Lismore Regional Gallery is committed to developing a strong program of offsite projects. This new direction recognizes diverse ways of presenting Art outside the gallery walls, with a strong focus on community engagement and to give new audiences access to art experiences.
BENNETT MILLER :: SPLENDOUR IN THE GRASS
In 2013, the Gallery continued its relationship with local music festival Splendour In The Grass through the presentation of a major interdisciplinary collaborative live art project, conceived by WA artist Bennett Miller. Miller has gained note around the globe for his captivating work, including Dachshund U.N., an installation involving live dachshunds representing each country of the United Nations. Miller has a background in producing works for the gallery but increasingly develops ‘living sculptures’ using live animals and most recently participants and the audience, making his practice very distinct.
BARNRAISER (2013), the first iteration of this ambitious project, saw a small community living and working within the festival grounds for the duration of the festival, one of Australia's largest music, arts and youth festivals. The work included the beginnings of a fully built barn, goat pen, two wagons and sculptural components, activated each day by performers building, crafting and working. The visual richness of this humble community forging its own footprint took place against and within the festival, setting up a contrast between behaviours.
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.
In 2014, RUMSPRINGER continued on from BARNRAISER, challenging and stirring unsuspecting audiences. RUMSPRINGER was a further development of Miller's initial idea, engaging over one hundred participants however this time inviting audiences inside the work, unfolding again over the three days.
The 3rd iteration, ANABAPTISTER (2015) allowed audiences once again to encounter a mysterious community of people living and working within the festival grounds, joined by a series of special guests giving one off performances in the barn. On the final day of the festival, members of this unique community were asked to decide between reaffirming their commitments in a special ceremony, or leaving their community behind for good.
This project has been assisted by the Department of Culture and the Arts through its ARTFLIGHT program.
Bennett Miller (WA) works across sculpture, installation, video and performance. He has a background producing works for the gallery, but increasingly also develops ‘living sculptures’ for festivals and outdoor contexts. Since 2010 Millers’ Dachshund UN has been presented in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth (AUS), Birmingham (UK), Toronto and Montreal (CAN). In 2012 Miller was included in New12 at ACCA, Melbourne and was a resident at Australia Council’s Greene St Studio, New York. In 2013 Miller presented Barnraiser at Splendour in the Grass, and undertook an Asialink residency at 3331 Arts Centre in Tokyo.
This project was seeded out of the Splendid initiative, a program managed by the Gallery in collaboration with Splendour and the Australia Council with the support of NORPA. Splendid ran from 2009 – 2012 and facilitated emerging inter-disciplinary artists to create new works for a festival context.
SPLENDOUR IN THE GRASS NEWART COMMISSION
This annual Splendour In The Grass NEWART Commission will support a new work to be exhibited as part of the curated Splendour Arts program. Lismore Regional Gallery & Splendour In The Grass will release national Call Out for artists to submit proposals to present work at the festival. $10,000 will fund the development and presentation of a new contemporary artwork in a dynamic environment that encourages critical thinking and experimentation.