Bibliobox at Mangrove Mountain Country Fair
location AUSTRALIA, Mangrove Mountain
host Neil Berecry-Brown, director of Brown
about the travel
The Country Fair is an annual event, dating from 1963 in its current form, but with precedents dating back 100 years to a time when farming first began “on the mountain”. It is held on the Central Coast of New South Wales and organised by volunteers from Mangrove Mountain and surrounding districts who share a common rural locality and heritage of land use.
In 2008 Neil Berecry-Brown, director of Brown's Cows Art projects, was invited to be President of the Country Fair. The objective was to revitalise the Fair as a dynamic and unifying agency in the district after a number of years during which it had stagnated. One of Neil's strategies was to engineer a meshing of contemporary art activities with traditional and new features of the Fair; making it both a context for creative transformation and an art process itself.
As rural and farming people try to develop new functions and strategies that are adaptive, while preserving their local values, it is thought that contemporary artists can offer some alternative ways of understanding the options – and construing the questions.
In 2009 Bibiliobox was presented as part of the Fair by Brown’s Cows Art Projects. This followed a successful residency by Fiona Woods and her presentation of a library of work by the Ground Up Artists collective in 2008. It was believed that experiencing the documentation of inspiring examples of a variety of projects by artists from Europe and the United States, made possible by Bibliobox, would have a catalytic effect for the visitors and rural participants. So it proved to be. Exchange of produce and ideas between different locations and land-users, and considering forgotten values of the land are central notions of the Bibliobox projects, and the community at Mangrove Mountain was enriched by the experience.
Image #2 (above right): 'RMB 2329 Merriwa Public Art Project' (postcard series) by Trisha Flanagan
about the host Neil Berecry-Brown, director of Brown's Cows Art projects, President of the Mangrove Mountain Country Fair