Presented by Oral History NSW in partnership with Verge Gallery
Saturday November 3, 11am – 1pm
Tickets available via Eventbrite

Oral history – like the visual arts – is a diverse, co-constructed practice that challenges conventional autonomous production and identities*

A morning discussing ways in which artists have worked with oral history – the practice of making memories through a planned interview between two people.

How are narratives being used as a resource in the production of creative work? If digital technologies mean that oral history is more readily available to be worked with than ever before, what ethical challenges do artists working with oral history have to consider? How is the interpretive capacity of oral history being extended through contemporary artistic practice?

Deborah Beck is an artist who has had solo exhibitions in Sydney and Melbourne and participated in multiple group exhibitions throughout Australia. She has taught in art schools in Sydney for over twenty years and is currently a lecturer, historian and archivist at the National Art School in Darlinghurst. She has undertaken oral histories of visual artists extensively across a range of projects and on commission for several organisations.

Fabri Blacklock‘s family are Nucoorilma/Ngarabal people from Tingha and Glenn Innes and Biripi people from Dingo Creek in NSW. A textile artist, Fabri’s work involves the revival and teaching of NSW Aboriginal women’s artistic practices such as possum skin cloak making and weaving. She is particularly interested in the combination of traditional Aboriginal art practices with modern technologies, as well as the important role art plays in wellbeing in Aboriginal communities. For several years Fabri curated Koori history and culture projects at Powerhouse Museum. Today she works with communities across NSW through UNSW Art and Design. Oral history has been central to Fabri’s art practice.

Therese Sweeney is an artist based out of a media studio on the south coast of NSW. Over two decades she has used oral history to inform her practice in photography & video. She has worked with communities in south-west Sydney, Kings Cross and the NSW south coast, among others.

The discussion will be led by Oral History NSW committee member Dr Paula Hamilton, adjunct Professor of History at the University of Technology. Hamilton is a cultural historian who has published widely in oral history and memory studies, exploring the intersection between personal and public memories. She has also collaborated in a range of historical projects with community groups, artists, museums, libraries, heritage agencies and trade unions. Her most recent work is A Cultural History of Sound, Memory and the Senses edited with Joy Damousi and published by Routledge in 2017.

*Linda Sandino, Oral History in the Visual Arts, Bloomsbury, 2013

Program presented in partnership with Oral History NSW 

Recording with captions available below.