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‘Imprints: Storytelling the City’ exhibition

By | Arts, Curation, Heritage | No Comments

A long overdue update from Amy:

I am having some great conversations with people visiting the BMI as part of our new Saturday morning tours and our current exhibition ‘Imprints: Storytelling the City.’ There are so many stories to be told, both old and new.

My PhD is titled ‘Creative activation of the past’ and this exhibition has some really rich layers to this that I look forward to exploring more in my writing (along with the other case study projects that kicked off with last years Spring Celebrations. Love my job!). Collaborating with local artists Ellen Sørensen and Wadawurrung custodian Barry Gilson has been inspiring and enlightening.

Here’s a little something Ellen and I worked on earlier in the year as part of White Night Ballarat-

So come visit, wander, ponder and respond, in the unique heritage library surrounds. Opening event, talks, and all the info you need to know below! The image featured here, and part of the exhibition, is a colour photograph by Henry Sutton thought to be one of the first colour photographs in the world. Very cool indeed : )


Exploring Ballarat’s treasures, old and new

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In 2016 Amy’s love for the arts and heritage have come together in her part time role as Curator/Researcher at Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute alongside a PhD at FedUni exploring how history can be brought to life in creative and engaging ways.

Amy with MH images at Clunes 2016 (Aldona Kmiec, low res)BMI Spring Celebrations poster

To kick things off this September is an exciting series of events for the BMI Spring Celebrations.

Amy says:

The BMI is such a special place- an institute over 160 years old that holds a lending library, theatre, heritage book collection, archives, and so many stories- I can’t wait to help share this place with the public over three nights of great music Sep 1, 2, & 3 and an Open Day on the 3rd! We will be launching the historic Ballarat photographic collection acquired by the BMI earlier this year that I have been working with (Max Harris Collection, Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute) alongside lots of great local performance, talks and activities, even go-go dancing lessons : )

It has been a massive 6 months, starting this role as well as my PhD, full of learning and I am looking forward to celebrating. I will also be hitting the skies later in the year to attend a global Mechanics’ Institute conference  in San Francisco themed ‘Reinvention: Thriving in the 21st Century,’ should be interesting!

Amy presenting at AHA conference July 2016

Amy presenting at Australian Historical Association conference July 2016

Adventures in Audio

By | Arts, Streets & Skies

Some artistic reflections from Amy on new works Promenade and Streets & Skies:

It’s been a busy, challenging and exciting few weeks getting up two new projects, and I now sit at the point where it is over to the audience. Both projects involve audio experiences, but with very different subject matter and style, both involving a participatory journey, a physical and emotional walking through. I hope people get us much out of them as we have creating them.

Rehearsing with Lucinda Horrocks

Recording with Leanne Hall & Emah Fox

Promenade, a commissioned work for Uncommon Places at this year’s Melbourne Fringe Festival was created in a rich collaboration over a short development time. It includes personal stories of women’s experiences of public space, mixed with the wide-ranging, often contradictory instructions given to us from advertising, popular culture, authority figures, family and friends to strangers on the street.
Made specifically for the Docklands, a bizarre in-between space complete with its own mini-forest, we explored this complex and timely topic inspired by comments made about women’s public safety following tragically sad cases of violence in Melbourne.
The anger, sadness and absurdity we discovered in working with this material comes together in the audio walk that takes participants through a range of spaces, experiences, and tones from biting satire to powerful reflective moments.
“Strut, walk like a man, imagine your ideal place, be confounded, be empowered, think, play, as you take this walk in a magical world of confidence and safety. ”

Promenade is FREE and has a duration of 30 minutes. Go to this link to download the audio track onto your device, then travel to the end of the line on the 11 or 48 tram towards Victoria Harbour/Docklands.
You can also download the map of all 18 Uncommon Places works, and immerse yourself in these exciting new pieces responding to the theme of instructions.

Get involved with Promenade online by sharing an image of your shoes in public space and tagging #everyshoetellsastory #melbfringe

In contrast to this very public subject matter, is my exhibition Streets & Skies for the Ballarat International Foto Biennale, exploring our inner journeys through life as experienced through images, words and song, a cross-artform project that draws on years of thought and collecting.
The audio tour that accompanies the photographs can be taken in any bookshop of choice and invites the participant to “take my hand and voice through the waves” exploring the bookshop as a kind of diary of our lives. It features newly recorded songs that originated as ‘song poems’ worked up with local musicians from my vocal beginnings.
Streets & Skies: audio for dreamers is $10.00 and can be purchased and downloaded here.
Along with the 25 minute tour, you also receive the 2 songs as standalone files to enjoy.

The photographic exhibition is on display in the Known World Bookshop until September 20th, with a book also available. Thanks go to exhibition sponsors Print2Metal.  There will also be a live performance happening to open the exhibition as part of the Slow Music Festival.

Despite their differences, the audio form brings an intimacy and sense of adventure to both these pieces, perhaps both with their own moments of pleasure and pain. They both also draw on the power of original music and the interaction with public space that brings its own unknown elements, for better of worse!
Now that I (and my amazing collaborators) have poured so much of ourselves into these works, it is over to the audience to make of them what they will.

These works are ideally experienced on site, downloaded onto your device  and accompanied by a good pair of headphones, but if you are for whatever reason unable to get to Docklands or a bookshop you can also feel free to listen to them like podcasts and ignore the instructions.
I can’t wait to hear what you think.

Streets & Skies exhibiting at the Known World Bookshop for the Ballarat International Foto Biennale Fringe Program. Aug 22-Sep 20

Upcoming Arts Projects

By | Arts, Streets & Skies | 2 Comments

This winter you will be able to enjoy two new creative works by Amy, showing in Melbourne and Ballarat.

Amy Tsilemanis, Leanne Hall & Emah Fox

Amy and collaborators Leanne Hall and Emah Fox, have been selected to produce a piece for Uncommon Places II, the keynote project for this year’s Melbourne Fringe Festival. It will be an exciting work exploring the theme of Women in Public Space. View the artists here

And in Ballarat, Amy will be presenting a show as part of the Ballarat International Foto Biennale Fringe Program, at the beautiful Known World Bookshop on Sturt St. It will combine images with an audio experience of woven words and music.

Look out for more on both these shows soon!

Spring in Creswick by Amy Tsilemanis        Freeway by Amy Tsilemanis

Heritage Innovations

By | Arts, Curation, Heritage | One Comment

This weekend exciting annual event Ballarat Heritage Weekend hits town, and Amy is involved in launching a new digital history tour called Ballarat Revealed! Explore below:

Revealed Promo

City of Ballarat and Heritage Weekend this year will offer people the chance to peer into Ballarat’s history – with a brand new modern twist – a new experience which allows you to reveal our architectural and cultural history using your mobile device or computer. Ballarat Revealed is a web-based app working on two levels: as a walking tour through Ballarat’s CBD walking up the central promenade, allowing you to stand on the spot and reveal in your device what 30 locations looked like over a century ago; and as an online resource, linking you to archival images, videos and related stories online.


It is also an honour to be awarded the Heritage Innovation Award for last year’s project- an ambitious collaboration between Federation University Arts Academy performing arts and design students, & artists Tanja Beer and Amy Tsilemanis: Living Heritage: Trades & Traditions. Big thanks go out to all involved.

Some words from Amy:

When we won the Heritage Innovation award this week it was truly an unexpected delight and in the moment I rather froze and let the lovely and articulate Angela Campbell speak which she did wonderfully. What I would have added had I found the words was this:

I worked as a researcher, curator and sometimes producer on this 2014 project that combined my own shop window trail with the Living Heritage performance trail, both drawing on the theme of Trades & Traditions. Alongside the amazing talents and work of the Federation Uni students and teachers, SO many people came together to make the project happen and I would like to thank and acknowledge the great collegial community that exists and is growing in the local heritage field.

With so many bad news stories going around it is a pleasure to celebrate projects like this that achieve wonders through creative, cross disciplinary collaboration. The benefits are broad and include:

  • creating a heritage and arts experience for audience members during Ballarat Heritage Weekend, locals and tourists alike
  • providing training and professional experience for students including collaboration across disciplines (and the local learning and stories like one of the design students learning that his grandmother was a Lucas Girl)
  • making meaningful connections between the uni and the town
  • a true collaborative effort drawing on the resources and generosity of so many:

Thanks go to people in the room like heritage gems Clare Gervasoni and Edith Fry who are always ready to assist, right through to the city’s CEO Anthony Schink who helped us access empty spaces in the CBD to activate with stories and life. Local spaces and businesses also collaborated to allow access to their buildings and resources including this beautiful Mechanics’ Institute and Jackson’s and Co. It was a massive team effort.

I hope this project provides an example of what can be done with creativity and collaboration, bringing with it excitement for the possibilities to come!

• above – Living Heritage: Trades & Traditions 2014

• left – Angela Campbell & Amy Tsilemanis at 2015 Heritage Awards

Travels and Projects

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Amy at the Museum of the City of New York

Amy at the Museum of the City of New York

After an inspiring cultural whirlwind through New York, Ireland and Mexico to close the year, Amy is back editing and creating works about New York Print Week and the artist and the city.

BAF award Courier Dec 2014

Amy has recently answered a few questions over here about her work and travels

Amy is also currently working on an exciting digital project for the City of Ballarat which will launch at Ballarat Heritage Weekend 2015…More soon!


Street Art in Dumbo, New York

Arts Award for Travel to New York

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This month Amy was awarded the 2014 Rotary Club South Award from the Ballarat Arts Foundation to assist with her travel to New York as project documenter of traveling printmaking exhibition 37° 48′ S – artists navigate MELBOURNE.

Here is the exciting promo film for the project featuring Amy’s photographs and footage, produced by Peter Corbett at Powerhouse Productions.

The Space Between Book Exhibition

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The Space Between is a gallery work inviting participation and engagement around the theme of books and reading.

Through visual art, sound, and interactive elements, this show explores how books and knowledge are being experienced, stored, and shared amid technological advancements.

Part love letter to books, part inquiry into the possibilities of digital, people can get involved with workshops, research materials, talks, a pop up library, and evolving artworks in both paper and digital forms.

Backspace Gallery Ballarat
July 13-28th 2013. Open Tues -Sunday 10-4
Opening event Saturday July 13th 2-4
More info @ weavelength.blogspot.com.au