Regional Arts NSW announces program for Artstate Tamworth

AAR TDS I Am My Own Wife Daniel GillettA four-day event that will transform Tamworth into a bustling arts hub from 31 October 2019, Regional Arts NSW has announced the program for Artstate Tamworth.

Artstate is a four-year program presented by Regional Arts NSW which aims to shine a light on excellence in regional arts practice and to explore the exciting possibilities for arts and cultural development across the state. Previous Artstate events have been held in Bathurst (2018) and Lismore (2017).

“I’m very excited Artstate in 2019 will travel to the ‘city of lights’ to shine the spotlight on our region’s talented musicians, visual artists and storytellers with a program brimming with home-grown talent,” says Minister for the Arts, the Hon Don Harwin MLC. “This year’s themes of On Country – In Country and Arts in the Age of Uncertainty will undoubtedly prompt fascinating discussion amongst our best creative minds.”

“The NSW Government is delighted to continue its role as key sponsor of Artstate and I encourage you all to join me in Tamworth this October,” added Minister Harwin.

The Artstate Tamworth program includes keynote speakers from across Australia and overseas including Sue Hill (UK) of WildWorks – who specialise in landscape-based theatre; artist and storyteller of Haida ancestry Patrick Shannon (CAN) who tackles important First Nations topics; and CEO of the Australia Council Adrian Collette.

Artstate Tamworth’s exciting arts program is open to the public and will include an amazing  open-air concert, Girrabul Murris (talented Murris), featuring country music legend Roger Knox (aka the Koori King of Country or Black Elvis) alongside local musicians; an eclectic mix of contemporary musicians; and Pulitzer-Prize winning play, I Am My Own Wife, performed by Tamworth actor Daniel Gillett.

The visual arts program contains three new exhibitions including Exploded Textiles which features contemporary textile-based works that celebrate Tamworth’s famous focus on textile art; Art Word Place featuring ekphrastic works by key New England writers inspired by the best of the area’s visual artists; and Warrabara by Kamilaroi weaver Amy Hammond who is working with local weavers to create a massive woven turtle to be installed in the Tamworth Regional Gallery.

Referencing Tamworth as the first city in the southern hemisphere to install electric street lighting, Light – Art – The Night will feature five local artists projecting work onto buildings across Tamworth, including work by renowned Kamilaroi artist Reko Rennie.

“This, our third Artstate event, will showcase the dynamic, diverse and innovative arts and cultural activities that occur in regional NSW,” said Julie Briggs, Chair Regional Arts NSW. “Regional Arts NSW hopes that people from both the regions and metropolitan areas will take the opportunity to immerse themselves in the exciting conference program and mix of cultural events that demonstrates the depth and breadth of regional arts practice in NSW.”

Artstate Tamworth takes place from 31 October – 3 November 2019. For more information, including program and early bird registrations, visit: for details.

Image: Daniel Gillett will star in I Am My Own Wife (supplied)