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#BeStill – a Pandemic Art Challenge Image

#BeStill – a Pandemic Art Challenge

Across the globe, people in lockdown are using their creativity to help manage and record their experiences of living in this newly unfamiliar world.

Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery has responded by creating a digital art challenge to capture the domestic reality of people living in COVID-19 isolation on the Coffs Coast for posterity – #BeStill.

“Life has become a much smaller world for us all and, for many people, it’s entirely lived at home. This has seen an explosion of creativity and collaboration through video, song, musical performance, art and all kinds of wonderful and unexpected things,” said Cecile Knight, Acting Curator, Museum and Gallery.

“This also got us thinking about how people’s lives have slowed down and become almost still and we wanted to capture the domestic experiences of people living in COVID-19 isolation on the Coffs Coast, and around the world, through the theme of still life in honour of our collective stillness.

“It is particularly resonant for the Regional Gallery as we are the host of the Biennial Still: National Still Life Award.”

To get involved, people are simply being asked to take a photo of a still life composition – either a composition you’ve created especially, or something you think defines this moment for you in isolation – and post it to Instagram with one of the following hashtags #BeStillCoffsCoast, #BeStillAustralia or #BeStillWorld. Be sure to tag @coffsharbourregionalgallery in each post.

“Photos with these hashtags will be printed by the Gallery over the coming months with the aim of displaying them on the walls of the Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery as part of a planned ‘Be Still Exhibition’ which will be ready to be explored once the Gallery’s doors are re-opened,” added Ms Knight.

“A selection of these works will then be included in our Coffs Collections Digitisation Project for future generations.”

Local resident Nerida Little has been inspired by #BeStill and already uploaded her images on Instagram to take part. “Our worlds have shrunk during the lockdown, but it doesn’t mean they have to be smaller,” she says. “I saw #BeStill as a way of looking at my smaller world and appreciating the everyday that is otherwise overlooked. It also gave me a chance to be creative in a way I never am normally.”

a year ago

Post-Pandemic Economic Recovery Opportunities for Coffs2 Image

Post-Pandemic Economic Recovery Opportunities for Coffs2

Major touring art exhibitions such as the ‘The Archibald’ are a good example. When that show was at the Tweed Regional Gallery, it generated 26,000 visitors over a seven-week period, and the economic impact of the Grace Kelly exhibition on the Bendigo economy was estimated to be $16.3 million. It is estimated that a growth in cultural tourism due to improved cultural facilities will be worth around $1.8 million per year locally.

a year ago

Infrastructure Projects Image

Infrastructure Projects

Infrastructure projects to help stimulate local economies are a focus for all levels of government as the country begins to consider recovery from the impacts of COVID-19.

A request from Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack for all local councils to provide a list of transport projects that could help strengthen the economy and drive job creation highlighted the benefits that such schemes can bring to local prosperity and wellbeing.

Coffs Harbour City Council has provided a list of 16 candidate transport projects worth a combined $91.9m to his office for their consideration.

“But the opportunities open to us to pursue post-pandemic recovery strategies are not just limited to road-related options,” said Steve McGrath, Council’s General Manager. “We have a number of projects ready to move across our local government area such as the Northern Beaches Multi-purpose Centre, the Regional Sports Hub and, of course, the Cultural and Civic Space.

“The Cultural and Civic Space has been identified as crucial to the region’s recovery in terms of providing construction and operating jobs, plus economic stimulus in terms of helping rebuild tourism and assisting in the attraction of new residents and inward investment further down the line.”

The design and construction phase (2020-2023) is expected to generate an estimated 358 new local jobs out of a total of 555 direct and flow-on jobs. Overall, once the building is operational, around 31 ongoing jobs are expected to be generated by the project. This extra economic activity is forecast to translate into $2 million per year Gross Regional Product for the Coffs Harbour area.

Increased visitation to the region is another benefit that the Cultural and Civic Space, Northern Beaches Multi-purpose Centre and the Regional Sports Hub are expected to provide.

Major touring art exhibitions such as the ‘The Archibald’ are a good example. When that show was at the Tweed Regional Gallery, it generated 26,000 visitors over a seven-week period, and the economic impact of the Grace Kelly exhibition on the Bendigo economy was estimated to be $16.3 million. It is estimated that a growth in cultural tourism due to improved cultural facilities will be worth around $1.8 million per year locally.

Studies have also shown that facilities such as art galleries are important contributors to regional growth through their influence on increasing the attraction of the region as a place to live and do business. Major urban renewal projects also have a stimulus effect as they generate new investment by existing businesses in the same area.

Finally, the project will directly result in productivity gains for the Council itself which are forecast to be $300,000 a year by housing all office staff into a single building.

a year ago