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Desert Equinox lights up

The Desert Equinox has been a fixture on the Broken Hill art calendar for the last 10 years, and this year it celebrates a decade of the colourful event hosted by the Broken Hill Art Exchange.

This year the three-night solar illuminated art exhibition is being staged at the Regeneration Area (‘the Regen’, as it’s known locally), a significant topographical feature encircling Broken Hill.

Beginning life as a project with the Environmental Research Initiative for Art at the University of NSW back in 2012, it has now become a regular and much-loved event.

Susan Thomas, Director of the Broken Hill Art Exchange, said there has been a long-time partnership between the Art Exchange and the University.

“Back in 2012 we had about 28 artists, including international from the UK, Canada, Germany, and also from Australia-wide, who all came into Broken Hill and we had some local artists as well involved.

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“We installed artworks at various locations throughout the city, up at the Line of Lode, over in Patton Park and down at Robinson College, lots of different places, and we made a map and the works lit up at night and the people in town went from place to place at their own leisure to view the artworks.

“Back in 2012 it was an Australian Research Council grant so it was a lot of research about the newer different types of technologies such as solar and wind power, with its applications to art and other areas as well.

“So, art was really engaging that site-specific alternative technology and 10 years on, of course, there has been a lot of changes in technology as well as a maturity in the way we see and engage the landscape as well.

“Now we have about eight of the original artists involved and a whole group of other artists coming in, still coming in from Germany, the UK and across Australia, all coming to install new installations.

“There are 26 artworks and they are all very different and very engaging and interactive and others more spectacular, very interesting stuff and all lit up.

“Not just straight projections like you see at Vivid, in Sydney, and other places, so a little bit different,” Ms Thomas said excitedly as she explained the upcoming showcase.

In addition to the art installations, spread over about a kilometre circuit, there is live entertainment, food, stalls and fund raising.

Beginning at 6.30pm each evening from last night, Friday September 30, until Sunday October 2 the free event will be held on the south side of town just off Pro Hart Lane.

Allan Giddy, Curator and founding Director of The Desert Equinox exhibition, said that the location is a truly beautiful site.

“At the moment the flowers are out, it’s just gorgeous and we are going to add to that and for the three nights it is going to be an enchanting and beguiling place to be.

“We love the attitude of Broken Hill, can do let’s get something happening, but also the beautiful remoteness and sheer character of this place.

“The Broken Hill Art Exchange has been flying the flag for Desert Equinox for the last 10 years.

“When we left 10 years ago, I said there we go we’ve created something and I think it is really important. Here’s the name, you hold that name, and they have been flying that flag every single year,” Mr Giddy said.

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