Local artists are 'Provoking Change' with Mackay exhibition launch

07 July 2022

An innovative transmedia exhibition blurred boundaries between physical and virtual media for Mackay audiences at CQUniversity's Gallery*31 last night (Wednesday' 6 July).

Hosted as a part of the Mackay Festival of Arts' the contemporary collection of works titled' Provoking Change blended physical objects with digital experience with the aim to broaden the community's perception of technology in art.

The free exhibition is in partnership with CQUniversity' the Regional Arts Services Network (RASN) and the Mackay and Whitsunday Regional Councils through the Regional Arts Development Fund (RDAF).

The launch event attracted more than 70 attendees including Mackay leaders and residents' as well as staff and students from CQUniversity.

CQUniversity lecturer and Gallery*31 Curator' Glenda Hobdell said the exhibition was a culmination of three years of creative collaboration between local artists' research participants and arts educators as a part of her PhD in Creative Arts Practice.

"I have been working with digital technologies in my own arts practice and teaching for around 30 years - technology offers a powerful medium for creating immersive and engaging experiences for audiences'" she said.

"This research has brought professional development opportunities to regional educators beyond what is normally available in schools' with an aim to better prepare teachers to innovatively integrate technologies into practice."

A large-scale' immersive' outdoor installation titled Anthropocene' a result of the (re)action: states of change project will be presented for audiences to close the exhibition in late July.

"Anthropocene is a response to the artists' collective experience in the coral reef environs of the Mackay-Whitsundays region.

"The work aimed to create a sense of wonder' reverence' belonging' and awe of the reef while raising critical environmental considerations'" Ms Hobdell said.

"This work will travel to Airlie Beach as a key foreshore artwork to be featured in the annual Great Barrier Reef Festival in August."

CQUniversity Assoc Vice-President North Queensland Region and Chair in Automation and Future Work Skills' Professor Pierre Viljoen said CQU was proud to support the art project that created a meaningful impact throughout the community.

"The variety of works created a memorable night for audiences and emphasised the University's view that art is a way of bringing people together through sharing diverse ways of looking at the world'" he said.

The Provoking Change exhibition is open daily' 10am – 3pm until 28 July.

Floor talks are available at 10am' 9 -10 July' to provide insight into artist's processes and intentions behind the work' with a focus on the diverse range of techniques and successful collaborative development.

Tickets are limited. Register via' https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/provoking-change-exhibition-opening-and-floortalks-registration-274618199427