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Documentary shows reaction to cutting edge art festival in kandos

Lyra Burghaus adds to SNO Group’s ‘Collective Monochrome No. 26’ which invited visitors to contribute a layer to a communal red painting at the 2013 Cementa_13 contemporary art festival in Kandos.

A new thirty-minute documentary takes audiences along to the regional contemporary art event that brought city artists over the mountains and made Kandos famous among Sydney’s contemporary art community.

At Roth’s Wine Bar from 6pm on Wednesday, March 11, Mudgee Underground will host a free screening of Welcome to Kandos, a 30-minute film about 2013’s first-ever contemporary art festival held in Kandos.

The film, shot over the four days of the festival, captures the artists’ response to the town and the town’s response to the unusual event in its midst.

Cementa_13 brought around 40 cutting edge contemporary artists to Kandos in February 2013, many creating work inspired by the town, such as Josephine Starrs and Leon Cmielewski’s chapel celebrating the Kandos Street Machine Show, Bronia Iwanczak’s photos taken in the Kandos Museum and Madeleine Preston’s artefacts of an art movement built around items found in the museum collection.

The event was described as “wildly successful”, and was praised for showing that cutting-edge art could thrive outside “the art world bubble”.

“The level of work was very high, the event was also very relaxed,” said organiser Alex Wisser.

“People had a really good time and it allowed them to enjoy the art in a way they normally couldn’t.”

Artists enjoyed the chance to spend time with each other in Kandos and to talk about art with locals and hear some fresh perspectives, while locals enjoyed meeting the artists and hearing the ideas behind the artworks.

Welcome to Kandos captures some of the response to the event, from artists and residents, and gives a taste of the festival’s atmosphere as artists and the town prepare for its return in April 2015.

It also attempts to explore a particular turning point in the town’s history, as it looked for a new direction following the cement works’ recent closure.

The screening at Roth’s Wine Bar is open to all, and will provide a relaxed and enjoyable way of checking out

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