Photo by Amber Hooper


The varied and diverse arts world will converge in regional NSW this October at ARTLANDS DUBBO 2016. Think art, education, music, theatre, circus and so much more under the backdrop of big open skies and fresh air.

The four-day conference and festival program was launched today at the Sydney Opera House under the tagline, “Part Conference, Part Festival, All Arts.” It was announced that early bird tickets are now on sale.

Presented by Regional Arts Australia and Regional Arts NSW and supported by Dubbo City Council, the NSW and Commonwealth Governments, ARTLANDS DUBBO 2016 is the must-attend event for artists and arts workers living and working in regional Australia.

The biennial event will feature national and international keynote speakers and panels, and facilitate forums, workshops, and discussions surrounding three key themes within the arts sector: Regeneration, Connectedness and Emergence. Each theme will explore contemporary issues, challenges and opportunities through research, exploration, debate and collaboration. Key speakers include Associate Professor Mark McMillan from Melbourne Law School, Director of Arts for Health at Manchester Metropolitan University Clive Parkinson, and Chief Executive of New Arts Exchange in Nottingham Skinder Hundal.

Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts Troy Grant said the NSW Government is proud to be supporting ARTLANDS, which is a great opportunity to showcase regional NSW’s vibrant arts and culture to a national audience.

“Our Government has provided funding support from its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, and $250,000 from Arts NSW,’ Mr Grant said. ‘This is in addition to more than $400,000 funding from the Federal Government.”

“As the Member for Dubbo, I’m delighted the city has been chosen to host ARTLANDS based on strong support from Dubbo City Council and its central location in NSW.”

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Special Events Stuart Ayers congratulated Regional Arts NSW on providing such a high quality and diverse program for ARTLANDS 2016.

“With 1,000 delegates and festival-goers, ARTLANDS will provide a significant boost for Dubbo’s local economy,’ Mr Ayers said. ‘It’s a great example of how our State’s thriving regional arts and cultural scene is a growing drawcard for tourism.”

Featuring alongside the Conference, the ARTLANDS 2016 Festival will see a line up of works rarely seen together in regional NSW. Curated by festival director, Greg Pritchard, the program will include musicians Heath Cullen, Mikelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen, Dave Mason and Brendan Gallagher and Radical Son. Djon Mundine will curate a new exhibition of work by regional NSW Aboriginal artists, Old Land New Marks, and regional physical theatre companies, fLing and Lingua Franca will perform their latest works.

The regional city of Dubbo is located 600kms west of Sydney and its 40,000-plus residents are preparing to host 1,000 conference delegates and festival-goers, showcasing the city’s taste and enthusiasm for the arts in all its forms.

The ARTLANDS DUBBO 2016 full program information and tickets are available at artlands.com.au

Dates: 27 to 30 October 2016
Where: Dubbo, NSW
Bookings: artlands.com.au
Social Media: #ARTLANDS2016

Twitter: @artlandsdubbo, Facebook: facebook.com/artlandsdubbo2016, Instagram: @artlandsdubbo2016

Opening Ceremony and parade

There will be a formal opening in the Dubbo Regional Theatre and Conference Centre. This will include speeches from dignitaries, an artistic program including the incredible voice of Aboriginal Opera singer David Leha, and Welcome to Country by Wiradjuri elders.

In celebration of their 25-year anniversary, local circus company Circus West, led by Paul Woodhead and working with David Clarkson of Stalker, Spaghetti Theatre and Roundabout Theatre will combine to create a street parade from the main Macquarie Street of Dubbo, picking local community members up as they walk. The delegates will join them and walk into the park. Circus West will then do a small performance before the Artistic Opening behind the Western Plains Cultural Centre.

Artlands’ Cultural Program Director Greg Pritchard has put together an artistic team of some of the best and most audacious artists in Regional Australia, including inaugural Arts NSW Regional Fellow from Narrandera, Vic McEwan, Australia Council Experimental Arts Fellow Dave Jones from Natimuk, and the Northern River’s Joey Ruigrok, to put together the opening ceremony. There will be choreography by Jo Clancy, and musicians from the Macquarie Conservatorium involved. It will a performance of a kind rarely seen in Regional NSW, involving dance, giant puppets, weird machines, original contemporary music, fantastic projections and fire effects.


Mooghalin Theatre Company

A play reading from This fella, my memory and development showing from their partnership with Orana Arts, Staging Stories.



We Will Come to the Rescue is the fLiNG Company’s main performance work and it is going to be WILD. With heroes and villains, and a world in disarray who will come to our aid? Don’t miss this explosive new show by the 2016 fLiNG Company.

fLiNG Physical Theatre is a professionally supported youth dance company based in Bega Australia, on the beautiful far south coast of NSW. Since its’ founding in 2001 fLiNG has created many original performances and toured broadly to local venues, outdoor sites, schools as well as to theatres in Wollongong and Parramatta Sydney and in 2012 to Singapore International Youth Festival.

The mission of the company is to inspire people through original contemporary performance. To gain the skills required for this performance practice the company trains in dance, physical theatre and gymnastics.

The organisation maintains a flagship company for the region which contributes to the development of young people and the cultural life of the community and supports the professional development of artists of the cultural industries in the South East.



Health Cullen

Heath Cullen hails from the hills surrounding the tiny rural village of Candelo in South Eastern NSW – a far-flung corner of Australia that he still calls his home. His 2013 album The Still And The Steep, recorded in Los Angeles with guests Jim Keltner (Bob Dylan, John Lennon, The Traveling Wilburys), Larry ‘The Mole’ Taylor (Canned Heat, Tom Waits), and Marc Ribot (Tom Waits, Marianne Faithful), received great critical acclaim and was nominated for the prestigious Australian Music Prize.

Heath Cullen returned in 2015 with his third album, Outsiders. This was recorded over just two days at Sing Sing studios with Elvis Costello’s longtime band The Imposters – Pete Thomas, Steve Nieve, and Davey Faragher. This recording marks the first occasion that The Imposters as a unit have collaborated with a singer other than Costello.

David Leha and Radical Son

Effortlessly crossing genres from soul to hip-hop and beyond, Radical Son is a standout vocalist and songwriter like no other. His often-poignant lyrics chart a course from hopelessness to healing; mercilessly deconstructing what is, and forever imagining what could be. Radical Son’s music and stories are always guided by his Indigenous heritage from the Kamilaroi nation of Australia and the south pacific nation of Tonga.
As a vocalist, Radical Son has a unique ability to deliver as a soul singer, rapper and spoken word artist. This natural dexterity defines his earned place and presence in the contemporary musical landscape. The back-bone of radical son’s stories continuously urge our human spirit to approach life through love and compassion.


Michaelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen

Early-mid 20th century Europe was a hotbed of musical styles and modernity, with the old world of waltzes, polkas and mazurkas crashing headlong into the new world of swing, rhythm’n’blues and rock’n’roll. Mikelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen take this musical landscape as their jumping off point. Over their 15 years touring together, the group has developed their own distinctive Euro-Roots sound and a high calibre live show that has seen them play to huge audiences from the Sydney Opera House to Budapest to London’s West End, winning multiple awards and critical acclaim and developing a die-hard national and international fanbase.

Their 4th album, After The Flood, was written during an artistic residency in Cooma and the Monaro Plains. The band were inspired by the harsh beauty of the landscape and the lurid tales of European migrants and refugees who came to work on the Snowy Mountains Scheme in the 1950s and 60s, transforming Cooma from a sleepy country town to a world of 24 hour nightclubs with live music, drinking and dancing every night of the week.

In Dubbo, working again with BigHart, they will source new songs from Dubbo’s multicultural community, to combine with those from After the Flood, for their Artlands performances.


Dave Mason and Brendan Gallagher

Dubbo born David ‘Dave’ Mason was lead singer, producer and creative director of indie-pop, rock group, The Reels. A talented songwriter, David Mason is perhaps best known for the haunting Quasimodo’s Dream which was listed at number 10 in the Australasian Performing Rights Association’s Top 30 Australian Songs of All Time. Other key compositions are Love Will Find a Way (October 1979), Prefab Hearts (1980), After the News (July 1980) and Shout and Deliver (March 1981).

As well as David’s own compositions, The Reels scored hits with This Guy’s In Love With You, According To My Heart, and Last Night (I Didn’t Get To Sleep At All).

ARIA award winner Brendan Gallagher is a music all rounder – singer, multi instrumentalist, songwriter, performer, producer, composer and author. In a career spanning over thirty years he has played on recordings for artists from David Bowie to Kylie Minogue and produced, amongst many other albums, Jimmy Little’s masterpiece Messenger.

“Dave’s absolutely sublime performance with Brendan Gallagher at Melbourne Art’s Centre was a highlight of the 2014 gig calendar.”

This is rare opportunity to catch one of Australia’s best loved performers in singer-songwriter mode, in his home town, and is not to be missed.


Sound Art

The Wired Lab are Australia’s premier Sound Art company, and what makes them more amazing is that their base is a working farm nestled high in the hills near Cootamundra. The Wired Lab is an artist led organisation evolving interdisciplinary art practices in rural Australia. They create opportunities for the research, production and presentation of projects that connect international and local artists with communities in new ways. Their curated programs and projects involve artists working from a regional context whilst producing outcomes of local and global relevance.

The Wired Lab will have a number of projects at Artlands, from mesmerizing recording of the subtlety of the sounds in a Box Gum forest, to a collaboration with Cootamundra and Orana Ham Radio operators feeds signals from all around the world into a Live Art performance.


Lingua Franca

Lingua Franca Dance & Physical Theatre leap back onto the stage with their latest full-length show, unsustainable behaviour.

Using the performing body pushed to extremes as a symbol for how humanity is exceeding the limits of a sustainable civilisation, unsustainable behaviour is high energy, 60-minute burst of breakdance, physical theatre and contemporary dance that forces us to ask if we are ‘progressing’ ourselves into obliteration?

A quirky, high impact look into our possibly disastrous future, Lingua Franca’s style of blending exceptional physicality with text and voice makes unsustainable behaviour a potent contemporary provocation.


Volucres – Kim Goldsmith

Innovative Dubbo artist Kim V Goldsmith with fill the Anglican Church Hall with Volucres. A visual and aurl feast of bird projection and calls, and a choral score composed Sally Whitwell, and recorded with her Choir.


The Useless Assembly

A collaboration between the Northern River’s companies Real Art Works Inc and disability group Tra La La Blip, The Useless Assembly would be developing a concept called Ghosts of the Future’s Past, using the ‘Nothing is Useless” Installation in the Old Dubbo Gaol from Wagga Wagga Art Gallery (2015) as a set to create video art.

Part of this might include conference attendees and the general public being invited to participate in this video art creation by imagining that they are one of the last humans alive after the machines have won the war. They will be asked to imagine that are simply ‘switched off’ and their re-‘action’ filmed. This video work would be used as projection when the Useless Assembly tour with Remont Pomp and Tralala Blip in November 2016.


Branch Nebula

Performance group Branch Nebula works across disciplines in performance, dance and design to challenge mainstream cultural conventions. They often work with non-conventional performers to collaboratively devise work that defies categorization. We interrogate the audience experience and explore contemporary culture as a means of creating access and speaking to a broad audience.

Branch Nebula’s Helpmann nominated Concrete And Bone Sessions premiered at Sydney Festival in January 2013 and toured to the Santiago A Mil festival in Chile in January 2014. The Green Room Award winning and Helpmann nominated Whelping Box, co-produced with Matt Prest and Clare Britton, premiered at Performance Space’s SEXES festival at CarriageWorks in October 2012, toured to Arts House in Melbourne in September 2013, and Brisbane in March 2014.

Branch Nebula, will produce their skatepark residency project Snake Sessions, and other works, at the Dubbo Skate Park in Victoria Park.

The piece will premiere in April at Nowra and Sanctuary Point, presented by Bundanon Trust. This is a model of engagement residency touring, with a week long residency for optimal effect, ie touring artists collaborate with local skatepark users to create a show for their local skatepark, and locals perform alongside the touring professionals in the culminating performance.




The visual arts will be well represented at Artlands. The WPCC will exhibit Old Land, New Marks, curated by Djon Mundine, a survey of contemporary Regional NSW Aboriginal work. Director Andrew Glassop will exhibit his animal themed Collection for the first time and he will show the beautiful papercut dresses by local artist Penny Volkofsky, also from his collection.

Circus West will have a visual art exhibition of their 25year history in the Museum exhibition space. There will also be a project called Future Public, ten site specific contemporary art installations through-out the CBD, curated by Cementa Director Alex Wisser.

The foyer of the DRTCC will showcase the best of the Orana region’s artists in the exhibition [email protected] curated by Caroline Downer and Nicci Parry Jones (ceramics) from Arts North West.