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Havana Biennial 2019: Constructing the Possible Ocula Report Havana Biennial 2019: Constructing the Possible 17 Apr 2019 : Federica Bueti for Ocula

I first visited Havana in November 2016, a few days after Fidel Castro died, and just under a year before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September 2017. Since then, much has changed, including the hand-painted signs that punctuate the journey from the airport to the city centre, which today do not celebrate the revolution so much as the 'Unidad y...

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Andrew Stahl and Guo Xiaohui Ocula Conversation Andrew Stahl and Guo Xiaohui

The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset House's...

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The National 2019: New Australian Art Ocula Report The National 2019: New Australian Art 13 Apr 2019 : Elyse Goldfinch for Ocula

The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...

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Yarrenyty Arltere Artists is a not-for-profit Aboriginal owned and run art centre located in the Larapinta Valley Town Camp, Alice Springs in Australia; one of the oldest Town Camp communities on Arrernte country. Yarrenyty Arltere Artists is a unique Town Camp art enterprise, and works with Tangentyere Artists Aboriginal Art Centre, the hub for Town Camp Arts. Originally established as part of the Yarrenyty Arltere Learning Centre, the art centre is open to all members of the community and focuses on providing a safe, positive space that celebrates the innovation and imagination of the artists. Driven by traditional law and culture, Yarrenyty Arltere Artists works to build the confidence, skills and strength of the community through creativity and self-determination, as well as creating economic opportunities and employment pathways.

Initiated in 2000 as an arts training project that aimed to combat persistent social issues faced by people living in the Town Camp, Yarrenyty Arltere Artists was established as an enterprise in 2008 and has since become a hub of social inclusiveness and activity that has a positive impact on the entire community. Dulcie Sharpe, one of the centre's best-known artists, notes that 'the art makes us think of our culture in another way and what we want people to know. It's good for everyone to have a place like this, it helps us be part of both worlds.'

Yarrenyty Arltere Artists work across a variety of disciplines including jewellery, ceramics, textiles, etching, printmaking, animation and film. For the 21st Biennale of Sydney at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, they present a series of the whimsical soft sculptures that demonstrate the unique style for which they are famous. Representing the past, present and future, the pieces reflect memory and traditional stories as well as exploring contemporary issues and challenges faced by the community. Embodying local flora and fauna, stories of family and country, or scenes from everyday life in the Town Camp, the sculptures are made from recycled woollen blankets which are dyed using local plants, tea and corroded metal. Embroidered with brightly coloured wool thread and embellished with feathers, the soft sculptures are filled with character and humour. They are emblematic of the vitality of the Town Camp and its people, and the ingenuity of the Yarrenyty Arltere Artists who, through creativity and perseverance, have reignited the confidence and spirit of their community.

Tai Spruyt and Stephanie Berlangieri | Biennale of Sydney Exhibition Team | 2018
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