Art, Agency, Action: Melbourne

A social change forum for artists and activists to discuss models for change and strategies for the future of our arts ecology, held at Testing Grounds.

Art, Agency, Action was a public event to connect social movement makers across areas of visual arts and social practice to exchange models, ideas and methodologies for taking agency and making change.

This was a participatory forum; and the discussion was led by short presentations from our key speakers around their own experience, creative projects and models of practice to facilitate dialogue and action with attendees: artists, producers and curators.

Art, Agency, Action is about coming together and fostering community action within the arts and to develop imaginings of our future. The actions and ideas developed will contribute to the 2018 strategy for the arts and the NAVA summit.

Speakers included:

  • David Pledger
  • Lucrecia Quintanilla
  • Guy Abrahams
  • Eugenia Flynn

Facilitated by NAVA Acting Co-Director, Brianna Munting.

The forum was recorded live a Testing Ground

Listen back to the live recording of the discussion here:


Eugenia Flynn, Guy Abrahams, David Pledger & Lucrecia Quintanilla.

Art, Agency, Action: Melbourne Speakers:

Eugenia Flynn (photography Ahmad Sabra), Guy Abrahams, David Pledger (photography Pia Johnson) & Lucrecia Quintanilla.

David Pledgeris a contemporary artist and curator working within and between the performing, visual and media arts in Australia, Asia and Europe. His live performances, installations, interactive artworks, documentaries and digital art have been presented in various locations including theatres, galleries, museums, a car-park, a stables, a cattleyard, a suburban house, a film studio and the Australian Institute of Sport. His work is notable for building new artworks that combine movement, image, sound and word into an organic system and for engaging publics in productive and provocative ways. From his initial practice, live performance, he has developed a cross-disciplinary dramaturgy in which a central platform is engaging with artists across artforms and experts from social, scientific and academic fields.

Lucrecia Quintanilla
At the core of Lucreccia Quintanilla’s project is sound as a mode of

knowledge transference, as a sensorial conduit for multiple senses of time and place and as a carrier of past and future and as an amplifier of collective mythologies and cultural complexities. In recent years she has been exploring amplification through Soundsystem culture as a point of departure for thinking through cultural difference, collaboration, feminism and the deep importance of music/sound in collectivity.

Lucreccia Quintanilla is a multidisciplinary artist, writer, sometimes DJ and researcher at Monash University currently undertaking a PhD. Her most recent exhibitions include, A Steady Backbeat at TCB Inc. Melbourne, Rhythmic Traces at Bus Projects, If People Powered Radio celebrating the 40th anniversary of Community radio station 3CR at Gertrude Contemporary and Liquid Architecture’s Fem(X) series at Westspace. Quintanilla has received grants from Arts Victoria, the Australia Indonesia institute the National Gallery Women’s Encouragement Award and the Australian Postgraduate Award. Most recently she has been
awarded the 2016 NAVA Sainsbury Sculpture grant to travel to Banff for the BAIR Spring Intensive Residency. She has presented her work in Auckland, Chicago, New York, Berlin, Yogyakarta, Sydney, Canada and Melbourne.

Guy Abrahams is Co-founder and CEO of CLIMARTE which presents the ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE festival. Guy is an Associate of the University of Melbourne’s Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute. He holds a Masters of Environment focusing on climate change and degrees in Law and Arts.

Guy practised law before becoming Director of Christine Abrahams Gallery, a position he held for 22 years. He was Board member of the National Gallery of Victoria Art Foundation, the Melbourne Art Fair, and President of the Australian Commercial Galleries Association. Currently Guy sits on the City of Melbourne’s Art and Heritage Collection Advisory Panel, and Public Art Advisory Panel.

Eugenia Flynnis a writer, arts worker and community organiser. She identifies as Aboriginal, Chinese and Muslim, working within multiple communities to create change through art, literature, and community development. With over ten years’ experience in community arts and cultural development, Eugenia has worked with Kurruru Youth Performing Arts, the Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development, RISE Refugees Survivors & Ex-Detainees, and Blak Dot Gallery. Currently, Eugenia is Chief Executive Officer of The Social Studio, a social enterprise that uses fashion and hospitality as a vehicle to improving the lives of young Australians who come from refugee or migrant backgrounds.

Art, Agency, Action: Melbourne Speakers David Pledger, Eugenia Flynn, Guy Abrahams & Lucrecia Quintanilla.

Art, Agency, Action: Melbourne Speakers (L-R) David Pledger, Eugenia Flynn, Guy Abrahams & Lucrecia Quintanilla. Photography Daniel Gardeazabal.

Speakers: Lucrecia Quintanilla & Guy Abrahams.

Speakers: Lucrecia Quintanilla & Guy Abrahams. Photography Daniel Gardeazabal.

Art, Agency, Action: Melbourne Audience

Photography Daniel Gardeazabal.

Art, Agency, Action: Melbourne Audience

Photography Daniel Gardeazabal.

Art, Agency, Action: Melbourne