• Rebecca Townsend Creative Road | UNA by Wolfgang Buttress | photo by Ben Wrigley

  • Rebecca Townsend Creative Road | Skywhale by Patricia Piccinini | photo by Tao Jones

  • Hobie Porter | Chain Event

The Art Affect - Implement of Change

Arts Panel Discussion

Saturday 3 October  |  5.30pm-6.30pm

The experience of art is becoming increasingly valued across diverse aspects of life. This value is most noticeable with the increased integration of arts and arts facilities (both private and public) within urban planning and a call for arts / non-arts industry collaborative initiatives.

Does art, ranging from visual, performance, literature and music, hold potential to affect positive change on a personal, social, economic or political level? If so, how is this achieved; and what are the responsibilities of arts practitioners, in their role as culture makers, to ensure meaningful social engagement with the arts?

In this panel discussion, panellists are invited to share their views and ideas on the role, effects and responsibility of art in contemporary society.


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Hobie Porter

Hobie Porter is a contemporary landscape painter who works in the Tweed Valley, North-Eastern NSW. He has exhibited professionally since 2004.

His work has been selected for recent survey exhibitions, including 'The New Arcadia' (2011) Lismore Regional Gallery and 'Exquisite' (2009) Gold Coast City Art Gallery.

He was recently awarded Highly Commended in the Essential Energy Countryscapes Art Prize (2012) Bathurst Regional Art Gallery. Hobie is a Henry Lawson Scholarship recipient, holding a Bachelor of Arts (Visual Arts) with Honours and a Graduate Diploma of Education. He is represented by Arthouse Gallery, Sydney, and Mossgreen Gallery, Melbourne. 

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Rebecca Townsend

Rebecca Townsend is Director of Creative Road Art Projects, a public art consultancy based in Byron Bay which oversees the commissioning of artworks in locations across Australia and internationally.

In her role as Director of Sales at Sculpture by the Sea for over five years, Rebecca oversaw the substantial growth of public artworks in Australia.  Rebecca was also the co-curator of Byron Bay's first outdoor sculpture exhibition, artsCape. While overseeing complex large scale projects Rebecca maintains a skill for managing the delicate intricacies and potential pitfalls within the art commissioning process, facilitating a positive public art experience for artists, clients and key stakeholders.

Rebecca’s curatorial and project management experience have resulted in innovative and cost effective approaches to the design of public spaces and private developments, strengthening identity and sense of place.  She is known for her rigorous project management & research skills and has a special interest in arts marketing, developing branding strategies which expand the range of interfaces art has with different sectors of our community. Her unique skill base and experience have developed over 20 years working with governments, universities, resorts, hospitals and private institutions both corporate and community.

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Samantha Ferris

Samantha Ferris holds a Master of Arts (Art History) from the University of Sydney. With Co-Directors Ron and George Adams, she established Galerie pompom, a commercial gallery representing 17 Sydney and Melbourne based artists. Galerie pompom is located in Chippendale, Sydney and since 2012 has presented more than 40 solo and group exhibitions by represented and invited artists.


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Sharne Wolff

Sharne Wolff is an arts writer and critic. Prior to her current preoccupation with art, Sharne spent more than 25 years as a legal academic and solicitor – working in legal practices in Sydney, London and Lismore. For the past five years she’s written on art for numerous publications including Art Monthly Australia, The Guardian Australia, The Australian Financial Review and The Art Life.

In addition to making weekly contributions to popular arts blog The Art Life and The Sydney Morning Herald, Sharne is co-editor of The Art Life’s annual list of ‘The 50 Most Powerful People in Australian Art’. She has three kids studying at Uni and is a member of Lennox Arts Board.

Find her on Twitter @sharnewolff and Instagram @sharnorama


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Julian Louis

Julian is a theatre director, curator and performer and currently the Artistic Director of NORPA (Northern Rivers Performing Arts), a leading regionally based theatre company.

He is passionate about creating playful, site specific and physical theatre works that engage communities into the creation and presentation of the work. For NORPA Julian has been responsible for the creation of Railway Wonderland (performed on Lismore’s disused railway station), My Radio Heart (a co-production with Urban Theatre Projects), Open House (a circus work performed in a residential house in Lismore), Engine, The Bloody Bride and Not Like Beckett.

Julian curates a contemporary program, made up of original productions (through NORPA’s Generator program), national and international touring works and community cultural events.


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Elaine Pollen

Elaine is a Psychologist and Art Therapist in private practice in Ballina. Elaine completed her training in the UK prior to immigrating to Australia in 1999. Elaine helped set up the Masters in Art Therapy at the University of Queensland before moving to Byron Bay 10 years ago. Elaine has worked as a therapist for 25 years with a wide range of client groups including mental health, disability, child and family services and schools. Elaine has also worked with organisations to design programs to facilitate staff professional development. Elaine has a special interest in the subject of creativity; it’s facilitation and role in improving mental health and adjustment.




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