SA artists gather for Artlands: Australia's largest regional arts event

​On the first two days of September, South Australian artists and arts workers gathered at Council's arts hub, Fabrik, to participate in Artlands Lobethal.

Artlands, Australia's largest regional arts gathering, is presented every two years in regional areas around the country, however with COVID travel restrictions was this year presented as a hybrid of several regional, in-person settings and live-streamed virtual experiences. Fabrik in Lobethal was chosen to be one of the five regional settings.

The past 18 months have been a challenging time for the arts, as with many industries affected by the pandemic, and the Artlands gathering offered an opportunity for South Australian creatives to network and be nourished by creative activity and informative presentations.

In addition to live-streamed presentations from interstate, Artlands Lobethal presented an immersive program with a focus on First Nations and artist-led sessions.

As part of opening the program Uncle Mickey Kumatpi O'Brien, a Senior Kaurna man, challenged the audience to consider the integration of traditional perspectives into contemporary lives.

"Many participants shared that they experienced a profound shift in their understanding of First Nations knowledge and wisdom," said Fabrik Director Melinda Rankin.

"And having Aunty Ellen Trevorrow teaching the weaving of Ngarrindjeri baskets nearby with her message of 'stitch by stitch, all things are connected', I think we all left with a better understanding of the relevance of First Nations culture in our everyday lives."

Other activities held over the two days included the creation of a group mural, nature mandalas, a First Nations-led poetry workshop, and communal mending.

Refreshments for the event were locally sourced from Lobethal businesses Amberlight Cafe and Emma & Ivy, as well as other businesses based in the former Onkaparinga Woollen Mill, including Emmalines, Udder Delights, and Besa Juices.

Artlands Lobethal was made possible thanks to Regional Arts Australia, Country Arts SA, and Fabrik Arts + Heritage, with support from Arts South Australia.

Participants in face masks try their hand at weaving grasses
Council acknowledges that we conduct our business on the traditional lands and waters of the Peramangk and Kaurna people. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging as the Custodians of this ancient and beautiful land.
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