Lauren Dunn, Sam Longmore, Amaara Raheem, Joel Stern, Josephine Mead, Justin Ashworth, Chantelle Mitchell, Anita Spooner, Stephen Palmer, Madeleine Thornton-Smith, Vicki Couzens, Mig Dann, Sara Lindsay, Chloé Hazelwood
16 Oct–11 Dec 2020
Traction is a four-part discussion series that examines ideas of modification and renewal within creative practice, the needs for upholding artist’s rights, the power of mature knowledge, and new modes of education and exchange.
Pivot is a discussion between artists / arts organisations who have had to pivot their art practice to come up with alternative creative solutions in-light of changing opportunities at this time.
Accumulate is a discussion around free / accessible new models of learning and sharing in the arts.
Gain, explores what a visual arts union in Australia would look like, the push toward a more equitable visual arts sector, and why collective action is pivotal to this process.
Prime is a conversation around notions of matriarchal power and maturity within the arts.
Under the umbrella title of Traction, Blindside presents four artist-focused professional development online presentations: Pivot, Accumulate, Gain and Prime.
This program takes place on the land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We recognise that sovereignty was never ceded - this land is stolen land. We pay respects to Wurundjeri Elders, past, present and emerging, to the Elders from other communities and to any other Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders who might encounter or participate in the program.
Lauren Dunn works predominantly with photography and also occupies the idea of photographic thinking through other materials such as sculpture and video as a means of twisting the codes and conventions of photography. As an active participant in post-photographic discourse Lauren believes the many images surrounding us are an indicator of contemporary consumer politics. With an inherent interest in popular consumption trends and their associated images, Lauren utilises her practise to understand and question the power structures influencing our desires, ethics and the broader impact of commodity culture.
Lauren graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts with a BA in Fine Art honours in 2018. Lauren’s work is held in various public and private collections and she has been the recipient of a number of prizes; including the Myer Family Foundation Prize, Abbotsford Convent start up studio residency award and the David Fell Photography Award. Lauren has participated in a number of group and solo exhibitions in Melbourne, Sydney and the USA. Selected exhibitions include: Kyneton Stockroom Greener pastures, BUS projects The Green Sheen, Verge Gallery Sydney Still Life Pt II, LON Gallery Fruit & Veg & Parodies, Cal Arts (USA) Heavy Duty. Lauren participated in Spring 1883 (Sydney 2017, 2018 & 2019) with LON Gallery and was a fnalist in the 2017 Bowness Prize and the 2019 Darebin Art Prize.
Sam Longmore has been employed at The Audio Foundation since 2016. He completed a MFA at the Elam School of Fine Arts between 2014 – 2016, during which time he twice received the Paul Beadle post-graduate research scholarship. He has performed and exhibited at galleries and project spaces throughout Aotearoa and abroad, and contributed writing to several institutions and journals, notably a piece for Artspace about Julian Priest’s 2014 Chartwell commission, La Scala, and to the Goethe-Institut Neuseeland’s Themendossier around Hanno Leichtmann’s 2018 artist residency. In addition, he runs the mf/mp imprint with Wellington-based artist and musician Karl Leisky.
Amaara Raheem is a Sri Lankan born Australian grown dance-artist who lived fifteen years in London. She works in collaboration, even when working alone, in solitude. What she means by this is that she’s intermeshed with processes, histories, memories, relations, the building. Currently Amaara’s part of an online dance art-work ‘Satelliser’ with eleven other womxn dancers worldwide in conversation with choreographer Janine Harrington (UK) winner of Bonnie Bird Choreographic Award, 2020. Amaara is completing a practice-led PhD at School of Architecture & Urban Design, RMIT University.
Joel Stern is a curator, researcher, and artist living and working on Wurundjeri land in Melbourne, Australia.
Stern’s work deals with a range of issues, themes and questions connected with theories and practises of sound and listening. Interests include: sound, power and control; covert listening and panacoustic surveillance; polyphony as social practice; experimental music and community ritual; speech, voice, subjectivity; eavesdropping and ventriloquism; techno-politics of machine listening; rhetorics of nonsense and bullshit; pandemic soundscapes; acoustic justice; silence as testimony; post, trans, and non-human listening.
Since 2013, Stern has been Artistic Director at Liquid Architecture, a leading Australian organisation that creates spaces for sonic experience and critical listening at the intersection of contemporary art and experimental music. In this capacity he has been responsible for hundreds of festivals, symposia, exhibitions, concerts and publications realised in Australia and internationally, with collaborators ranging from major museums and institutions through to community organisations and artist-led initiatives.
In addition to Liquid Architecture, Stern has led numerous independent organisations including: OtherFilm, a collective working with artists moving image and the legacy of avant-garde cinema; and Instrument Builders Project, a workshop, residency, exhibition series featuring artists, musicians and craftspeople from across Australia and Asia.
In 2018, with critical legal scholar James Parker, Stern curated Eavesdropping, an expansive project connecting Liquid Architecture, Melbourne Law School, Ian Potter Museum of Art, and City Gallery Wellington, which comprised exhibitions, public programs, working groups, tours, and a publication, addressing the ‘politics of listening’ through work by artists, researchers, writers, detainees and activists from Australia and around the world. Stern’s PhD thesis ‘Eavesdropping: The Politics, Ethics, and Art of Listening’ was completed through the Curatorial Practice program at Monash University, where he also teaches on sonic art.
Josephine Mead is a visual artist, curator and writer based on Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri woi-wurrung Country. She works through photography, sculpture, installation and writing to explore personal notions of support. Her recent work has positioned female family members as support-structures, considered the body as a site of discursive practice, explored notions of deep listening, and examined the temporal and sonic nature of writing and photography. She has held solo exhibitions at c3 contemporary art space, TAB Gallery (Turkey), Bus Projects and the Monash and RMIT faculty galleries. She has shown work in group exhibitions at a wide range of venues, including Blindside, Stockroom, Craft Victoria, Stacks Projects, Counihan Gallery, Five Walls, St Heliers Street Gallery, Kings Artist Run, Seventh, Blue Oyster Space (New Zealand) and as part of the TOMI Arts Festival (Japan). In 2018 she undertook the Arquetopia Foundation Residency (Puebla, Mexico), the Kings Emerging Writer’s Program, the Macfarlane Fund Residency (Kyneton, Victoria) and was published by Art+Australia and un projects. In 2019 she was awarded a Career Development Grant through the Australia Council for the Arts to undertake the Tasarim Bakkali TAB Residency (Istanbul, Turkey) and the Córtex Frontal Residency (Arraiolos, Portugal). In 2020 she commenced the ZK/U Residency at Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik (Berlin, Germany). She is a current Room to Create studio artist at Collingwood Yards (supported by City of Yarra), is the Chair of Artistic Directors for Blindside, and runs Co- Publishing, with Christine McFetridge.
Justin Ashworth is a sound artist/composer from Melbourne. He works across a range of different platforms including film and dance scores, live performance, installation, improvisation, music production, and curation.
Justin is one of the current co-curators of the Melbourne improvised music institution the Make It Up Club, and coordinates the online surrealist sound art collective Little Songs of the Mutilated.
Chantelle Mitchell is a curator and writer, currently Secretary for BLINDSIDE, advisor for SEVENTH Gallery, and independent producer. Her work has appeared in Plumwood Mountain, Axon Journal, Marrickville Pause¸ The Lifted Brow, Heart of Hearts and others. She has delivered performance lectures for Bus Projects, the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, and the Ian Potter Museum of Art. Chantelle is one half of Ecological Gyre Theory with Jaxon Waterhouse, an interdisciplinary research practice seeking to continue the momentum guiding the ecological turn which has come to dominate the humanities in the 21st Century. As part of EGT, Chantelle has been published in eflux, art+Australia, presented for ACCA, ANU and Oxford University. Upcoming engagements include presentations for the Norweigan Petroleum Museum and KTH University of Sweden, residencies in Sweden and Broken Hill, with forthcoming exhibitions for the University of Melbourne and Edith Cowan University.
Anita Spooner is an arts organiser and editor interested in film, performance, publishing and arts writing. She works as a producer at Next Wave and directs Free Association, a new platform for workshops and publishing. As Associate Producer at Next Wave Anita curates and produces public art, mentorship programs and public programs at the University of Melbourne and with Deakin University, focusing on interdisciplinary collaboration and experimental pedagogy. In her roles as Gallery Manager and Public Programs Coordinator at SEVENTH Gallery Anita coordinated inclusive and accessible workshops, talks and performance programs embracing risk and experimentation. Previously Anita has worked as Associate Editor at Millennium Film Journal New York, independent curator at Channels Festival, and directed Interval, a platform for programming and publishing expanded documentary practice. Anita is currently developing an autofictional novella through her research into telepathy, psychoanalysis, her Cuban heritage and her mother’s psychic diaries.
Stephen Palmer is an artist and writer living on Wurundjeri Country. He was a member of Artists’ Committee, was a co-facilitator of Light Projects ARI, and is currently a member of the Artists’ Union working group.
Madeleine Thornton-Smith has obtained various qualifications including a Bachelor of Arts/Visual Arts (Monash, 2013), Honours of Fine Art (Monash, 2014) and Diploma of Ceramics (Holmesglen, 2017). In 2017 she achieved First-Class Honours in Object-Based Practice (Ceramics) at RMIT. Madeleine has exhibited in various galleries throughout Melbourne, including Monash University, Topshelf gallery, Seventh, Lamington Drive and Craft Victoria.
Vicki Couzens is a prominent artist and Gunditjmara Keerray Woorroong woman from the Western Districts of Victoria, who plays an active role in promoting the culture of her people. She has served on the boards of the Koorie Heritage Trust Inc and the Victorian Corporation for Aboriginal Languages. A number of Vicki’s paintings have been acquired by the National Gallery of Victoria. Additionally, she has played a prominent role in major public art projects including birrarung wilam on the bank of the Yarra River in Melbourne with other Indigenous artists Treahna Hamm and Lee Darroch. She had a central role, as Artistic Director, of the statewide Possum Skin Cloak project which was presented during the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006.
Mig Dann is a Melbourne-based artist who is undertaking a practice-led PhD in the School of Art, RMIT University, Melbourne. Her art practice is multi-disciplinary and autobiographical, exploring and expressing issues of childhood trauma. Her work is informed by memory and forgetting, absence and presence, feminism, queer culture and decades of lived experience. She is particularly interested in how public art can create new and innovative relationships to existing sites.
Sara Lindsay is an artist and educator, working predominately in tapestry. She received her initial training at the Australian Tapestry Workshop where she held the positions of weaver and studio manager. She received an MA (Fine Art Research) from RMIT. She is currently developing a project to thank the nurses of the world - distributing garments that receivers embroider and then wear on their daily walks.
Chloé Hazelwood is a curator, arts writer and arts manager living and working on the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation.