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Regional Art Stories Frankie Snowdon and Amala Groom

In this podcast—the first episode of our second series of Conversations with the Assembly for Regional Assembly  Frankie Snowdon and Amala Groom join forces in a frank and forthright discussion that weaves together their shared interests in what constitutes sovereignty, the use of humour, the immense value of family, and the ways in which they navigate their practices across national and international contexts, while staying grounded in the local communities that mean most to them.

Amala Groom is a Wiradyuri conceptual artist who lives and works on Wiradyuri Country in Kelso, NSW. Her practice, as the performance of her cultural sovereignty, is informed and driven by First Nations epistemologies, ontologies and methodologies.

Frankie Snowdon is a dance artist and the founder and Co-Director of GUTS Dance Central Australia, based in Mparntwe/Alice Springs on the unceded lands of the Arrernte people. Born and raised in her desert home, her work spans performance, choreography, teaching, community based projects, program creation and facilitation and sector advocacy.

Frankie Snowdon: We’ve now started to do QnA’s after every single show that we do. And not just once in a season but every show in a season there is an opportunity to basically just have a chat.

Amala Groom: See that’s just healthy though. Because that’s debriefing. And that’s a healthy part of any social order.

FS: It’s been so amazing. And I think particularly regional audiences, because we do a lot of regional touring as well. As a regionally based organisation we’ve been really strong in going “We don’t just want to take our work to the city”. It’s really important that we also practice what we preach—and go to all the places that don’t get an opportunity to have work come to them. And actually regional audiences are some of the most brave and articulate audiences and they just say what they think. They’re so wonderful. And it has informed practice for me in ways that I never got when I lived in the city.

AG: It’s tough. And it’s raw. And it’s elemental. And you know, it reminds me of like of having conversations [with my grandparents]. I’m so lucky that my Mum’s parents are still with us. And that I get to spend a lot of time with my grandparents. They ran a sheep station on our Country. About an hour north of Bathurst. And they would tell me these old yarns…

Frankie Amala