Have an artwork idea but need funding and an exhibition space? Phoebe Metcalfe reveals how UON is supporting creatives with CREATE.
The University of Newcastle is encouraging creativity in isolation with up to $2000 in project funding for successful applications into the 2020 CREATE Festival. Applications will remain open to staff and students until COVID-19 social restrictions allow for a definitive date to be set for exhibitors.
The festival celebrates the university’s creative community in a mix of multi-medium collaborations. UON Student Events and Engagement Team Leader, Rowan Stevenson, and his team are hoping to run the program as normal from September 1-11 on Newcastle campuses, while cautiously following advice from the NSW Health and the University Critical Response Team.
The decision was made to open applications two and a half months earlier than previous years to inspire staff and students at home. Stevenson believes that creativity has been pushed to the front by the pandemic.
“It is very rare for us to advertise fully online,” he says.
“CREATE actually started because we kept noticing that there was a wealth of creative talent among our staff and students but there was no real outlet for most people to express it if it wasn’t traditional ‘art’.”
Five time CREATE exhibitor and 2020 hopeful applicant, Angela Budden, is embracing the collision of the COVID-19 climate and creativity.
“I see social restrictions as presenting an opportunity for creative people to challenge their usual creative process and explore new and exciting ways of generating and delivering their work,” she says.
“I think it is incredibly vital for community and creativity to interact. CREATE is more than just an artist making and an audience observing – it’s about making discoveries, opening up to new experiences and interactions, and engaging with the stories of others.”
Budden has submitted two projects for consideration this year, Spotlight and Art Harvest. Both projects are centred around audience participation and discovery which aim to give back to the university community through original art keepsakes.
Inspired by the success of her project from last year Blind Lucky Charms, Spotlight offers designer enamel pins “inspired by childhood memories of outdoor play at night” for participants to keep. However, Art Harvest is the project that Budden is particularly excited for.
“I want to create an installation for designers and artists to share copies of their artwork with the university community.”
“I’ve just got to stay positive that it will be accepted and prepare as much of my work as I can,” she says.
Stevenson is also excited to see what 2020 will showcase.
“Every time a new submission hits the inbox the team get very excited to see what ideas are out there,” he says. “It is currently on par with previous years in terms of submissions but closer to the date I think ideas will surge and be much more fully formed.
“The beauty of CREATE is you never know what you will get to see year to year.”
“Every CREATE is different as no two submissions are the same.”
Submission closing date and more details on the festival will be released closer to September on the UON CREATE website.
Feature Image: Hippocampi CREATE 2019 Installation by Zackari Watt & Gerard Wilson; Collage by Phoebe Metcalfe, Yak Media Designer