Your ArtKeeper Update: Performing with Daniele Constance

Your ArtKeeper Update: Performing with Daniele Constance

A multi-disciplinary artist, Daniele creates participatory art anchored in inclusivity and informed by social and civil practices.

Bringing three project to HOTA, Daniele has focused on the development and finer points of her ideas. 

Using her time in the ArtKeeper Program to research, trial and question each step of her creations, Daniele has managed to find a common thread between her three very different pieces. 

Thought-provoking and shining a light on (what we might consider) everyday moments and interactions, we can't wait to see how she continues her work beyond the walls of the ArtKeeper Studio. 

Keep reading to check-in with Daniele Constance. 

#A little bit from Daniele Constance

Your Challenge: Summarise the start of your artistic career in 10 words or less.

DC: Talking always got me into trouble, until I found the right audience.

Is there any interconnection between your three projects (Looks Like a Tourist, Picnic for Birds, Shared Plates)? If no, why was this the best opportunity to bring them to life?

DC: Yes and no. Classic artists’ answer! I prefer to work slowly and deeply (when I can), so I proposed to work across three projects as I knew I wasn’t gunning for a finished work at the end of the 5 months of ArtKeeper.

While I would have initially said these projects are not interconnected, having spent the last 8 weeks investigating all three side by side, there are some curious overlaps. Shared Plates and Picnic for Birds, while entirely different in form and process, do share similar themes across notions of hospitality and using food as the conduit for deeper conversations and issues. I’m not having dinner with a Kookaburra (yet!), but it is interesting to think about how I could do that - and what the invitation could be. I’m not sure if I would have come to consider that if not researching these two works simultaneously.

Across all three projects there is a very clear through line of investigation into what it means to bring people together, and the mechanisms and possibilities of how we can do that through art. And a common question “How do we visit a place”? Whether it be someone’s home for a shared meal, a tourist destination or a tree hollow home to birds.

Community engagement (and participation) is a consistent theme throughout your projects. Can you explain why these aspects are important to your work?

DC: I suppose I have always felt strongly about access, inclusion and participation and that art shouldn’t be reserved for a small audience (backed by bank, status or perceived knowledge) or by a small pool of makers/artists. Different perspectives, experiences and ways of being and understanding the world is what I appreciate and value so much, as it often allows for new experiences, deepened awareness and education, an altering of world view, with new ways of asking new questions. Why wouldn’t we want to open this up?! Underneath this is a deeply rooted belief that art can create meaningful change. And if we’re working for change, then the individuals and/or communities who it pertains to, need to be a part of that reimagining.

I’m also a big kid and just really like making new friends. The heart of community engaged and participatory practices is relationships. Working by myself can be great at times, but I want to be challenged, confronted, comforted, connected, I want to learn and understand - these practices support me to do this. How we relate to one another and the complex ecosystem/s we are part of is what drives me.

You’re about 6 weeks in to the ArtKeeper program now. What are your reflections about the experience so far?

DC: Here are my top three reflections so far:

Having a large studio space enables me to think and dream at a larger scale. I know it sounds simple, but it really does. When I’m cramped in my home office with the dining table acting as a temporary ceramic making surface, or using lounge room furniture to measure out performance spaces (have actually done this!), it’s difficult to scale up projects in a realistic and tangible way. As artists we’re used to being resourceful, but it can be limiting. The physical space afforded to us here is incredible!

Meeting and connecting with community and artists has been such a rich and fulfilling experience. So much of my work and research is relationship based, so having a meeting point and access to spaces and networks through HOTA has resulted in bountiful connections.

Having the parklands literally outside the doors of the building provides such necessary opportunities to connect with our extended natural community. It’s not only the human relationships I’m interested in engaging with. Meeting the local birds and resident gar fish has been a real treat.

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HOTA proudly acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout South East Queensland.