The Living Classroom, Bingara

The Living Classroom, Bingara

An artist, a farmer & a scientist walk into a bar… is a major creative arts initiative challenging and changing the relationships we have with land.

Since early 2018, nine artists have embarked on ambitious collaborations with farmers, scientists, Aboriginal knowledge holders, chefs and rural innovators. The initiative has emerged from the regional NSW towns of Kandos and Bingara, and our collaborations are reaching into other locations including Mudgee, Inverell, Hartley, Sydney and even rural Victoria and the Gold Coast. The Living Classroom in Bingara, an innovative public education farm on 150 hectares of land that was formally the town commons, is an important site for our collaborations and residencies.

A snapshot of “An Artist, A Farmer, and a Scientist Walk into a Bar”. This video was created in October 2018, by Justin Hewitson.

Each of the nine projects has a unique focus (wild foods, solar energy, Aboriginal agriculture, biochar...) and all are anchored by strong engagement with regenerative models of farming, rural/urban interactions, and the potential of arts-led collaborations to inspire fresh approaches to the environmental challenges we face today.

You can find a short introductory video about the project here.

Our artists are blogging about their ideas and experiences as they go. You can find out about the 8 projects if you scroll to the bottom of this page, or click on the artists’ names: Georgie Pollard, Imogen Semmler, Alex Wisser, Diego Bonetto, Karla Dickens, Lucas Ihlein, Mark Swartz, Jono Bolitho, Laura Fisher.

2018 was filled with events and workshops, including:

  • The project launch dinner and theatre extravaganza. This was hosted by Bingara’s Northwest Theatre Company who staged an hilarious play based on our project concept, with wild-food themed dishes prepared by the Friends of Touriandi in collaboration with Diego Bonetto and organic meat provided by farmer collaborator Glenn Morris. Find our video doco here, and read blog reports here and here.

  • The Carbon Science: Carbon Culture workshop weekend with adults and students from Bingara Central School. Find our video doco here, blog reports here and here.

  • The foraging workshops - read Diego’s blogs here and here.

  • Georgie Pollard’s exhibition at the 2018 Australia New Zealand biochar conference - read Georgie’s blog here.

  • humus:human at Siteworks in Bundanon - read Jono Bolitho’s blog here.

There will be more workshops, events and exhibitions throughout 2019, culminating in a public forum at The Living Classroom in Bingara in September, and an exhibition that will be an integral part of the Cementa 19 festival in Kandos in November. Then we’ll roll all our discoveries into a newspaper publication (a bit like this one) to keep these important conversations going.

An artist, a farmer & a scientist walk into a bar… is an initiative of the art collective KSCA (Kandos School of Cultural Adaptation), and builds upon KSCA’s successful 2016 event Futurelands2. It is being staged in partnership with Cementa Inc., The Living Classroom, Starfish Initiatives and Arts North West, and has been generously funded by a Regional Partnerships Grant from Create NSW.