Watch This Space

Address: 8 Gap Rd, Alice Springs NT 0870
Mailing address: PO Box 8405, Alice Springs, NT 0871
Contact: Zoya Godoroja-Prieckaerts (Director)
Phone: 08 8952 1949
Open Hours: Wed-Fri 12-5pm, Sat 10am-2pm (during exhibition periods)


How is the project operated?
Artist-run initiative (ARI), not-for-profit.

How long has it been in existence?
25 years.

Exhibition “Building Walls” by Zoya Godoroja-Prieckaerts, 2018. Photo credit: Mimi Catterns.

What was your motivation?
WTS was seeded as a response to the lack of contemporary arts activity in Alice Springs/Mparntwe in 1991 by five artists – Pam Lofts, Anne Mosey, Jan Mackay, Angela Gee and Pip McManus – officially establishing itself as an ARI in 1993. The first charter included a number of objectives including:
– Providing a forum for artists wanting critical dialogue on works in progress and resolved works.
– It was for a venue for emerging and professional artists as it was a non-commercial Space with no pressure to sell.
– It was to be an exchange between artists around Australia and internationally with 50% local and 50% visiting artists.
– There was a strong emphasis on collaborations between artists and all media.

Number of organizers/responsible persons of the project
1 part-time paid staff and Board of Management of 8 people.

How are programs funded?
Some state and federal government funding, earned income, fundraisers, memberships and a small amount of philanthropic funding.

Who is responsible for the programming?
We have a Curatorial Committee who make most decisions around the Creative Programming, but the Director is responsible for the admin and other organising of the programming.

Number and average duration of exhibitions/events per year
WTS holds between 8-10 exhibitions/year, alongside  many pop-up events. Exhibitions run for three-week periods.

Travelling Artist in Resident, Holly Macdonald’s Open Studio, 2018. Photo credit: Holly Macdonald.

What kind of events are usually organized?
Exhibitions, performances, presentations, open studios, artist talks, offsite projects and more.

How is your programming determined?
By our Curatorial Committee.

Do you accept proposals/submissions?
Yes, during Open Call Out periods.

What is your artistic/curatorial approach?
We have a commitment to exhibiting 50% NT artists and 50% interstate/international, with  a focus on experimental contemporary art.

What’s working? What’s not working?
We’ve been running for 25 years now so I guess a lot has been working! But the Director role has a history of being incredibly demanding where people often leave from burn out.

What kind of role do you hope to play in your local art scene or community?
As the only ARI in Central Australia (and within a 1500km radius), we provide a constructive and supportive environment for artists to develop, collaborate and experiment through exhibitions, residencies, festivals, performances, offsite projects and an onsite studio community, all within a unique geographical, social and cultural landscape: Mparntwe/Alice Springs. We are a platform for experimentation and play.

“ARTalks August 2018 edition” curated by Kieran Finnane (pictured speaking) and Jenny Taylor. Photo credit: Mimi Catterns.

What idea are you most excited about for the future?
We recently received a grant approval for 2019 and 2020 to wave our exhibition and residency hire fees as well as pay artists for exhibitions. This is extremely exciting and we can’t wait to see what work comes through our space due to the value, respect and support this funding will provide our artists.



Images courtesy of Watch This Space. This profile has been published in partnership with Artist-Run Alliance

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