Shining a light on shadow places

Cad Factory Peter Fraser

Based just outside of Narrandera in regional NSW, The Cad Factory creates opportunities for people in the Narrandera region to engage with artmaking processes and outcomes. Their latest project, Shadow Places, is a large scale outdoor artwork set in the Narrandera landscape on the Traveling Stock Reserve. Fifteen new artworks have been created by eighteen Riverina artists, seven visiting artists, as well as six farming families. Each artwork explores the concept of shadow places - celebrating ideas of connection amongst people, and encouraging an understanding and recognition of the places we need to survive.

The Cad Factory received a $4,500 grant from the Small Grants for Rural Communities program, funded by The Berrembed Trust to specifically run their in-schools creative program as part of the larger Shadow Places project. The program involved around 40 year 5 students from St Joseph’s Primary School in Narrandera, who collaborated with The Cad Factory artists to create five artworks telling the story of the food they grow and more.          

The content generated over the seven weeks that the program ran for was incorporated into the final artwork which was presented over four nights in October 2017, with the opening night coinciding with the annual NSW Women’s Gathering that attracted around 400 delegates from across the state.

The Cad Factory also worked closely with farming families, Wiradjuri people and community groups to generate content relevant to the themes and the lived experience of the people of the region, giving relevance to people and place. They also partnered with the NSW Women’s Gathering to create an artwork that shares the history of the Women’s Gathering and the important story of women through our regional landscape.

The partnership with St Joseph’s Primary School allowed students to lead the creation of work within Shadow Places, placing an emphasis on the need for young people to have a voice, especially in these areas that suffer major issues of population drift and ageing populations.

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