On the Couch with Ros Abercrombie

Ros Abercrombie AAR On the CouchWho is Ros Abercrombie?
Originally from London, Ros has been in Melbourne since 2000 where she lives with her partner, their old blind dog, Camden and ancient cat Linus. Ros is a Festival Director and Creative Consultant whose signature approach is to stimulate dialogue and create new works in accessible environments. Ros considers arts spaces as a cultural landscape and more than the physical place, she designs programs for the spaces in-between, crafting unique contemporary experiences.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I’d love more hours in the day – there are so many things I want to do – like join a bird watching group, count turtles, learn to play the piano … but in all seriousness life is good, I probably should just worry less!

Who inspires you and why?
Rosie Batty, Zaha Mohammad Hadid, Tracey Emin and Rachel Maza, they are all strong women who have led or are leading in their professional practice, they are unapologetic and ethically sound.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I have a belief that the arts create a better place and can inform and effect social, environmental and financial change. I hope that by curating inclusive and safe gathering spaces that can affect positive changes and support safe places for people to live their lives, free of fear and discrimination.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Being from London, whenever I get a chance I head back to the UK to spend time with family and friends. An afternoon in Stoke Newington, a catch up with friends in Clissold Park and then over the road to the ‘Rose & Crown’ … I’m smiling!

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I love a Melbourne day, a market in the morning, some city wandering and a few galleries and then to the Napier (Fitzroy) for a red ale and pub dinner. If out of town a trip to regional Victoria. I have been so lucky to work with so many amazing people, I’d head to Murchison to Longleat winery or Dookie to Tallis winery  –  the landscape is amazing, the wines fantastic  –  regional Victoria always delivers.

What are you currently reading?
The Apple Orchard (Pete Brown) and The Languages of Cities (Deyan Sudjic)

What are you currently listening to?
I have a fairly eclectic taste, Music is my escape – I listen to a lot of Baroque – I have recently discovered I love the sound of the trumpet and am listening to Alison Balsom. My other happy place is Dancehall / Reggae – Jamaican singer, Marcia Griffiths is on high rotation and Sharon Jones is another go too. I spend many hours on the road so listen to a fair few Podcasts.

Happiness is?
Down time with my partner and dog either at our caravan down the beach or in the garden and a few friends dropping by.

What does the future hold for you?
Hopefully more of the same, I’ve had some great opportunities, I get to design and curate festivals and events for people to gather, share and enjoy. When I think about it that’s a really nice job. I hope in the future I can continue to find ways to support artists and practitioners and find new and engaging ways to facilitate people’s access to the arts and cultural experiences.

Ros is the Creative Producer for Artlands Victoria (Australia’s largest regional arts event) – which takes place in Bendigo (10 – 13 October), and Castlemaine (12 October). For more information, visit: www.artlands.com.au for details.

Image: Ros Abercrombie (supplied)