Inhalare exhibition opens

An immersive environmental art experience for everyone

An exhibition now open until mid-June at SPACE in Coonabarabran not only celebrates the connections artists across regional NSW have made with the natural world during times of restricted movement, but it provides an immersive experience for everyone through multiple points of connection with the artworks.

Inhalare/ breathe upon is a project and exhibition of sound, text and visual artworks by Andrew Hull (Bourke), Jason Richardson (Leeton), Danja Derkenne (Little Forest), Dr Greg Pritchard (Wagga Wagga), Anna Glynn (Jaspers Brush), Kim V. Goldsmith (Dubbo), Vicki Luke (Albury), Carol Archer (Bulahdelah), Amanda Donohue (Lake Macquarie), Clementine Belle McIntosh (Gilgandra), Libby Wakefield (Bowral) and Evelyn Alvarez (Coonabarabran).

In the first stage of the project, six of the artists were briefed to create works that would allow audiences to hear, feel, and even taste the places they’d become familiar with during COVID lockdowns or times of restricted movement. The soundscapes and 150-word texts produced were then sent to six visual artists to create an artwork in response, without being able to visit in person.

Early in the project’s development, it was agreed as many people as possible should be able to experience the works created, in turn providing an experience of the environments at their heart. SPACE gallery director, artist and accessible arts advocate, Allison Reynolds has worked with the group to provide advice and guidance on creating audio recordings and audio descriptions of the text and visual artworks, as well as providing a range of supports in the gallery.

“Art is an experience, and it is so important to me personally and to SPACE and its mission, to ensure all facets of the experience are available to everyone by designing the exhibition with that in mind from day dot,” said Ms Reynolds.

“SPACE is the only disabled-run gallery in regional, rural, and remote New South Wales and we look to lead galleries in moving past passive visual consumption of contemporary art and other artforms.”

CEO of Accessible Arts, the State’s peak arts and disability organisation, Liz Martin said, “It’s a very exciting initiative for the sector and with the group gaining a Regional Arts Fund grant where they’ll be collecting data around the visitor experience of the exhibition, providing us all with valuable insights on the importance of accessibility and experience for artists and visitors to any community.”

The exhibition is being promoted widely to travellers on the Newell Highway and day-trippers to Coonabarabran as being accessible with the assistance of a recently awarded Cultural Tourism Accelerator (CTA) Experience Marketing Campaign Grant provided by Regional Arts NSW through the Regional Arts Fund, an Australian Government initiative.

Inhalare/breathe upon has also been supported by the NSW Government through a Create NSW Covid Development Grant (Stage 1), the Australian Cultural Fund (Stage 2), and additional project and exhibition support has been provided by Orana Arts, and SPACE.

Inhalare/breathe upon is at SPACE from 15 May to 16 June. The official opening is at 3pm on Saturday, 11 June.