CONVERGE to bring colour and life to Lismore’s CBD

Lismore MP Janelle Saffin and Lismore City Mayor Cr Steve Krieg jointly launched CONVERGE, Lismore's Creative Enterprise Development Program, featuring 11 local artists taking up residence in a Woodlark Street building.

Source: Lismore City Council media release

LISMORE City Mayor Steve Krieg and Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin last week launched CONVERGE, Lismore’s Creative Enterprise Development Program.

As an innovative, inner-city, artist-in-residence and creative enterprises development program, CONVERGE provides a space for selected artists to develop and create art.

“Lismore has long been known as a creative powerhouse proudly boasting a large, diverse and talented artistic community,” Mayor Krieg said.

“A core group of 11 local artists will now take up artistic residence in what was a vacant building at 123 Woodlark St, creating a space to come together and exchange ideas, techniques and skills.

“Every week new businesses are opening in the CBD and life is certainly coming back into the city. CONVERGE will add to the colour and bustle of Lismore and bring positive economic outcomes in terms of visitation and local spending in our CBD.

“Supporting our creative community by enabling spaces to create and showcase work is crucial in fostering community connection and supports the call to Back Lismore’s arts and culture.”

After a highly competitive Expressions of Interest process from artists to participate in the program, Council last month announced the successful artists.
CONVERGE is funded by the NSW Reconstruction Authority (RA) to support the arts sector in the wake of the 2022 floods.
Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin said the Reconstruction Authority is working with stakeholders, like Lismore City Council, to identify ways to support economic and community recovery, and supporting the arts is a critical part of that.  
“It’s estimated that every dollar spent on the arts in NSW is worth $1.88 to the economy,” she said.
“And we have just seen with the LisAmore festival and Lismore Lantern Parade how much our arts events can lift community spirits.
“The Converge project is yet another way to promote our region as a place where creatives can thrive.”
After a highly competitive Expressions of Interest process from artists to participate in the program, Council last month announced the successful artists
They are:
Michelle Gilroy: a Lismore artist painting a new body of work, comprised of self-portraits that highlight lived experience, as a person with a disability.

‘It’s’: transcending cosmic boundaries, a fusion of Scott Sinclair and Aaron McGarry’s celestial talents. Their collaborative synergy channels the harmonious balance of the cosmos, defying artistic convention with materials and processes that resonate across galaxies.

Karenza Ebejer: a socially engaged video artist and documentary filmmaker. Her films focus on relationship to place, culture and identity and work is often made in creative collaboration with participants.

Matt O’Brien: Framed by the grand narratives of the artists encounters with the epic Australian ‘landscape’, Matt’s work contributes a simulacrum of this, rather focussing on how the connection to past present and future dialogs in making work can create intimate dialogues between the individual and country. His site-responsive process aims to connect artist, work, and country together.

Adrienne Kenafake: a multi-disciplinary Australian artist based in Northern NSW. Working across the mediums of sculpture, performance and installation she explores the potential of objects as physical, psychological and extrasensory archives of emotion, story and place

Antoinette O’Brien: a multi-disciplinary artist with a strong focus on figurative ceramics. She is deeply committed to community and responds to it through her work, which also considers place, sky, sea and soil as integral.

Paul Walker: an independent dancer, performance artist and community arts worker based on Bundjalung Country in Northern NSW. For over 20 years, Paul has been performing, teaching and making dance, physical theatre, live art, interactive performances, cabaret and drawing.

Annie Monks: a Bundjalung Country based visual artist. Annie is passionate about exploring healing through the arts. She draws her inspiration from relationships to community and Country

Chris Lego: works across many mediums, in self-publishing a zine, Screen printing as the Department of Nothing, making small wearable sculptures and collages and painting. He also makes events, party decor and DJs a unique and sometimes chaotic mix of music.

Stefanie Miriklis: raised in the Northern Rivers, her practice based in paper, painting and printmaking now focuses on found objects and mosaic. Through this medium she transforms memory and sentiment into thought provoking visual ingredients that address the intimate implications of societal adaptation and abrupt climate change.