Creativity and resilience win out! The 2020 SeeChange Jervis Bay Arts Festival is going ahead from Saturday 30 May to Monday 08 June.
Unsurprisingly, the rippling effects of the bushfires in the Shoalhaven over many months have impacted our annual community arts festival. Local businesses and benefactors are not in a position to provide the expected financial and in-kind support. The capacity of key personnel to volunteer their energy, time and skills to make the festival happen is diminished, but as Sydney Festival Director, Wesley Enoch, says:
“At times like this, the importance of gathering as a community is self-evident, and I firmly believe that artists, and the arts, play a vital role in giving us strength and supporting resilience.”
As our festival’s director, I wholeheartedly agree. Our dedicated volunteer organisers are committed to presenting a festival this winter that is of its particular time and place in the Shoalhaven.
On a smaller scale, with a simpler program of events, SeeChange 2020 has a quieter more contemplative flavour than recent years. This year’s festival offers a collection of arts experiences not only shaped to give us strength and support resilience but also to surprise the eyes, stimulate the mind and make the heart sing.
Present Now immersive arts space
This year the popular physical hub and artistic heart of SeeChange – The Haven – is housing a dynamic, multi-faceted arts project, Present Now. Over the 10 day span of the festival 10 of the Shoalhaven’s most engaging environmental artists are exhibiting, making works of art and words on site, inviting you to work with them and try your hand at their methods, giving talks, guiding walks, sharing how they see our changing world and our place in it.
If ever a SeeChange Festival embodied its name, it is now.
The Present Now artists are smart, clever, insightful, wonderfully diverse, genuinely creative; sometimes serious, sometimes playful, often both. Arriving at The Haven on any given day you may also find present now, musicians, singers, dancers, writers and poets – improvising, composing, creating, performing and leading activities you are invited to take part in.
You’ll also find space for a leisurely, restorative cuppa alongside the SeeChange shop where you can browse and buy art, craft, design, publications, thinking tools, and intriguing miscellanea produced by local makers. All sales support our local arts community.
Present Now is a rare and beautiful opportunity to immerse yourself in a creative space of boundless possibilities where the mind can stretch, discover, learn, shift and adapt.
The full festival program is taking shape, reaffirming the richness and variety of cultural arts to be found in the Shoalhaven. Along the festival ArtPath you will find the Making Community exhibition at Sandholme Guesthouse, Huskisson, the Outdoor Environmental Sculpture competition in Tomerong hosted by award winning artist Akira Kamada, and a string of shows selling diverse art, craft, and design. Look forward to a variety of events and activities: music recitals; workshops; performances; talks; guided walks; culinary experiences, and more …
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In her opinion piece, Apocalypse Shoalhaven,* Mayor Amanda Findley, spoke of economic support for our region’s tourist industry and the need for visitors to return to the region when the time is right.
The time is right … joins us at SeeChange 2020.
Dr Natalie McDonagh / Festival Director
* Sydney Morning Herald / 07 January 2020
SeeChange 2020 identity Present Now: Design Natalie McDonagh/drawn from artworks by Barbara Dawson