Tracy Heathwood, Director of Artspace Mackay
Artspace Mackay has had a long association with Flying Arts Alliance, spanning the entire history of the gallery – so some 20 years! Artspace has been a collaborator, a venue for touring exhibitions, workshops and professional development activities and many of our local artists have been workshop participants, workshop tutors (artists/educators) and funding recipients.
In fact, two out of the three current exhibitions on display are thanks to Flying Arts Alliance. We’re currently hosting the Flying Arts touring exhibition Iterate| Elaborate by Brisbane-based artist Leigh Schoenheimer here in our Foyer Gallery.
In our Foundation Gallery we have a beautiful, mesmerising audio-visual installation by two local artists – Donna Maree Robinson and David Pyke – entitled Continuum. Digital artist Donna Maree Robinson has created a multi-channel digital projection to accompany composer David Pyke’s original musical score. Donna was inspired by David’s experiences in vast desert landscapes. She incorporated into the piece her own experimentations with cymatics – or the visual representations of sound vibrations. Donna received funding through the Regional Art Fund, administered in Queensland by Flying Arts, to realise this project.
I wouldn’t be where I am today without Flying Arts. My time with them instilled in me a great love for the regional Queensland arts sector and a desire to see regional Queensland artists supported and showcased.
My personal journey with Flying Arts actually started much earlier than through my work at Artspace Mackay. My mother always participated in workshops with Flying Arts whenever they visited town so, when an opportunity came up to volunteer for the organisation after I graduated from the Queensland College of Art in 1996, I leapt at the chance. This volunteer position led to me completing an arts administration traineeship with Flying Arts whilst working with the organisation as a Project Officer. I wouldn’t be where I am today without Flying Arts.
Flying Arts has far-reaching impacts on artists and communities living in regional and remote places. They consistently advocate for the development of visual arts and a creative life for all Queenslanders, regardless of geographical location. This is so very important. We need to keep telling diverse stories by showcasing the lived experiences of artists and communities further afield than our metropolitan centres. Flying Arts needs ongoing financial support to carry on this impactful work.