Site and Situation – talks on public art curation, politics of place and public art in disaster recovery

SWELL-Warraba-Weatherall-SINGLE-FILE-courtesy-of-BlaklashPresented across three weeks in May, you are invited to experience a series of three, free, public art talks and industry workshops at Site and Situation – an initiative by City of Gold Coast curated by SWELL Sculpture.

A stellar line up of public art professionals will deliver thought provoking public art talks and industry workshops over three sessions.

The exciting line-up includes Troy Casey [Kamilaroi] and Amanda Hayman [Kalkadoon / Wakka Wakka] directors of Blaklash, Judy Watson [Waanyi] Artist, Delvene Cockatoo-Collins [Quandamooka] Artist, and Scotia Monkivitch, Founder and Executive Officer at Creative Recovery Network.

The forums will bring together arts professionals, the local creative community, and the wider Gold Coast community for an evening of dynamic learning and discussion, followed by full day workshops designed for Gold Coast participants to learn first-hand from the renowned invited facilitators.

Each session will be presented by the invited public art legends on their curated topic. The three curated topics being: the role of a public curator, how public art can help communities with disaster recovery and politics of place

Day One is an evening public forum that is free and open to the public, registration is essential as tickets are limited. 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

Day Two is a full-day intensive workshop for ten local artists, curators and culture programmers. Participants will be selected via an expressions of interest process.

9+10 May | Public Art Talk with Troy Casey and Amanda Hayman both directors of Blaklash will explore the role of a public curator on Tuesday 9 May; followed by an immersive full day workshop on Wednesday 10 May with selected Gold Coast participants to be held at Broadbeach Community Space.

16+17 May | Public Art Talk with Scotia Monkivitch, Executive Officer at Creative Recovery Network will explore how public art can help communities with disaster recovery on Tuesday 16 May; followed by an immersive full day workshop for selected Gold Coast participants on Wednesday 17 May at Broadbeach Community Space.

23+24 May | Public Art Talk with Judy Watson, First Nations Artist, exploring politics of place on Tuesday 23 May at Broadbeach Community Space; followed by a full day immersive workshop with Delvene Cockatoo-Collins on her Country, a curated day trip to Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island) with selected First Nations participants.

About the Guest Speakers:

Troy Casey [Kamilaroi]
Troy is passionate about harnessing economic opportunities to create positive social change for First Nations Australians. He combines his extensive community engagement experience spanning the government, not-for-profit and higher education sectors, with this curatorial practice, working collaboratively with communities to ensure First Nations voices are embedded across projects within public art, placemaking and urban design.

Amanda Hayman [Kalkadoon / Wakka Wakka]
Amanda is a creative thinker and has expertise in contemporary Aboriginal art, exhibition curation and activating spaces. She has a particular interest in social history in relation to place, especially First Nations oral histories and living memories, and enjoys working in partnership with artists and designers to creatively express these narratives. Central to this, is her aspiration to design a positive audience experience whilst also embedding First Nations perspectives in an attempt to foster empathy and work towards national reconciliation.

Blaklash is an aboriginal design agency specialising in first nations placemaking. Working in partnership with artists, designers and creatives, Blaklash produces community-celebrated projects that express First Nations perspectives through artistic process, practice and presentation. Renowned for their innovative curatorial approaches to culturally significant projects, Blaklash is process-driven, with cultural integrity and community ownership at the heart of what they create.

Scotia Monkivitch
Scotia is Executive Officer of the Creative Recovery Network, advocating and supporting the role of the arts and creativity in disaster preparedness, response and recovery. The Creative Recovery Network aims to gather, critique, develop and share the knowledge gained nationally and internationally for engagement of the arts in disaster recovery, along with developing tools and support for artists working in this field.

Scotia has a broad range of professional experiences in the community arts and cultural development sector, which have taken her throughout Australia and internationally. She has diverse experience in training, mentoring, strategic planning, project management, research and facilitation of community cultural development programs and strategies, specialising in working with people experiencing disability and disadvantage, mental health, creative ageing and rural and remote communities.

Judy Watson [Waanyi]
Judy Watson was born in Mundubbera, Queensland. Judy Watson’s Aboriginal matrilineal family is from Waanyi country in north-west Queensland. The artist’s process evolves by working from site and memory, revealing Indigenous histories, following lines of emotional and physical topography that centre on particular places and moments in time.

Spanning painting, printmaking, drawing, sculpture and video, her practice often draws on archival documents and materials, such as maps, letters and police reports, to unveil institutionalised discrimination against Aboriginal people. Exhibiting extensively since the 1980s, Watson co-represented Australia at the 1997 Venice Biennale and won the Works on Paper Award at the 23rd National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Award in 2006. She was also the recipient of the National Gallery of Victoria’s 2006 Clemenger Contemporary Art Award.

In 2011, Watson’s exhibition waterline was shown at the Embassy of Australia in Washington DC, and in 2012, she exhibited in the Sydney Biennale. In 2018, the Art Gallery of New South Wales staged a major exhibition of her work titled the edge of memory. Watson has also received commissions for several public art projects across Australia, including fire and water at Reconciliation Place in Canberra in 2007, ngarunga nangama: calm water dream at 200 George St in Sydney in 2016, and in the same year, tow row for the Gallery of Modern Art’s 10th Anniversary in Brisbane.

A significant solo exhibition of Watson’s work, opened in March 2020 at Ikon Gallery in Birmingham. Her work is currently on display at the TATE Modern, London in the A Year in Art: Australia 1992 exhibition; Palais de Tokyo, Reclaim the Earth exhibition; and the Red Thread of History at the National Gallery of Australia, touring to Monash University Museum of Art, Victoria in September 2022.

Delvene Cockatoo-Collins [Quandamooka]
Delvene Cockatoo-Collins is a Quandamooka woman and artist who lives and works on Minjerribah – North Stradbroke Island, operating her small business ‘Minjerribah Art Studio and Cottage’. Based in a studio and retail store in Goompi (Dunwich), and open to the public, Delvene’s practice includes commissions, public art, workshops and a weekly walking tour across Goompi (Dunwich).

Recurring themes across Delvene’s artwork and expressions are the stories of her family’s lived experiences on Quandamooka Country, her responses to images and texts related to her family, the relationship to her great-great grandmother, through a body of work, titled Six Generations, traditional mat making techniques, and the use of clays and pigments found across Quandamooka including the islands and mainland around Moreton Bay.

Participants are invited to come along to experience Site and Situation’s thought-provoking presentations; participate in Q&A’s and meet and mingle with fellow creatives and community members. Gold Coast based arts practitioners are encouraged to apply to participate in the workshops. Places are limited.

For more information about Site and Situation and to book online, visit: for details.

Image: Warraba Weatherall, SINGLE FILE – photo courtesy of Blaklash