Friday, July 8, 2011

Local profile - Cara-Ann Simpson

Ok.  There's talented and then there's really talented and I think Cara-Ann falls into the latter category.  I happened upon Cara while dealing with the Bundoora Homestead Art Centre not realising her artistic talent and international recognition in her own field to date.  Given the sound and light installations happening around the city, I hope it's not too long before Cara is given the opportunity to show us some of her amazing work right here in the north east.  And I really love those headphones...
Name: Cara-Ann Simpson
Occupation: Visitor services at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre, freelance sound installation artist & Co-director of Electrofringe Ltd
Lives/works: Lives in Abbotsford, works in Bundoora.
How long have you lived/worked here? I've lived in Abbotsford for 2 years and also worked in Bundoora for 2 years.

Describe yourself/what you do:
I guess at the moment I have 3 distinct roles as artist, Visitor Services Officer at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre and Co-director of Electrofringe Ltd. I am a multidisciplinary artist with a focus on sound, space and the participant and my artistic practice predominantly involves interactive installation. I'm currently working on a very exciting project called Geodesic Sound Helmets (http://www.caraannsimpson.com/work/GSHelmets).

At Bundoora Homestead Art Centre I am the Visitor Services Officer during the week, which is an incredibly exciting and diverse position!
"Transitional Spaces: Underground Singapore" from 2010, medium is ink-infused metal
In January 2011 I became the new Co-director of Electrofringe Ltd, which is an electronic arts organisation with year round programming and an annual festival in Newcastle, NSW. In 2010 I received an ArtStart grant from the Australia Council for the Arts, presented my first co-authored conference paper at IEEE International Conference on Multimedia & Expo (Singapore) and received a Young Artists' grant from the City of Melbourne. In 2007, I was the recipient of the Hobday and Hingston Bursary from the Queensland Art Gallery and also received the University of Southern Queensland Faculty of Arts – Visual Arts medal in the same year.

2011 is going to be an exciting year for me, in early June I travelled to Toronto, Canada where I was invited to give a presentation, poster and demo of the prototype for Geodesic Sound Helmets, in September I will be travelling to Istanbul in Turkey to present a paper about the same project at the International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA2011) and the project will also be presented in New Zealand at Blue Oyster Art Project Space (Dunedin) and in Melbourne at Kings ARI at the end of the year.

Best thing about living/working in Melbourne's north-east:
Living and working in Melbourne's north-east means I have access to a vast variety of really exciting and diverse arts projects. I also love that the north-east section of Melbourne has retained some incredibly beautiful parklands, especially surrounding the creeks and rivers – I'm always walking around the parks near Abbotsford (especially the Merri Creek and Yarra River confluence) to record the sounds.

There is an abundance of fantastic galleries, cafes and shops so whenever family or friends visit me, I make sure I take them around north-east Melbourne. One of the best things about working at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre is being able to access incredible art weekly – Im really proud of the program that the centre provides and this year there are some exceptional exhibitions on the way. Keep your eyes out for 'The River' towards the end of the year that will include some historically important artworks such as John Wesley Burtt's Batman's Treaty with the Aborigines at Merri Creek, 6th June 1835, c1875 and contemporary works by leading Australian practitioners like Polixeni Papapetrou, Eolo Paul Bottaro and Sharon West.

For more information:
Artist website: http://www.caraannsimpson.com
Electrofringe website: http://www.electrofringe.net
Bundoora Homestead website: http://www.bundoorahomestead.com
Facebook Fanpage: http://www.facebook.com/mobileprotection#!/pages/Cara-Ann-Simpson/139552449414071
Twitter Handle: CaraAnnSimpson

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