Photo by Hong An James Nguyen
Photo by Hong An James Nguyen

Western Sydney Parklands Trust and City People
The Western Sydney Parklands Arts and Cultural Accelerator is an innovative 10-day development lab involving artists and professionals from other fields that will generate a set of concepts for arts and cultural projects for the parklands and beyond.

February – March 2020
At Sydney International Shooting Centre and Western Sydney Parlands
Artists – Marian Abboud, Robyn Backen, David Capra, Anna Kuroda, Djon Mundine, Hong An James Nguyen, Stephanie Peters, Shay Tobin
Facilitator – Michael Cohen

6 April – 9 May2021
At Marsden Gallery, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre
Co-Curated by Western Sydney Parklands, City People and Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre

Bush Country Voices is an immersive audio/visual experience that seeks to challenge and explore our relationship to Country. Filmed in the Cumberland Plain bushland of Western Sydney Parklands – Australia’s largest urban park – a series of multi-screen projections captures the landscape in this moment in time, while a music soundtrack builds on the natural sounds of the Parklands. Traditional custodians, artists, environmental experts and urban planners share their thoughts on the Parklands’ past, present and future, while reflecting on their own evolving feelings about the land.

In February 2020, a group of artists lived on-site at Western Sydney Parklands to explore and creatively respond to the landscape around them. They spoke with Darug elders and Aboriginal rangers as well as the Parklands’ staff responsible for this precious green corridor which extends through the Liverpool area and right up to Blacktown. And they climbed its hills and ridge lines with views to the Blue Mountains on one side and the city on the other – the backbone of what one custodian described as “a living body, with the rivers and creeks like veins and arteries”. For each artist, the experience created different emotions – from the pleasure of seeing kangaroos in their native habitat to relief at a break from development and urban life, even fear of the (to one artist) alien nature of the Australian bush.

This exhibition invites you to share that experience and to surround yourself with the voices and sounds of a journey into the bush, where Darug and Gundungarra Country meet.

The exhibition was created by CuriousWorks with music by James Peter Brown.

From its state of the art dog park at Shale Hills, the Plough and Harrow picnic shelters to a 60km network of walking and cycling trails, or its futuristic Bungarribee Park playground, Western Sydney Parklands is also known as “Sydney’s Biggest Backyard”.  Part of the newly established Greater Sydney Parklands agency, and stretching over 5280 hectares and 27 kilometres from north to south, this spectacular space also features thousands of hectares of native Cumberland Plain bushland. The Parklands’ environmental regeneration program will return 40% of the Parklands to bushland by 2030.

With the voices of:
Paul Glass, Djon Mundine, Leanne Tobin, David Kirkland, Marian Abboud, David Capra, Anna Kuroda, Michael Cohen