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Firstdraft 2017–2018 Exhibitions, Curators and Writers Program

Posted on: May 16th, 2017 by firstdraftadmin No Comments

Congratulations to the artists, curators and writers included in our June 2017–February 2018 program! We can’t wait to work with you!

Exhibitions:

Pamela Arce

Margaret Brink

Dale Buckley

Katherine Corcoran

Cybele Cox

Linda Dement + Stephen Wright

Kalanjay Dhir

Nikolaus Dolman

James Farley

Jessica Ekomane + Jasmine Guffond + Silje Nes

Alison Groves + Tomorrow Girls Troop

Hannah Hallam Eames + Samuel Jackson

Oliver Hull

Laura Hunt

Guy Louden + Loren Kronemyer + Dan McCabe

Holly Macdonald

Emily Morandini

Rhiannon Newton

Jimmy Nuttall + Nick Smith

Thea Perkins

Aaron Rees

Brenton Alexander Smith

Tyza Stewart

Denise Thwaites + Masaharu Sato

Min Wong

Yiorgo Yiannopoulos

Curators:

Willurai Kirkbright & Okapi Neon

Sarah Rees

Talia Smith

Writers:

Hana Aoake + Callum Delvin

Barbara Karpinski

Vincent Silk

CASTING CALL FOR ROGUE AGENTS BAND

Posted on: March 20th, 2017 by firstdraftadmin No Comments
  • Rogue Agents. Image courtesy Auto Italia South East & Pablo Jones-Soler

FIRSTDRAFT + AUTO ITALIA SOUTH EAST NEED YOU!

Rogue Agents—our band of 4 members—prepare to evacuate Earth, destination: TRAPPIST-1 for an intergalactic out-of-this-world rave. Whilst conditions on Earth demand relocation of the majority of its inhabitants, our four intrepid space explorers seek extra-terrestrial solace, community in dance, a rave for when the world ends.

We are casting for 4 performers to take on the roles of the band members of Rogue Agents as part of a new artwork, led by Auto Italia with contributions from a wide range of Australian, UK and international artists (full list below).

Rogue Agents will culminate in a Live Night at Firstdraft Sydney on April 1st 2017, where our “band” will perform, following a script generated by the contributors. No singing experience is necessary to take on a role of a band member, though certain moments will require lip syncing to music.

Project outline:

Rogue Agents is a group project seeking to collectively uncover ideas around figures that can disrupt, subvert and redirect power. From historical and folkloric interpretations of witchcraft to bio-technologies and body hacking, Rogue Agents will explore alternative models of being and desiring.

Auto Italia invite you to the Firstdraft coven to collectively (fore)cast disruptive new configurations for the codification of our future bodies, seeking agency in new modes of technological shapeshifting. Through image making, textiles production, and live music, Rogue Agents will explore transgressive new possibilities for harnessing collective imagination to explore fictional, esoteric and latent modes of self-representation.

Casting information:

We are particularly interested in casting actors/performers for the 4 band characters who are open to working with visual artists within an unusual format. This is not a play, nor is it a live gig – but maybe it’s a fusion of the two. We would like to work closely with you over a day of workshops to collectively bring the band to life. We are interested in auditioning people at all stages in their careers, from all backgrounds who are interested in being a part of this project. We are aiming to foster a culture of diversity and inclusivity with the Rogue Agents project and therefore strongly encourage applications from underrepresented groups. This is a paid opportunity.

We’d love to talk more with those interested in auditioning – please send an expression of interest with a brief CV and details regarding your artist’s fee to emily@firstdraft.org.au and we will be in touch. Successful applicants would need to be available to audition on March 23rd, workshop ideas together on March 24th, for dress rehearsals on March 31 and the live performance on April 1st.

Rogue Agents collaborating artists:

Australia – Holly Childs, Linda Dement, Angela Goh, Spence Messih, Bhenji Ra.
International – Pablo Jones-Soler, Mette Hammer Juhl + Lorenzo Tebano, Victoria Sin
Auto Italia artists – Marleen Boschen, Marianne Forrest, Edward Gillman.

Kuba Dorabialski appointed as Program Officer

Posted on: June 16th, 2016 by firstdraftadmin No Comments

Firstdraft would like to welcome Kuba Dorabialski to the team as our new Program Officer!  Kuba Dorabialski is an artist and writer with a soft spot for revolutionary politics and an even softer spot for modernist poetics. He is currently a MFA candidate at UNSW, Art and Design.

Thank You & Farewell to the 2014-15 Firstdraft Directorate

Posted on: March 4th, 2016 by firstdraftadmin No Comments

The 2015-16 Firstdraft Directorate would like to thank the outgoing Directorate of 2014-15 — Kate Britton, Elliott Bryce Foulkes, Jane Gillespie, and Tulleah Pearce — for their hard work, commitment and passion.

This Directorate leaves Firstdraft in wonderful shape. Thanks to the tireless efforts of our Grants Committee, led-by Jane Gillespie and Tulleah Pearce, the organisation has secured Multi-year Program Funding from Arts NSW for 2016-18, enabling the organisation to continue to grow and develop new ways to support experimental and emerging artists. We were also able to continue to support rent-free shows for artists in 2014-15, an initiative we are incredibly proud of and one we will continue to develop in the coming years.

2015 also saw the development of our Public Programs, with Firstdraft’s Live Nights providing an exciting outlet for the performance, sound, installation and critical thinking. Kate and Tulleah’s passion for rigorous and celebratory live programs must be acknowledged. It is a testament to their hard work that Firstdraft’s Live Nights have become a cornerstone of our programming.

In his role as resident designer, Elliott developed a sharp aesthetic for Firstdraft’s messaging that was both clear and refined. In his role on the Media Committee, Elliott also worked to strengthen Firstdraft’s public profile and build relations across the arts sector. 2015 also saw Firstdraft undertake an international outreach trip to attend Supermarket ARI Fair and meet with other Artist Run Initiatives across Europe. Elliott was a wonderful representative for the organisation on this trip, building lasting relationships with a number of international organisations that we hope to develop in the coming years.

2015 was a hugely successful year — the annual fundraising auction was our best to date, thanks to the efforts of the directors in reaching out to the Firstdraft community artists, and in hanging a beautiful show. The 2015 auction effort was led by the wonderful Jane Gillespie, whose organisational initiative ensured the auction ran seamlessly. Jane was also responsible for managing and building our volunteer program and she has continued to develop the wonderful sense of community that is integral to Firstdraft’s operations.

Our program continues to move from strength to strength and this was reflected in the increased number of application in 2015. The outgoing board played a major role in shaping and supporting Firstdraft’s diverse and exciting program, encouraging a wide variety of practices and constantly questioning what constitutes experimental and emerging practice.

Kate, Elliott, Jane and Tulleah have contributed countless hours of hard work and dedication to ensure that Firstdraft’s vision will continue to well into the future. They were wonderful mentors for us in our first year and we wish you all the best in your post-Firstdraft lives.

Stop in for a Mountain Goat or two with us soon!

2016 volunteer callout!

Posted on: January 7th, 2016 by firstdraftadmin No Comments

Volunteers at Firstdraft are regularly immersed in the activities of one of Australia’s foremost institutions committed to supporting emerging artists. Firstdraft hosts regular exhibition openings and artist talks, and produces a range of public programs and live events that require the assistance of a large team of hardworking and dedicated volunteers. Though gallery invigilation is their primary duty, the people who keep our doors open are the key to our organisation. As the first point of contact for visitors to Firstdraft, we aim to develop our team of volunteers into reliable and professional members of the art community.

There are many reasons to become a Firstdraft Volunteer, but perhaps the most important one is the opportunity to facilitate a community around contemporary art practice. If you would like to know more about Firstdraft’s Volunteer Program, please email us at: volunteers@firstdraft.org.au. If you are interested in joining our vibrant team of Volunteers, please complete the application form below – hopefully we’ll see you down at Firstdraft very soon!

Volunteer

Firstdraft Volunteers are asked to commit at least nine hours of gallery minding per exhibition. These can be completed as separate shifts of three hours or in six hour day shifts. Volunteers are based in our fully equipped office in Woolloomooloo, often working directly alongside Directors, exhibiting artists and our Gallery Manager. If you have a current Responsible Service of Alcohol Certificate (RSA) you will also be able to tend bar at our openings.
  • Your best daytime contact number e.g. your mobile number
  • Please describe your most recent/relevant volunteering experience, within galleries or other arts related industry (max 150 words)
    Firstdraft rosters volunteer in 3-6 hour gallery minding shifts, depending on their availability. Check the boxes above to indicate your general availability.
  • You must have an RSA in order to serve alcohol at FIrstdraft exhibition openings.

New Directors Announcement

Posted on: November 16th, 2015 by firstdraftadmin No Comments

We are delighted to announce the 2016/17 Firstdraft Board of Directors:  

Consuelo Cavaniglia, Flora Grant, Alex Kiers and Emily O’Connor.

They join Andrew Brooks, Anna McMahon, Spence Messih and Gina Mobayed as Firstdraft continues to present innovative work across our exhibition, curators’, writers’ and Firstdraft Presents program streams.

We hope you can join us at our annual end of year party next Friday November 27, OUROBOROS: THE END IS THE BEGINNING IS THE END PARTY, curated by Justin Shoulder, to help welcome them to the fold!

 

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Call for materials!

Posted on: November 12th, 2015 by firstdraftadmin No Comments

Sydney artists Rebecca Gallo and Connie Anthes are conducting a live art-making relay as part of their December exhibition at Firstdraft Gallery in Woolloomooloo, Sydney. Starting with nothing but a basic toolkit, they are calling on the generosity of audiences and collectors to donate materials for them to work with throughout their 3-week project. These materials can be anything: a piece of wood, metal, plastic or paper; a hand-me-down, rubbish or a cup of coffee; an idea, a conversation or an expert’s advice.

The first donations will be accepted from 6pm on Opening Night, Wednesday 2 December 2015 at Firstdraft Gallery, 13-15 Riley Street, Woolloomooloo, until 5pm on Thursday 17 December 2015.

For more information, visit firstdraft.org.au/exhibitions/makeorbreak/ or contact rebecca@rebeccagallo.com.au

 

 

2015 Writers’ Program – Elena Gomez and Tom Melick

Posted on: May 31st, 2015 by firstdraftadmin No Comments

The Firstdraft Writers’ Program seeks to foster an expanded arts writing practice, whereby writers are positioned alongside artists as both makers and thinkers. It welcomes writers exploring the intersection of the critical and the creative; the text and its enunciation; and text as both idea and material.

As part of the Firstdraft Writers’ Program, writers are engaged in a three-month professional development program, producing experimental texts to be presented at the conclusion of their residency. These texts can take any number of forms – print, digital or performed; critical or otherwise; responsive to exhibitions or independent.

Elena Gomez and Tom Melick are currently participating in the Firstdraft Writers’ Program. You can read more about their projects by clicking the links below.

Elena Gomez

Tom Melick

 

 

 

 

Michael Farrell – Cocky’s Joy Book Launch

Posted on: April 14th, 2015 by firstdraftadmin No Comments

Event: Michael Farrell – Cocky’s Joy Book launch
Date: Wednesday April 15, 6 – 8pm

Launched by Astrid Lorange

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Cocky’s Joy

Michael Farrell is the most adventurous and experimental of contemporary Australian poets, since he continually pushes the boundaries of what our poetry can do. Cocky’s Joy is a stand-out collection because of the way it draws on Australian history and popular culture. Farrell was born and raised in rural NSW and as its title suggests, many of the poems in this collection are rooted in the bush, which they present as connected to the rest of the world in magical and often hilarious ways. There are love poems too, and riffs on such figures as the cowboy, the waiter and the assembled family. Farrell’s experimentalism doesn’t prevent him from offering moving tributes, to women and lovers, and to scenes recalled from the past. In fact, it is precisely his eye for metaphor and the unexpected combination, for punning and the letter – in both its verbal and visual aspects – that gives his poetry its humour and energy.

Published by Giramondo Press: http://www.giramondopublishing.com/

_______________________________________________

Michael Farrell Bio

Michael Farrell’s previous collections include living at the z,ode ode (shortlisted for the Age Poetry Book of the Year Award), BREAK ME OUCH, a raiders guide (published by Giramondo in 2008), thempark and thou sand. His second collection with Giramondo open sesame (2011) was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Award for Poetry. He was the winner of the 2012 Peter Porter Poetry Prize.

Q & A with Harriet Body

Posted on: March 11th, 2015 by firstdraftadmin No Comments

Harriet Body is a current studio resident at firstdraft.  Harriet is an artist and all round amazing woman.  We asked her a few questions to find out more about what she will be doing during her time at firstdraft!

1 – Tell us a bit about your practice.

My practice is interdisciplinary and examines presentness within creative action which I investigate through using repetition and exploring simplicity. I’m a mark maker and I’m interested in experimenting with and using raw, unrefined and earth-based materials to make marks.

I’m also currently working in collaboration with Robert ‘Thom’ Smith. Our collaborative practice is called Thom and Angelmouse and is supported by ArtsNSW and Studio ARTISTS (an initiative of Studio ARTES) in Hornsby. We’re interested in discovering how the creative process can be a means for communication between people of differing abilities and world views. We work primarily with video and installation. You can go to our tumblr to learn more: thomandmouse.tumblr.com

2 – What are you planning to do during your time as a Firstdraft studio resident?

I am making new work for a number of shows in 2015. The first is a group show which explores ideas of text, opening in April at Sydney uni’s Verge Gallery.

The next show I’m involved in is in May at the Northern Centre for Contemporary Art (NCCA) in Darwin. The show is a part of a project that I initiated in 2013 called The SYD/DRW Project which ultimately aims to promote awareness and collaboration between rural and city-based Australian artist communities. The SYD/DRW Project begins with 6 Sydney-Based artists traveling and exhibiting in Darwin and then there will with an exchange exhibition of Darwin Artists in Sydney in 2016. The Sydney artists involved are myself, Belem Lett, Stella Rosa McDonald, Sian McIntyre, Peter Nelson, and Paul Williams. For this show I’m making a ceramic based installation using found materials from my family’s fish farm in rural N.T.

At the end of May Thom and Angelmouse will have an open studio/exhibition event in Hornsby, in August I’ll be heading to Japan to do a master paper-making course, and in September I have a solo exhibition of ceramic work at Wellington St Projects.

Making all of this new work in my laundry would have been entirely impossible, so I’m very grateful to Firstdraft for having me over the next 6 months. Thank you Firstdraft!!

3 – When did you first realise you wanted to be an artist?

I’ve made art all my life, since I was a little child! And I adored art in high school. But it probably wasn’t until I was at university, doing my undergraduate at COFA, that I was convinced that this is what I was going to do.

4 – Who is your idol?

Shy Sparkles Quirk. She is one of my house mates but she doesn’t pay rent because she is a dog.

Q & A with Holly Macdonald

Posted on: March 11th, 2015 by firstdraftadmin No Comments

1. Tell us a little more about the Firstdraft internship – what do you do in this position? What does an ‘average day’ look like?

The day of an FD intern is pretty “un-average”. It will definitely involve daily opening procedures to get the current exhibitions ready for the public. That might involve anything from turning ceiling power points on with a broom stick handle to lighting incense to refilling a carafe with green smoothie. From there I might be putting together content for the volunteer newsletter or doing a stock take of gallery install equipment or picking up FD print editions from the framer. Tesha keeps me busy! And if you have been to an FD opening night I likely served you your beverage of choice alongside my trusty bar mate Dom.

One of the highlights has been assisting with the Firstdraft Auction. There was lots of administrative work that went into the lead-up, the night itself and the resolution, which gave me a great insight into a more commercial gallery experience.

2. You’ve been a volunteer at Firstdraft for a while, what made you want to deepen your engagement with the gallery?

I get a lot out of volunteering at Firstdraft. As a space that supports and exhibits the diverse and exciting experimental practices of emerging local artists (hopefully one day soon that will be me!) I have a lot of time for it and so it seemed like a natural progression to start interning.

3. How do you find Firstdraft as a place to work – is it different from other galleries and arts organisations you’ve worked with in the past?

It is a very social and flexible environment to work in. There is a strong sense of community which I think starts with Tesha, the general manager, and the team of directors who make it all happen behind the scenes. I haven’t worked with other arts organisations to the extent that I have worked with Firstdraft so I can’t compare but I think it is a pretty fantastic place to work.

4. How has the internship helped to shape your professional skills; as an artist and as an administrator?

The internship has allowed me to connect with the local arts community in a way that I definitely wouldn’t have even conceived of without taking that first step to volunteer. I get to talk to the exhibiting artists, I get to spend time with the exhibitions themselves and I get a look in on the responses of the visiting public – what my contemporaries are thinking about and how they are thinking about it. This is hugely heartening and inspiring as an artist and as an arts administrator!

5. You’re coming to the end of your internship – what’s next for you? Will we see you in the Exhibition Program one day?

Definitely! I’m off to the US on a study trip in not too long. I am ridiculously excited to see the rock formations of Utah… Did I mention clay is my medium of choice? MoMA and the Brooklyn Museum are also high on my list of places to go. (Further suggestions welcome!) But I’ll be back serving you an ice cold Mountain Goat at an FD opening night soon!

Thank You & Farewell to the 2013-14 Firstdraft Directorate

Posted on: February 16th, 2015 by firstdraftadmin No Comments

Thank You & Farewell to the 2013-14 Firstdraft Directorate

The 2014-15 Firstdraft Directorate would like to acknowledge the hard work, dedication and passion of the outgoing Directorate of 2013-14 – Wilna Fourie, Andrew Moran, Vaughan O’Connor and JD Reforma.

It is fitting that we thank and farewell this exceptional group with our first News post of our new website, given the firsts that our shared year (2014) saw. 2013-2014 will be remembered as a period of dramatic change for Firstdraft. We were able to offer rent-free shows to artists for the first time, thanks to the tireless efforts of our Grants Committee, Vaughan O’Connor and Wilna Fourie from the 2013-14 Board.

We moved from our Chalmers St home of 19 years to build a new gallery space in the Firstdraft Depot on Riley St. The new galleries boast four distinct spaces, two studio spaces, a new office facility and a large outdoor courtyard. The relocation and renovation was a huge undertaking, with directors playing a hands-on (and at times very dirty!) role in the creation of our new space. Although this was a group effort, particular acknowledgement must be given to Andrew and Vaughan for their knowledge, perseverance and patience with those of us lesser handy-men and women. Both were incredibly generous with their time and knowledge, and together were responsible for much of the design and execution of the space you see today.

2014 also saw the conception, design and content generation for this website. We hoped to deliver a website that was image-led, easy-to-navigate and a point of access for artists, curators, writers and audiences across Australia and internationally. In seeing this vision come to fruition, we must acknowledge the inimitable JD, who went above and beyond the call of duty. His sharp eye, strong aesthetic sense and unwavering commitment were the (sometimes sole) driving force behind the product you are using right now! In his role as Media Liaison, JD also worked tirelessly to build Firstdraft’s profile and strengthen our communications, creating a strong and successful following across a number of platforms.

Our new space also saw a re-commitment to dynamic critical thinking and one-off events. In driving the regeneration of the Firstdraft Writers Program, launched at last year’s Writers Forum, Wilna was pivotal. Her passion for text, critical discussion and forums to bring these things to life has ensured a strong legacy of these public programs at the gallery. Wilna was also responsible for building our volunteer program into a thriving and sustainable community, with numbers and retention at an all-time high at the time of her departure.

2014 was successful in many ways. Our fundraising auction was the best to date, largely thanks to the efforts of directors in reaching out to artists, promoting to wide networks and hanging a beautiful show. 2014 was led by the tireless Andrew, supported by the whole team. Our program was strengthened by an increased volume of applications and the improved facilities. The new spaces afford us increased opportunity to program sound work and other mediums. The outgoing board played a major role in shaping and supporting this diverse and exciting program, setting a high benchmark for us going forward.

Wilna, Andrew, Vaughan and JD together ushered in this new era for Firstdraft, which looks both back on our almost 30 year history and forward to a long and bright future. We could not have hoped for a better group to guide us in our first year. We’ll miss your passion, humour, energy, and most of all your dancing.

Firstdraft’s back, alright!