The Wild Mountain Collective is holding its Launch Party, Encountering the Wild, at the Basement, Gallery H, Dargan. Gallery H and its basement, together with the adjacent cafe, are feature buildings of Mark O’Carrigan’s Hatter’s Huts—architectural sculptures in their own right. They stand on a narrow ridge on the southern side of Chifley Road, between Bell and Lithgow—with panoramic views across to Hartley to the south, and Wollemi to the north.
Our launch party will feature live music, poetry, art, food and the extraordinary vistas from Dargan ridge. Artists have been invited to contribute original artworks—including paintings, photography, sculpture, textiles and videos that evoke the mystery, complexity and wonder of ‘the wild’.
Our art curatorial panel comprises Henryk Topolnicki (sculptor), Simon Hearn (sculptor and architect) and Todd McMillan (photographer and artist). Our music curatorial panel comprise Willem Hendriksen of Retro Rehash and Haze Magazine and Meg Benson of Music Hunter, pulling together a group of local musicians who are part of the community who celebrate living in the Blue Mountains.
Members of the Wild Mountain Collective and their families are invited to share lunch at the Dargan Cafe, and then we will join the public event at the Gallery Basement.
A cinematographer friend of the Wild Mountain Collective, Ryan Jasper, will be joining us to film the event.
At 3.30pm we will open the pop up media exhibition, featuring art and sculptures, with a talk by the Aboriginal archaeologist, Wayne Brennan (TBC), who is an expert on Wollemi Rock Art. Wayne has recently returned to Australia from attending a conference in Italy on rock art. He will talk to us about the role of art in the 60,000+ years of Aboriginal culture, which features rock art that is the oldest in the world dating back to the Ice Age in the Pleistocene Epoch. You can read more about this in our blog on Billy Griffith’s book, ‘Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Earth’.
At 2.30pm the public event will kick off with live music, featuring solo artists and the group Humumbra, featuring Gigi and Georgia.
We will then hear some of Haydn Washington’s nature poetry. Haydn is one of the Patrons of the Wild Mountain Collective and lives at Nullo Mountain, on the edge of the Garden of Stones National Park. Hayden is not only an environmental scientist and much published author and conservation activist, he is also a poet and someone who has written movingly about the spiritual and aesthetic importance of wilderness areas in his book, ‘A Sense of Wonder Towards Nature’, recently republished.
Following Hadyn’s poetry, we will hear from our artists about the importance of exploring our relationship with the ‘wild’, with the natural world, with one another, and with our inner sense of self and spirit. After this we will have a chance to explore the exhibition and purchase any of the works that take our fancy—supporting the vibrant community of artists who live in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Environment area.
Then at 4pm we will listen to some more live music from the 5 piece band, Future State.