ZART 2023

Post by: Korin Lesh
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September 19, 2023

The ZART conference has become an annual highlight for AENT members. It is an opportunity to engage in a National Conference, but in the comfort of our backyard. This year CDU generously allowed us to use venues on Casuarina Campus where we collaborated with Pre-Service Education students who are studying the Arts for their teacher training. This was a great opportunity to share with student teachers and a professional networking for our Association members.

The conference itself was jam packed as always. The Day 1 keynote was really fascinating as Patricia Piccinini unpacked the evolving concept of care and empathy underpinning her artworks. Her meticulous descriptions and gradual development through the evolution of her practice gave me a much richer understanding of her incredible, yet at times confronting sculptures and installations. There is so much packed inside these artwork objects for viewers and students to explore – ideas around what it means to be human, what ethical roles we have when influencing changes in our environments, what should we care for in the world? And on a different note – I was intrigued that even after much international acclaim Patricia appeared wary about her own status and right to be an artist.

I participated in Andy Quilty’s drawing fundamentals where I was reminded of the value of drawing exercises and exploration of mark making. With Julia Gutman’s collage I developed a self-portrait collage built up with graduations of tone – reflective of her textile practice process. Both artmaking sessions were challenging and gave me the opportunity to stretch and develop my own making skills. I appreciated the opportunity to explore these with teaching peers and to have time to connect with my colleagues.