Ann Rawlings in the Dowerin Field Day Program

Several of WA’s most creative sparks will be on hand this Dowerin GWN7 Machinery Field Days, displaying their work as part of a collaboration that aims to share stories of life in the bush. 

The initiative is part of a push to demonstrate the event’s theme, “Celebrating Our Story”, with the Art Area being turned into an on-the-ground and interactive story hub. 

Central to this area will be the Faces of Field Days stories, which share the story of those volunteering at the event, as well as a unique country-themed “pop-up porch”. 

The porch, brought to Dowerin by the team behind online media group Rural Room, will be used to livestream a range of local tales and field days experiences, as well as share the work that makes up #storiesfromthesticks. 

This area will be coloured by installations from members of Rural Room Media Stringers, a national online network of regional creatives and media makers that span different sectors of the arts, from film, writing, design and photography to events, performance and music. 

Rural Room editor Bec Bignell, who grew up on a grain and sheep farm in Kojonup, said the “biccy, brew and banter in the bush” installation at Dowerin Field Days had been designed to both entertain and inspire. 

Ms Bignell said the pop-up porch was representative of what occurred online, in that Rural Room was a virtual porch that allowed followers to come together, network and share their talents and stories. 

“The aim is to take everything we are doing with the Rural Room in a digital context into the physical, so we can collect stories from people on the ground,” she said. 

“We will be broadcasting live through our digital platform, which has a footprint of more than 62,000 followers, to connect people across regional Australia and share these stories.” 

Ms Bignell said the porch would also host an interactive story board that field days visitors — be they exhibitors or the public — can add to. “We are requesting people provide a page from their Landmark or Elders book, or a scribbled list on the back of an envelope, to piece together an interesting and almost moving story of their experiences of both days,” she said.
The overall aim, however, is to bring people together this field days. 

“We’re experimenting with combining the two worlds, digital technology with the physical environment, to simulate an interesting and engaging story experience, with the main purpose of letting people share their yarns and local anecdotes on a large scale,” she said. 

􏰀SHARE YOUR STORY Visit the Art Area to discover #storiesfromthesticks and share a story with Rural Room.