The early 1990s were a halcyon and transitional time for artists in Australia.
Affordable rent, venues, Artist-run initiatives (ARI), squats and a DIY ethos characterised the art scene. The inner western suburbs of Sydney, Australia during these times were a hotspot for self-driven creative practice and sub-culture.
The arts scene was a hybrid and eclectic mix of visual artists, musicians, circus performers, writers, musicians and activists operating and cross-fertilising through collectives. This scene was a launching pad for many of today’s established artists.
Golden Bee was one of these collectives, a core group of around a dozen artists, musicians and performers established and based in Redfern, Sydney, then a marginal inner city suburb. Our shared ‘alternative’ world view, love of live music and art brought us together, and many of the friendships forged then have endured today.
With the swearing in of a Liberal Conservative government in 1996 and the preparations for the 2000 Summer Olympics, many of these artists found the inner city of Sydney an increasingly oppressive environment to live in. Aware that the DIY creative ethos was not only confined to this city, they migrated nationally and internationally in search of adventure, work and healthier lifestyles.
The current (and growing collective) connected further with each other when a few of the original Golden Bee members revived the project in 2015. More recently newer collective members have joined the Hive after this revival and have worked with original hive members to sustain the project energy through to the present.
Collective’ swarm members include:
James Barrett (Stockholm, Sweden)
James is a poet, installation and performance artist, musician and teacher. His creative work examines space as a narrative medium realised through ritual. Audio and digital connectivity (wireless, RFID, QR codes, Blue Tooth, mobile phones) are central to his artistic practice. James has created installations in online virtual worlds, augmented reality projects and mixed media works in urban space and online and made music/sound in Germany, Sweden, Israel, Argentina, Australia and France. He has appeared on radio and television in Singapore, the UK, Australia and Sweden.
Edwina Blush (Tasmania, Australia)
Visual and Performing Artist, Designer, Comedian, Writer, Vocalist and Entrepreneur Edwina Blush enjoys both solo and group projects. In the public eye she exists as an informed speaker, teacher and provocative commentator. Behind the scenes she has worked in both the private and public spheres as a connector of people and ideas: talent scouting, inspiring, refining and facilitating. Aside from the arts her areas of expertise include nutrition, recipe design, food waste management, organic gardening and composting.
Edwina has been a member of the Golden Bee Collective https://goldenbee.com.au since 1996 and the United Transnational Republics http://blog.utnr.net/ since 2002 and has participated as an invited artist at many galleries, venues and festivals across the globe including her favorites Venice Biennale, Helsinki Amorph, Sydney Writers Festival and Ubud Writers & Readers Festival. She is a social and environmental activist and gender inclusive pro sex feminist.
Bernadette Boscacci (Queensland, Australia)
Bernadette is an artist / activist, based in North Queensland. She has exhibited regularly within Australia since 1987 in both solo and group exhibitions, including various Art Prizes. Her creative approach is typically interdisciplinary – connecting arts, ecology and socio-political issues. She chooses to work across multiple media, including drawing, sculpture, photography, printmaking, painting, installation and literature.
Bernadette has extensive professional working experience in the Arts, having worked in New South Wales and Queensland as a Printmaker (Redback Graffix, Sydney 1988-1993), Independent Artist / Designer, Community Cultural Development Worker, Teacher, Program and Workshop Coordinator / Facilitator (Western Cape York, North Queensland 1995 – ), Exhibition Curator, Graphic Artist and Art Therapist (2005 – ).
As a Founding Member of golden bee, Bernadette was involved as a designer, co-curator and participant in the original exhibition events in the early 1990s in Redfern, Sydney.
Kassandra Bossell (NSW, Australia)
A current PHD candidate at UNSW, Sydney, Kassandra works primarily in sculpture and installation. Her artwork focuses on the transformation of human relationships within nature using the growing consciousness of interdependent connectivity. She is deriving ideas on collaborative systems, cycles and dynamics from symbiotic relationships in nature. Kassandra exhibits public art, gallery shows and completes public commissions.
Kassandra has lectured in sculpture at the National Art School and held workshops at numerous universities, colleges and festivals. She has been selected for numerous prizes and won the 2007 Darwin Film Festival ‘Out There’ and Liverpool Hospital Public Art Competition.
Daniel Bracegirdle (Queensland, Australia)
Daniel attended National Art School, Sydney, graduating, with a distinction in Sculpture 1993. During his studies Daniel worked for Australian Opera (now Oz Opera) as a props fabricator. In 1999 Daniel began work at the Wik & Kugu Arts Centre in Aurukun, Cape York Peninsula Queensland, as a Men’s Arts Co-ordinator teaching furniture making, sculpture and mural painting. In 2001 he produced a documentary film with Senior Wik Artist Arthur Pambegan, titled “Arthur and the Flying Foxes”.
In 2005, Daniel worked as a Media Co-ordinator for the BRACS (Broadcasting in Remote Aboriginal Communities Service) at Aurukun, where he managed local broadcasts, locally produced video material and facilitated media training. In 2006 he established Wik Media as a vehicle for the local Indigenous people to capture stories on video, in their own languages for the first time. A series of groundbreaking documentaries were created in the Wik Mungkan languages and were broadcasted nationally via the NITV network (National Indigenous Television).
Today Daniel lives in Cairns, Queensland and works closely with a group of local filmmakers, writing, editing and producing, short films and feature length documentary films.
Gemma Jane “Frances” Garner (New South Wales, Australia)
Gemma (described as a “mischievous comic genius”), has been involved in theatre, music, comedy, performance, art, environmental and social activism since her early teens. Working mostly as an actor, writer, director and tutor, Gemma also has extensive experience in publicity, marketing, set building, installations, costuming and choreography. She has had the privilege to work professionally with numerous theatre companies including Belvoir st, Shopfront , La Mama, ATYP and most recently Tantrum theatre in Newcastle.
An accomplished singer and MC, Gemma has worked festivals and hosted award ceremonies and fronted several bands from punk, dirty jazz, blues, experimental to gospel and cabaret. After relocating from Sydney to the Central coast, Gemma has been actively promoting art and sustainability, working on several funded projects as an artist in residence, facilitator, presenter and performer. Returning to the Sydney comedy scene in 2014, Gemma is currently working on her 3rd full-length comedy show “canary in the mineshaft” and planning to take the show to Edinburgh in 2017.
Simon Peart (New South Wales, Australia)
Simon has spent his life exploring expressive techniques, visual arts, music, writing, acting and physical theatre. Believing that the path to personal and collective evolution lies in awareness he studied at UWS Hawkesbury School of Social Ecology attaining a Masters of Applied Science in Cultural Action considering the role of artists in political and social change in Indonesia and Australia.
Simon recently returned from touring Cuba where he attended a choral festival performing with Voices from the Vacant Lot. He currently works as a stilt walker, stage manager and trustee of a visual artists estate.
Tobias Richardson (Victoria, Australia)
Tobias has been practicing arts since 1987. First studying at East Sydney Tech and exhibiting at artist-run spaces, he later gained a BVA from San Francisco Art Institute, California. Tobias lived in the Northern Territory from 1997 – 2011, teaching in remote Indigenous communities, Charles Darwin University and the NT Museum while maintaining his practice nationally and abroad. In 2011 Tobias relocated to the Blue Mountains.
Tobias has an extensive arts practice history including; Focus on Australian Contemporary Art: Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney 2007, Slippage: Galeri Petronas Kuala Lumpur 2008, Immemorial: iCAN, Jogjakarta, Indonesia 2009, artists-in residency Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris 2010, Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize NSW 2011 and My Life as Sculpture, Raft Artspace Alice Springs, NT 2012. In 2012 Tobias completed a Masters in sculpture at the University of Charles Darwin, NT.
Fairlie Sandilands (North Queensland, Australia)
Having had many life adventures with occasional forays in to film, playwriting and directing, academia and community arts work, and moving around and travelling from childhood, Fairlie is enjoying her own creative revival as she enters her crone years. With an appreciation of the hive but with a general inclination towards the solitary, for Golden Bee she is focussing on highlighting, through the alchemy of bees, our intimacy and connection with the natural world available to all of us, but unrealised by many.
Kieren Sand (Northern Territory, Australia)
Kieren is a creative producer, curator and consultant based in the Northern Territory, Australia. Kieren has worked with all levels of government, service organisations, arts’ companies, community and international festivals, national health agencies and universities to develop and deliver cultural projects that are innovative, accessible and relevant to community.
Kieren is passionate about creating new ways to view, access, create and share contemporary arts to connect art, life and people from diverse backgrounds with diverse perspectives. Kieren generates interdisciplinary projects that explore the nexus between context and content, inspired by history, language, human ecology, storytelling and cultural knowledge.
Kieren is actively engaged in fostering cultural pluralism, raising awareness and promoting mutual understanding within and between people, communities and their cultures through exchange, collaboration and participation in arts and cultural activities.
Leonie Sanderson (Queensland, Australia)
Leonie is a connector, producer and strategist.
Leonie has formal qualifications in psychology and communications, and works across a number of disciplines including big picture strategy, collaboration, resilience, corporate social responsibility, social impact and innovation. She is an Arts Queensland Culture Champion 2014 and a board member of Tribe, an international media charity and ideas lab, dedicated to creativity and possibilities.
Leonie is in her element coming up with creative solutions to difficult problems. She has worked in academia, not-for-profits and government, and delivered whole of government policies, implemented large scale human services projects and managed community engagement projects that incorporate technological and face to face solutions. Social media, new technology and networks are core to much of her work. She is a skilled facilitator and strategist – able to take ideas and put them into action in a collaborative and consultative way. Connect with Leonie on LinkedIn