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Constance ARI finds a new fluid style of operation


Written by Emma Lumies

Based in Hobart, Constance recently moved out of their permanent gallery space into an off-site model. Board member, Liam James, talks to the Tasmanian Arts Guide about this new model and the future of Constance.

How do you think the recent changes will influence the type of work Constance exhibits?Circus, Constance ARI

The model allows a variety of new opportunities for us to facilitate art exhibitions in Tasmania. Moving away from the set monthly programming in a static space allows Constance, and our artists, to engage in a new critical form of discussion and lets art practice to develop in a very different way. It also permits us to make a program that is more site and curatorially responsive. Although many of our core aims have stayed the same, this new mode allows for further investment in more experimental practices, alongside those that exist within white cube spaces. Slowing down the rapid turnover of shows also creates a space for more contemplative, responsive and designed programming.

What do you think are the benefits of being an ARI?

The best thing about being an ARI is the freedom you have. The open-ended style of the ARI allows the possibility of creating new and radical forms and works. Another strength is the network of ARIs across Australia and the support they have for each other. It is an ideological community of some of the hardest (and often volunteer) arts workers in the country.

What’s in store for the future?

Constance is now the home of changes in many ways. With no set location, it is purely our agenda that will drive the output. Saying this, we will be running with the non-site model for the indefinite future and are really happy about the way this has forced us to rethink how and why we function. We have ongoing projects, some future ones announced and several in the wings. We have a heavy want to stay fluid and be open to collaboration with other bodies and the arts community. We are always taking on applications from interested parties, and looking for exciting projects to undertake.


*Images in this article are from ‘Circus’, the first project in Constance’s new model as a travelling show. The exhibition featured site-responsive works from three emerging Tasmanian artists, which took place at Battery Point’s Arthur’s Circus.

The event ran for two evenings where art-based activation was stitched into the residential fabric of Battery Point’s Arthurs Circus. Viewers could take a ride inside Anita Bacic’s Travelling Obscura, Peep through selected windows, to view Theia Connell’s spit ‘n polish and listen to Julia Drouhin’s Ultra Sounds.

Article first published: 18 December 2015