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Creating explorative interdisciplinary projects in the Australian bush

with a focus on arts, design, music and environment.

 
 

Harrigans Lane Collective

Artistic interdisciplinary collaborations can show us what we are and what we might become. They have the capacity to demonstrate non-economic value in creative pursuits.

The Harrigqns Lane Collective (HLC) program is available to visual artists, performing artists, composers, writers, conservationists, and researchers for short-term projects that have a connection to or presentation outcome at Harrigans Lane. Importance of place.

Inspire and support innovative arts projects in an environment that encourages creativity. Sense of curiosity and adventure.

Emphasis on arts cross overs and intersection in areas that are often overlooked in main stream support


 
 

What goes on

There are many sources of creativity but one genesis that interests HLC particularly is place. We engage with a place in a multitude of ways, through all of the senses— even taste (the taste of wine reflects the terroir; a dip in the ocean brings a taste of salt to our lips). For indigenous people of Australia, that connection is of course integral to identity. Governed by this, creativity is inextricably a part of knowing oneself and one’s place. Musically, we are all an extension of a place, where more generally speaking, meanings and feelings are ecologically derived and socially and ritually embedded (cf. Leavitt, 1996).

Often it is hard to find the right words to adequately describe a place, our connection to it, and why it may inspire something beyond just being there. Our Harrigans Lane property has grown to be a place like this, brimming with an inner life and evoking any number of levels of sensual engagement. Besides the more obvious ways of engaging artistically, like photographing, painting, using its timbers to build and create, it has been the home of ‘sounding’ projects. The projects are based on the concept of place-inspired art …

To see where this concept sits along the timeline of place-inspired art, a couple of perspectives can be explored: Site-specific art is one that I will go into briefly first. It has a long and well-documented history. The provenance of sound art is to some extent under the same umbrella. More recently, the forms that it takes are evolving experimentally, crystalising a cultural artistic practice in its own right. This practice could be said to derive from environmental philosophies and avant-garde approaches to music composition such as sound ecology and soundscape composition—the latter being the brainchild of R. Murray Schafer in the 1960s.

Site-specific art—something that is equally defined by its location as by its creator and permanently in-situ—has a long tradition and its many forms have been documented in countless media and publications. “Art made for a specific place can be the most spectacular, uplifting, and exciting art you can ever experience,” says Amanda Renshaw, editor of a recent publication by Phaidon, Art and place: Site-specific art of the Americas (2013). For ancient cultures, it was inextricably part and parcel of existence, a way of life: spiritually, to pass on knowledge, for survival (rock carving and painting, for example). Through the ages, site-specific art has been integral to how we experience, connect with and remember a place, whether through the built or natural environment—murals and frescos, mosaics, tapestries, sculptural reliefs, stained glass, earthworks, and land art to name some.

The latter cases, earthworks and land art, are examples of what emerged in the late 1960s, for different reasons. The growing commodification of art inspired site-specific art with the view to celebrating the autonomy and universality of art (cf. Kwon, 2004). This has resulted in a great merging of forms such as land art, process art, performance art, installation art, community-based art and public art, and generally multi-art forms. Underlying these terminologies is often an integrity that is expressed as the inseparability of the work and its context. In this approach, Kwon (2004) continues, there is also a presumption of “unrepeatability”—you have to be there!

Visual art forms are predominant in this literature. Because of its ephemeral nature, place-inspired art that involves sound and performance is not so easily described and disseminated in publications. The stories that follow aim to illuminate the processes and personal journeys involved in the ‘sounding projects’ inspired by Harrigans Lane. They are far-reaching in creative ideas, but at the same time personal, intimate accounts of a place.


 
 

Rationale

In the UK, John Holden has developed a model of cultural value by drawing on a variety of sources. From anthropology, he takes the recognition of the importance of non-economic values. This allows for discussion of historical, social, symbolic, aesthetic and spiritual values, alongside economic ones. From the environmental sciences, he takes the idea that we have a duty of care for finite and threatened resources. This is allied to the idea of sustainability and the insight that diversity is as vital for healthy and resilient cultural and social systems as it is for ecosystems. From the practice of intangibles accounting, Holden draws the lesson that things that are difficult to measure can be just as important as things that are easy to measure, but that when we do measure intangibles we need to agree on definitions and use consistent approaches.

The vitality of Australian creative work comes from the infusion of existing traditions with new energy and influences.

From Vital Signs <first edition>

The value of built and natural cultural heritage items is assessed from a variety of perspectives: cultural, economic, spiritual or social. Heritage items can also have more than one kind of value. They can be measured in terms of their direct use value, in which case their value is assumed to be able to be traded in or captured by markets. In this way of determining the value of a heritage item, ticket sales or contributions to the local employment market might be used as measures. The value of material cultural heritage items can also be assessed according to their indirect use value: the contributions they make to a sense of cultural identity, the promotion of social interactions, or their recreational health benefits. There are aspects of national parks and shipwrecks open to recreational diving that can be valued in this way.

A third way to assess the value of physical heritage items is according to their non-use values. These are not traded in or captured by markets and are therefore difficult to express in terms of price. They include existence value: the altruism of individuals who value the items for their existence, irrespective of whether they themselves experience or consume them directly; option value: a wish to preserve the option of experiencing arts or cultural activities at a future time; and the bequest value of cultural heritage: the desire to bequeath an arts or cultural asset to future generations (Throsby 1995, 2003; de la Torre and Mason 2002). P 39


 
 

Donations

Donations to Harrigans Lane Collective (HLC) directly impact Queensland arts practitioners, and play an important role in fostering innovation across a range of arts disciplines ;

every donation over $2 is tax deductible?

Our programs enable artistic professions to hone their craft and continue to provide a cutting edge to arts in Australia. This ultimately create independent incomes through sustainable practices.

The more programs we conduct each year builds and supports and grows our creative community.

A bequest to HLC is a generous way for you to make a lasting contribution for the benefit of future generations. Bequests, of any amount, can help strengthen and expand our programs.

HLC aims to build lasting relationships with our donors. If you are considering making a contribution to our endeavours we invite you to discuss your intentions with us so we can thank you personally and make sure your wishes are understood and achievable.

Bruce and Jocelyn

Directors, Harrigans Lane Collective