Refuge explores the role of artists and cultural institutions in times of climate catastrophe. Each year until 2020, we’re bringing together emergency management, artists and local and regional communities to prepare Arts House as a relief centre for 24 hours, in an imagined climate disaster.
Refuge is about social and community resilience and valuing an artistic approach to complex issues. Refuge propels a growing cohort of artists into leading edge innovators of creative preparedness. This project is key to Arts House’s commitment to explore responses to climate justice, engage deeply with local communities and present innovative and experimental art.
Arts and culture’s contribution to the disaster recovery process is globally recognised however, Refuge’s premise is different. Through an interdisciplinary approach artists, service providers and the community work together to rehearse climate related emergencies – exploring the impact of creativity in specifically building preparedness, led by experimental contemporary artists.
In 2016, we imagined a local flood and transformed the North Melbourne Town Hall into a relief centre for 24-hours.
In 2017, we will envisage the increasing possibility of five consecutive days over 40°C.
How can we build resilience, connect and respond in inclusive, ethical and humane ways? In times like these, what’s our most precious resource? The kindness of strangers? Each other? A plan? What skills do we have? Come and help us make a Refuge, collaborating alongside artists and emergency services.
For all Refuge enquiries or to find out how to get involved, please contact the Refuge team at Arts House via email or call (03) 9322 3720.
2017 Refuge Artists
Asha Bee Abraham
Emily Johnson & Vicki Couzens
2016 Refuge Artists
Jen Rae & Dawn Weleski
Lee Shang Lun
Refuge is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body; and the University of Melbourne.
Refuge supporting partners are Emergency Management Victoria, Red Cross Australia, SES Footscray Division, The Huddle at The North Melbourne Football Club, the University of Melbourne’s Research Unit in Public Cultures, Resilient Melbourne, ACTNatimuk, Nati Frinj Biennale, Creative Recovery Network and Horsham Rural City Council. Participating artists and friends include Hannah Donnelley, Lee Shang Lun, Greg Pritchard, Jillian Pearce, Kate Sulan and Dawn Weleski.
Image by – Bryony Jackson