Kyneton Contemporary Inc. is a non-profit, non-hierarchical, volunteer run organisation established in 2016 by nine local artists, curators and arts workers living in the regional Victorian town of Kyneton. We are eleven committee members from across the Central Victoria region working to achieve our ambitious goals through collaborative endeavour. Each member brings a high level of professional skill and experience and we aim to foster a supportive environment where labour and decision-making is shared and individual strengths are maximised.
The Kyneton Contemporary Inc. collective serves as a catalyst to activate an authentic relationship between contemporary art and the social fabric of our community. We are dedicated to cultivating quality arts practice, meaningful community engagement and capacity building in regional Victoria. We work to bring contemporary ideas, artists and artwork to our hometown to inspire, educate and engage our local community and its visitors, as well as facilitate opportunities for artistic and professional development for artists and arts workers.
By presenting a dynamic program of high-quality events we aim to build upon existing and grow new audiences for arts and culture within our community as well as draw attention to the creative profile of our region and the work of invited artists whose practice we admire and value. At the heart of what we do is a simple and unerring belief in the power of art to effect change, to create opportunities for artists and audiences, and to open conversation.
The primary endeavour of Kyneton Contemporary Inc. is the Kyneton Contemporary Art Triennial. ‘Holding the Circle’ builds on the successful delivery of the inaugural ‘Force Fields’ held in 2018. Working with the same fundamental model – an art-led, artist-focused platform that celebrates contemporary art in a quotidian setting to inspire, educate, build capacity and drive community wellbeing – this second iteration of the Triennial will present the work of eleven Australian artists across mostly unconventional exhibition sites and locations in the town of Kyneton in central Victoria.
Each exhibiting artist has been commissioned to make new work that explores ideas of place and community within a context sensitive approach and are encouraged to spend time in Kyneton in the lead up to the event. This offers a unique professional development experience and inspiration through sustained research and opportunities for authentic community and site engagement.
Kyneton is located on Dja Dja Wurrung and Taungurung Country with the Campaspe river a border between Traditional Lands. It is a town in the Macedon Ranges Shire Council of central Victoria, Australia, approximately 91 kilometres from Melbourne, on the Bendigo train line. As of the census in 2016 the population of Kyneton was 7000.
Kyneton is a town in transition; a burgeoning peri-urban community vibrating atop ancient land embedded with layers of histories and human stories that have led to the shape and tenor of the present. Land forged through tectonic shifts, swells of molten rock, melting glaciers and lava flows. Land named, sung and sophisticatedly cultivated for millennia by the First Peoples, whose descendants are its ongoing custodians and remain deeply and inseparably connected to it.
Bordered on its west and south by the Campaspe river, the European settlement, known as Kyneton, was gazetted in 1850. It bears the iconic markers of a colonial society, and once operated as a supply centre for surrounding agricultural communities and a stopping point for those on route to the nearby goldfields. Today, it is a fully self-functioning regional centre that feels like a small country town and a highly connected international location. In recent years it has become home to many who have relocated from urban areas and has gained a reputation as a creatively vibrant community.
- Clare Needham,
- Clare Needham has worked collaboratively with a breadth of Australian and international artists, fellow curators, cultural collections and diverse community groups to realise many large and small-scale exhibitions, socially engaged projects, public programs and creative commissions over the last ten years. Since 2012, she has been a curator at Bendigo Art Gallery leading the development and delivery of new exhibitions from the historical to the contemporary. Previous roles include Exhibition Program and Education Manager at Experimenta Media Arts, where she managed two national tours of the International Biennial of Media Art and co-curated the Asialink/Experiementa partnership exhibition ‘Selectively Revealed’ that toured to South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. Clare is a founding member of Kyneton Contemporary Inc.
- Ross Taylor,
- Ross Taylor is a visual artist with 15 years experience in exhibition installation and project management. He has worked at numerous public and private art galleries and museums in England and was senior technician at the National Gallery of Victoria 2009 – 2016. He has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Australia, USA, Japan, UK and Germany, including most recently ‘Field Notes’, Bendigo Art Gallery (Victoria AU) and ‘Making Paradise’, Aga Khan (London, UK). He was recently nominated for the Sovereign Asian Art Prize (Hong Kong 2021) by Claire Richardson (Executive Director, ACCA, Melbourne, AU). His work is held in public and private collections in Australia and the UK. Ross set up his studio and home in Kyneton in 2015 a founding member of Kyneton Contemporary Inc.
- Michael Needham,
- Michael Needham has been a practicing visual artist for close to 20 years. He has shown nationally and internationally in numerous group and solo exhibitions including recently at La Trobe Art Institute, Bendigo (Victoria AU); Bendigo Art Gallery (Victoria AU); Mildura Arts Centre (Victoria AU); Spring 1883 at The Hotel Windsor (Melbourne AU); and Plimsoll Gallery, University of Tasmania (Hobart AU). Michael’s practice fuses drawing, object-making and sculptural installation that responds to specific sites and cultural contexts. His work explores myth, belief and residual melancholia in the contemporary psyche, repeatedly focusing on uncanny sensibilities around mimicry and memorialisation. Michael has a PhD (Fine Art) from the Australian Catholic University and is a founding member of Kyneton Contemporary Inc.
- Lizzie Graham,
- Lizzie Graham is an emerging professional in the arts industry. Having completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Museum Studies and Cultural Heritage Studies she gained experience in a range of cultural organisations across Victoria including the Melbourne Museum. Having a background in ancient and medieval art history, Lizzie has gained an appreciation for contemporary art - particularly by artists a bit closer to home. Most recently, she took on the role of Volunteer Coordinator and Production Assistant at the Ballarat International Foto Biennale in 2021 after volunteering on the Events and Public Programming team in 2019. Lizzie is currently exploring her interests outside of traditional museum and gallery spaces and the ways in which festivals invigorate regional areas.
- Kent Wilson,
- Kent Wilson is a curator, artist and writer with experience in public institutions, commercial galleries and recently as a University Senior Curator. Collaborative, energetic and analytical, Kent works closely with stakeholders to leverage maximum impact for mutally beneficial ends. Experienced in writing policy and procedure for government, non-profits and corporates, he applies a holistic approach to analysing organizational behaviours and developing strategic methologies. He is committed to building capacity within the industry for ongoing strength and sustainability, based on ethical philosophies of engagement.
- Liza Martin,
- Liza Martin has extensive experience working with artists and cultural collections. Her career in the arts began when working as an Exhibition Preparator at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. Since relocating to Australia in 2009, Liza has worked as a picture framer, exhibition installer and a freelance collection manager. She maintains a long-standing relationship working in these various roles at The Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne. Since moving to Kyneton, she has worked as Production Manager for the Ballarat International Foto Biennale. Liza has a Graduate Diploma in Cultural Heritage & Museum Studies from Deakin University and enjoys when she gets the chance to install contemporary visual art in unconventional heritage spaces.
- Elizabeth Barnett,
- Elizabeth Barnett is an artist living and working in the Macedon Ranges. Her practice encompasses printmaking, painting and drawing, depicting botanicals to domestic scenes in celebratory, contemplative dynamic compositions and colour. Elizabeth studied a Bachelor of Fine Arts Printmaking at The Victorian College of the Arts; a Bachelor Fine Arts Honours - Printmaking, RMIT; a Masters of Arts- Illustration, Camberwell College of Art, London; and was awarded the Collie Print Trust scholarship at the Australian Print Workshop. Elizabeth worked at Printmaker Gallery and Melbourne Etching supplies from 2003 - 2008 where she gained an extensive knowledge of printmaking tools, techniques, conservation and framing. From 2009-2010 Elizabeth worked at Melbourne Artist Supplies in Melbourne. Elizabeth founded Schoolhouse Studios Inc with Alice Glenn in 2010, a not-for profit artist studio complex in Abbotsford, where they held a large-scale exhibition ‘Place of Assembly’ as part of the 2012 Melbourne International Arts Festival.
- Angela Connor,
- Angela Connor has worked in the arts for the last fifteen years, including as Director of Seventh Gallery and Manager of ARC ONE Gallery. She has lived for extended periods in Amsterdam and Berlin, and has written for the contemporary art magazine Berlin Art Link. From 2017 – 2021 she worked as Studio Manager to Robert Owen, working on temporary and permanent public art commissions both in Australia and internationally, as well as significant solo exhibitions in public institutions. Angela is Editor of ‘Robert Owen: A Book of Encounters’, a major monograph published by Perimeter Editions and launched as part of a survey exhibition at Heide Museum of Modern Art (2021). She has her Master of Fine Arts from the Victorian College of Arts, University of Melbourne, and was awarded the KPMG Award for her research.
- Lee Brennan,
- Lee Brennan has 22 years experience in the financial services industry, focusing on portfolio management, renewable energy investing and social impact investing. He currently sits on the investment committee for Future Super. Lee has also been a yoga teacher for 13 years, and currently lives in Kyneton with his young family.
- Jud Wimhurst,
- Jud Wimhurst references pop and street culture as a mode of social commentary exploring ideas of consumption, choice and mortality. He is process-driven, hand building, casting and applying slick commercial finishes to objects in his home studio. Jud Wimhurst lives and works in Kyneton and has a Bachelor of Fine Art from RMIT University. Recent solo exhibitions include, ‘Protection’ at the La Trobe University Visual Arts Centre, Bendigo, ‘Safe/Secure’ at [MARS] Gallery, Melbourne and ‘Future Primitive’ at the 2012 Melbourne Art Fair. Jud’s work has also been included in group exhibitions at TarraWarra Museum of Art, Healesville, McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park, Langwarrin and Bayside Arts and Cultural Centre, Brighton. His work is held in a number of public and private collections including Deakin University, The Macquarie Group and Art Bank.
- Carly Wilson,
- Carly Wilson is a Kyneton based creative who has lived and worked in the region for 12 years. She was a Founding Director of The Makers Collective, a store that provided an outlet for locally designed artisan products. Wilson has extensive experience coordinating volunteers for not-for-profit social enterprises, in addition to managing the volunteering team for the Inaugural KCAT festival.
She is passionate about bringing creative events to regional towns that strengthen and energise the community.
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