UNSW Art & Design ANNUAL 18 Graduate Exhibition

 Image courtesy UNSW A&D

Image courtesy UNSW A&D

Opening to the public on Tuesday 27th from 5pm, UNSW Art & Design's ANNUAL Graduate Exhibition is Australia's largest and most diverse showcase of graduate contemporary art, design and creative media work.

The A&D ANNUAL 18 features an unmatched array of exciting new work from participating creatives, including: animation, film, photography, sound, digital media, and graphic design, as well as painting, sculpture, object design, printmaking, textiles, spatial design, ceramics, jewellery, and more.

This year up to 200 emerging creative practitioners will present their final projects across seven venues, including UNSW Galleries, Kudos Gallery, AD Space, Black Box, Interactive Media Lab, The Lecture Theatre and Makerspace: Virtual Reality Lab.

 Annual 18. courtesy UNSW A&D

Annual 18. courtesy UNSW A&D

We are always excited to reconnect with UNSW alumni on our Paddington campus. All UNSW alumni who RSVP will receive a free drink upon arrival.

Vale Richard Gill AO

In late October we heard the sad news that conductor, composer and Sydney Conservatorium educator Richard Gill passed away. We thank Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney for their kind permission to share their moving acknowledgement of the contribution that he made to Australian music. 

A lifetime championing music education

Maestro Richard Gill has passed away at the age of 76, leaving behind a legacy of contribution to Australian orchestras, choirs, opera and music education.

The Sydney Conservatorium of Music community mourns the loss of celebrated conductor, composer and educator Richard Gill AO. On Saturday 28 October, over 70 musicians, including many from the Conservatorium, gathered on the street outside his inner-west home to perform his favourite song, The Dam Busters March. Richard passed away the following day.

“It is with great sadness that our musical community has heard of the passing of Richard Gill,” Conservatorium Head of School and Dean, Professor Anna Reid stated. “There is not a staff member, student or musician from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music that has not had a stunning and positive musical encounter with him.”

Richard came to music later than most, taking his first piano lesson at 13. After deciding to pursue ambitions to become a concert pianist, he auditioned for the Sydney Conservatorium of Music only to be told he needed to complete Grade 6 theory before he would be considered. He did it, and this time he got in.

“It was like mecca; the Conservatorium was the ultimate in music training,” he told the ABC.

“My first day there was truly amazing, I had my lesson at two o’clock with Dallas Haslam, who was a fantastic teacher and that was truly one of the most terrifying experiences in my life. At six o’clock we had choir and we did the Plague Chorus from Handel's Israel in Egypt. I had never held a piece of choral music in my hand before … all my music had been learned by ear … so that was my first sight-reading lesson.”

After graduating with a music education degree in the early 1960s, he went on to study at the Orff Institute of the Mozarteum in Salzburg. He then returned to the Sydney Conservatorium of Music from 1975 to 1982 to teach, leaving many within Australia’s music community with fond memories of their time as his student.

“I always considered him the best teacher I had when I was a student – without him I would never have been able to walk in two, clap in three, move my head in five, and sing in solfege all at the same time," Professor Anna Reid said.  

She continued, “We have all experienced his passion for music and education and he has formed us into who we are today.”

He went on to become one of Australia’s leading authorities in the Orff Schulwerk method of music education. Richard believed all children should have access to music education and championed this teaching philosophy, which breaks down the barriers between learning and play.

Among many other significant leadership positions, Richard was made Dean of the Western Australian Conservatorium of Music in 1984 and Director of Chorus for Opera Australia in 1990. He founded Victorian Opera in 2005 and in 2014 he was appointed as Musical Director of Sydney Chamber Choir.

Richard Gill has gifted generations of musicians with his infectious passion, and the Conservatorium endeavours to continue supporting his vision for all children to have the opportunity to learn from a qualified music teacher. 

“We can only give our thanks for the time we have had with him and celebrate the simply incalculable contribution he has made to music,” Professor Reid said.

Reproduced with permission from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, The University of Sydney. (https://sydney.edu.au/music/news-and-events/2018/10/30/vale-richard-gill-oam.html)

Four Memos to Myself: Things I’ve known, wish I’d known, have learned, unlearned or forgotten

Cultural power is most certainly not new to our continent. Culture through its expression and practice has not just been central to all facets of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander life; it sits, as it should for all of us, at the threshold to belief and knowledge, even existence itself. Culture animates the past, every present day and the future.

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Valuing the everyday for cultural democracy - how research can support better arts and culture policy

How do national policies support cultural democracy and equity through arts funding and strategic programmes? What does ‘achieving great arts and culture for everyone’ mean if only a small percentage of people engage with the most subsidised of the arts? What kinds of participation happen in the ‘everyday’? How do people value the activities that make up their cultural lives? And what happens when you undertake a large-scale academic research project which aims to radically re-evaluate cultural value for more culturally democratic governance?

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Editorial: Australia’s arts and culture policy: The state of play

In the same month that government interference in the peer review process for research in the Arts and Humanities was revealed, and the Australia Council reported that the Arts provides a bigger tourist drawcard than sport, Cricket Australia’s governance problems hit the headlines. Guess which issue got the greatest coverage?

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Cultural and creative activity worth over $111 billion to Australia’s economy in 2016-17

New analysis released by the Bureau for Communications and Arts Research (BCAR) shows that in 2016-17 cultural and creative activity contributed $111.7 billion to the Australian economy with the largest contributors being design and fashion. Although this represents 6.4 percent of GDP, the report notes that this is actually a decline from 2008-9 when cultural and creative activity represented 6.9 percent of GDP. The working paper includes statistical comparisons and analysis of the period 2008-9 to 2016-17, including by cultural and creative activity domain. It is available at: https://www.communications.gov.au/publications/cultural-and-creative-activity-australia-2008-09-2016-17

Holiday reading for jazz researchers

Any Jazz researchers looking to take time out from their practice with a bit of reading over the break might be interested in a new book released by Rob Burke (Monash) and Andrys Onsman (Melbourne). Rob has provided some further information on the book published by Routledge below and information on how to access/ order is available at: https://www.routledge.com/Experimentation-in-Improvised-Jazz-Chasing-Ideas/Onsman-Burke/p/book/9781138316676

Experimentation in Improvised Jazz: Chasing Ideas challenges the notion that in the twenty-first century, jazz can be restrained by a singular, static definition. The worldwide trend for jazz to be marginalised by the mainstream music industry, as well as conservatoriums and schools of music, runs the risk of stifling the innovative and challenging aspects of its creativity. The authors argue that to remain relevant, jazz needs to be dynamic, proactively experimental, and consciously facilitate new ideas to be made accessible to an audience broader than the innovators themselves. Experimentation in Improvised Jazz explores key elements of experimental jazz music in order to discern ways in which the genre is developing. 

The book begins with an overview of where, when and how new ideas in free and improvised jazz have been created and added to the canon, developing the genre beyond its initial roots. It moves on to consider how and why musicians create free and improvised jazz; the decisions they make while playing. What are they responding to? What are they depending on? What are they thinking? The authors analyse and synthesise the creation of free jazz by correlating the latest research to the reflections provided by some of the world’s greatest jazz innovators for this project. Finally, the book examines how we respond to free and improvised jazz: artistically, critically and personally. Free jazz is, the book argues, an environment that develops through experimentation with new ideas.

Advice for prospective arts students

ArtsHub has produced a useful guide to prospective students in the process of selecting their tertiary study program and institution. Based on responses from educators and industry professionals to the question: “What is the one key piece of advice you would offer secondary school students to help them in making the best decision for their tertiary study options?”, key pieces of advice stress the need to be informed, passionate, determined and authentic and keep an eye on industry and post study options. The full article can be accessed via ArtsHub at: https://www.artshub.com.au/education/news-article/sponsored-content/arts-education/richard-watts/why-choosing-a-tertiary-course-is-like-homework-for-your-future-256877