Gathering thoughts – doing the undoing

Over the past months of shut down, emergence and re shut down in Victoria the flow of questions on how we gather, what we share alongside when and how we connect have indeed received a singular global amplification in the context of COVID19 virus.

Within the torrent of information and readjustment of plans and civic and personal responses we hope you are keeping safe, well and strong.

Mid-March 2020 saw Punctum deliver a highly successful launch of our Kultur-All Makaan. This major project employing 50 artists and creative workers was to be delivered as a part of Bendigo’s Zinda Multicultural Festival and Melbourne Design Week, however, it was curtailed due to COVID19 shutdowns, requiring us to cancel two days of the programmed four and present without the festivals giving it context.

theWay-theWater-theWalk, our interactive installation was also postponed. A presentation scheduled for June in Brisbane as a part of the Water Futures conference SRI 2020 no longer viable.

We also postponed Danielle Constance and Dan Koop’s Seedpod residency “Hear Hear”, ensuring these artists could self-determine their work’s trajectory.

As cancellations of interstate touring and presentations progressed, we began losing projected income through our inability to offer our already successful “Public Cooling House”.

In this period, we researched new capabilities while continuing to offer opportunity and stabilize operations. We sought know-how from our local, national, and international networks for:
• operating and delivering programs in an increasingly uncertain, disrupted environment.
• planning and adjusting from a place of operational strength.
• developing programs that respond to changed conditions and dynamics for local communities.
• proposing new ways of engaging that are relevant drawing from the insight of residents, partners, audiences, and visitors.

Researching and Developing

theWay-theWater-theWalk has been re-situated as a first phase ‘work-in-progress’ of an interactive installation / performance with Castlemaine Art Museum. July/August 2020

We rebranded our residency program as ‘Weird Sanctuaries’: four locally based residencies supporting a First Nations First approach for independent artists to build connectedness between artists, residents and audiences in a significant period of change. 75% of applications arose from our local context which is an excellent indicator of the times and the type of support we might give local artists.

We are also pivoting towards the HYPER-LOCAL - A program that will stimulate connection and engagement with local audiences, enabling networks to be strengthened through collaboration and employment.

It will respond directly to the environmental, cultural, social, civic, and geography of our local context. It capitalizes on alliances in train and strengthens others from our local base. Informed by our approach to collaboration, practice, and partnership development, it will build a mesh of relationships between artists, producers, presenters, and audiences at our micro level around matters that resonate locally and connect globally. 

It celebrates our local and delicate interdependencies to create experiences and encounters surpassing immediate agendas of urgency and contributing to the lasting strength of Victoria’s creative ecosystem.

Please stay tuned and connected through our website and social media for more announcements

Information and support

We are keeping up to date with advocacy and information available at local, state and national levels to support independent artists and small arts organisations and help with their ongoing practice.

We are preparing to make Pumctums spaces and gatherings healthy ones, and we will observe the current measures required at the time.

No one can forecast what the social responses will be after COVID 19 but we do know that the creative industries will play a fundamental role in building social cohesion.

If you’re a regionally based arts practitioner, feel free to contact us via email should you want or need to discuss advocacy and information.

We are working from home and office and one of us will get back to you.

Stay safe, wear a mask and wash your hands

Much love

Jude and Steve