Creative Spaces Summit 2023


Marika Davies

Marika Davies

First Nations Curator

Marika Davies is a proud Wangkangurru woman of the Simpson Desert from the Birdsville area. She recently became the Tarnanthi Regional Curator, in a position jointly supported by Country Arts SA and the Art Gallery of South Australia. She was previously the Arts and Cultural Facilitator in Port Augusta with the Port Augusta City Council and Country Arts SA.
Marika is also an emerging artist and curator who lives and works in Port Augusta. Her interest in a career in curating has developed organically through her love and passion for art and its history and through wanting to give back to her community in Port Augusta who nurtured her passion and cultural growth. Marika’s focus is Aboriginal art, its history, development and future, as well as the multicultural and dynamic nature of contemporary art. Her artistic achievements include ‘Artist of the Year’ for NAIDOC Week 2016 in Port Augusta and first place for the Malka Prize in 2011. She was the curatorial associate for VIETNAM – ONE IN, ALL IN in 2019 and curated her first exhibition, Drifting Sands at Port Pirie Regional Art Gallery, as part of Tarnanthi 2021.

All Sessions by Marika Davies

Day 2
2:30 pm - 4:45 pm

Keynote Session Three

Lot 14 Lecture Theatre

Regional Arts Australia -The Next 80 Years – A Strategic Update from RAA
Executive Director Ros Abercrombie will present a strategic overview for Regional Arts Australia.

Keynote Panel - Tarnanthi: The Role of Galleries in Developing Festivals
Presenters: Nici Cumpston OAM, Marika Davies and Samantha Yates
Galleries achieve so much beyond their own four walls and festivals are a great way to create multi-faceted impact – for artists, for the gallery, for the community and for local business. Join Barkandji artist and Tarnanthi Artistic Director Nici Cumpston OAM, Wangkangurru artist and Tarnanthi Regional Curator Marika Davies, and Tarnanthi Producer of Taungurung heritage Samantha Yates, to talk about Tarnanthi, one of Australia’s leading First Nations Arts Festivals – presented by the Art Gallery of South Australia. They will discuss the festival’s success and challenges and the role of galleries in developing and nurturing events that benefit both artists culturally and economically.

4:15 pm - 5:45 pm

Breakout Session Two

Cultural Safety: Platforming First Nations art in the Public Domain
Presenters: Bec Cole and Isobel Morphy-Walsh, NETS Victoria.

Can non-Indigenous organisations present First Nations art within a culturally safe framework? NETS Victoria’s Billboards project was a new form of exhibition centred around three First Nations artists, Amrita Hepi, Steven Rhall and Lisa Waup with First Nations curator Jenna Rain Warwick. This presentation will highlight the work NETS Victoria has done as a non-Indigenous led organisation, positioning and highlighting First Nations contemporary art. Hear from Chair of NETS Victoria Bec Cole and Board member Isobel Morphy-Walsh about the development and presentation of the Billboards project, as well as some reflections on its outcome and challenges faced along the way.

Transformation from Regional Gallery to Arts Precinct
Presenter: Dr Martina Mrongovius PhD, Art Producer, Lakes Art Precinct, Lake Macquarie City Council.

Relocating from New York City to Awabakal Country (Lake Macquarie, NSW), I was tasked with developing the Lake Arts Precinct. Council wanted a strategy; I needed to listen and learn. Many locals were unconformable, uninterested or unaware of their art gallery. The precinct needed to puncture audience barriers. We launched the Multi-Arts Pavilion mima – a versatile space for digital arts and performance and reimagined the MAC yapang Sculpture Park. Seeking artists to create new works we heard requests for development support and opportunities for experimentation. Collaborating with artists and academics we designed strategically to deepen connections. Opportunities emerged and audiences responded.

Sharing the National Collection Program
Presenters: Tracey CooperLavery Head, Sharing the National Collection, National Gallery of Australia and Adam Lindsay, Projects Director, National Gallery of Australia.

Join the team from the National Gallery of Australia for an outline of the relevant aspects of Sharing the National Collection, a new program that funds artworks from the national collection to be placed on long-term loan to regional and suburban institutions across Australia. This program is a centrepiece of Revive, the National Cultural Policy, and a welcome addition to the way in which the National Gallery of Australia can work with galleries across the country to democratise access to art.

Regional Showcase

The Regional Showcase Program is designed to showcase the great work undertaken by artists and arts workers in regional SA. This program has been funded by Country Arts SA.

Beyond the Local – A Regional Mentorship
Presenters: Margaret Worth and Kirsten Johnston

As well as challenges of time and money, accessibility and opportunity, regional artists face the challenge of limited perceptions of what is possible for artists. Very few role models of professional career artists exist for those who wish to take their practice beyond a regional focus. The mentorship between Kirsten Johnston and Margaret Worth addressed this issue among other mentoring elements. This discussion will examine the outcomes of mentorship for both a regional artist and, also significantly, a regional mentor.

The Art of Recovery
Presenters: Katrina Korossy

How can art be a foundation for recovery. Join artist Katrina Korossy as she provides insight into her experience using art to recover from a car accident, which left her with a brain injury. She will talk about the process of creating something beautiful out of a horrible experience and how she now uses her art to help others.

Djaa Djuwima
Presenter: Janet Bromley, Bendigo Venues and Events, City of Bendigo

Join Janet Bromley in a conversation about the long haul to establish a First Nations Gallery in Bendigo. A collaboration between First Nations community and City of Greater Bendigo from the Reconciliation Action Plan to the Creative Strategy and the building of relationships. There were hurdles to get over and long circular conversations that at times seemed endless. Hear about how barriers and fears were overcome, supporting the aspirations to move local First Nations art into the tourist precinct. Djaa Djuwima gallery occupies a space in the Visitors Centre and offers exhibition and workshops of traditional and contemporary First Nations art.

Kanangoor / Shimmer Exhibition Insight
Presenters: Amanda Bell, Badimia and Yued Artist and Curator and Lee Kinsella, Curator at University of Western Australia

In co-curating this exhibition, Amanda Bell and Lee Kinsella seek to grapple with the intangible operations of power as they operate within the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery at The University of Western Australia. Together, they recognise that this is uncomfortable and difficult territory, as the standard conventions within the Gallery are reconsidered and other opportunities for engagement tested.
Effectively, both the content of the exhibition and process by which we realise it, constantly teeters on the periphery of the familiar. To deal with difficult moments and to face that sense of being uncomfortable; to be off-balance, and to address questions about ‘why’? There is risk.

Redevelopment of Central Goldfields Gallery
Presenter: Helen Kaptein, Central Goldfields Shire

Engagement with the local and broader community is central to the work of Central Goldfields Art Gallery in Central Victoria. The public art gallery, which is owned and operated by Central Goldfields Shire Council, has undergone a $2.28 million redevelopment and reopened in March 2023. A variety of indoor spaces have been designed by award winning architects Nervegna Reed to increase access to art, the permanent collection and spaces for art making. An adjoining outdoor Indigenous Interpretative Garden, designed by the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation will open in 2024. This session will focus on the central question of community activation in a regional public art gallery with learnings shared and possible ideas for exchange encouraged from the audience.

Creating a New Future for an Historic Art House
Presenter: Tori Dixon-Whilttle, CEO, The Cedars, Hans Heysen Foundation
The Cedars is the national cultural award-winning estate of Sir Hans Heysen (1877-1968) and family including artist daughter Nora Heysen (1911-2003). Now open to the public under the custodianship of the Hans Heysen Foundation, it is filled with the original art and objects from the Heysen Collection. The Foundation was recently granted $9,000,000 to build a new contemporary art gallery, gift store and bushfireproof collection storage. Cedars’ CEO Tori Dixon-Whittle will take you behind-the-scenes of the Cedars’ journey from hidden-secret, family home to international cultural tourism destination, exploring what it takes to create large scale relevant and sustainable change

Art Gallery South Australia Tour
Join Curators from the Art Gallery of South Australia for Guided Tour of the Elder Wing Exhibition.

Strictly Limited Numbers for this session open only to those delegates who book in.

The Art of Recovery
Presenters: Katrina Korossy
How can art be a foundation for recovery. Join artist Katrina Korossy as she provides insight into her experience using art to recover from a car accident, which left her with a brain injury. She will talk about the process of creating something beautiful out of a horrible experience and how she now uses her art to help others.