 15th.
The Faces of West Arthur project is an initiative of the Shire of West Arthur working collaboratively with the ‘Connect to the Creative Grid’ project through the Regional Arts Partnership Program funded by Country Arts WA and the State Government of WA. It has been supported by the Federal Government through the Regional Arts Fund and the West Arthur Community Resource Centre.