Call of the Running Tide is a biennial environmental sculpture and multimedia festival imagined for the Douglas Shire. The festival is held at various locations, and is scheduled for September this year.
THE inaugural Call of the Running Tide (CRT) festival was held in September 2019, with an encouraging response from both local and Interstate visitors.
DouglasNews.Network spoke with Jill Chism, curator of the exhibition to see what is in store for the festival for 2021.
Introduction to the concept of Call of the Running Tide
Jill came up with the idea for a local art festival based on the amazing ecosystems that are still here in the Far North. The concept also has its roots in the Douglas Shire’s history of environmental activism. Jill also recognised the issue of a ‘lack of a cultural presence in the Douglas Shire’ as outlined in the Douglas Shire Council’s current Art Strategy.
Jill had also recently completed a large private commission based on John Masefield’s poem ‘Sea-Fever’.
Sea-Fever by John Masefield
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
The call in the poem is a heart-felt desire by a nineteenth century sailor to ‘go to sea’.
Jill’s use of the phrase as the title for the Douglas exhibition reminds us of the vitality of our connection to nature. It is a ‘call to change’ the ways we continue to destroy the ecosystems that are crucial to our survival on the planet.
About the Call of the Running Tide Curator, Jill Chism
Jill Chism has an extensive CV, working fluidly between various art forms. These include environmental art, installation, sculpture, digital art and public art. Her work spans diverse materials and processes, from photography to sculptural processes.
She has completed 22 public art commissions and appeared in over 30 exhibitions.
Her work is deeply spiritual. It provokes us to ask who we are, how we interact with each other, and the nature of our relationship to the natural environment.
Jill has a professional arts education background. She instrumented the Diploma of Visual Arts at Cairns Tafe in 1997. This was at a time when there was no other secondary qualification in the Arts in the Far North. She then spent several years teaching the Bachelor of Creative Industry at James Cook University.
Since completing a major public artwork for the city of Darwin, Jill has spent her time as curator. She is developing the CRT concept along with coordinator Rosey Cummings and other team members in the Douglas Shire.
Please tell us more about your plans for Call of the Running Tide 2021?
We have 28 artists on board who have created concepts for one or two major sculpture or multimedia works. Another artist will lead a children’s installation in the Mossman Shire Hall. Port Douglas State School has also expressed their enthusiasm to get involved in the children’s section of the Festival.
Expect more sculptures and multimedia works this year in more outdoor locations. These include the Port Douglas Community Hall and grounds, the Mossman Shire Hall, Rex Smeal Park, Flagstaff Hill Walk, the northern end of Four Mile Beach and Macrossan Street.
There will also be displays at night, a sound installation, and a performance piece.
What is the theme for this year’s exhibition?
The theme for 2021 is “Immersion”.
Artists’ works encourage connection, preservation and the regeneration of our existing natural environments.
The Exhibition also seeks to encourage us to ‘look more deeply’ at what we often don’t see when we are out in nature.
Please tell us about the current exhibition at Cairns’ NorthSite Contemporary Arts Gallery.
Ashley Campbell, Director of NorthSite, invited ‘Call of the Running Tide’ artists to exhibit to accompany an exhibition by Yandell Walton called ‘ Shifting Surrounds’.
The work at NCA consists of both re-imagined installations from 2019, and new works for the 2021 exhibition in September.
Select artists have attended CRT workshops and developed concepts specifically for the contemporary art venue.
These artists include:
- Jill Chism, curator of CRT
- Rosey Cummings, coordinator of CRT
- Tim Ellis, Arts and Culture Officer Douglas Shire Council
- Local artists, Victoria Park, Leanne Emmitt, Andrea Collisson and Ross Cummings
- Experienced environmental artists from Cairns, Barbara Dover and Lynette Griffiths
- Experienced artists from Kuranda, Susan Doherty and Mollie Bosworth
- Townsville-based Suzzanah Babicci and Marion Gaemers
- and Klara Royster, a young emerging artist selected for the Ministers Awards and has exhibited at QGoMA.
Can interested artists or supporters still get involved?
Yes, if there are other interested artists who would love to get involved, please visit our website Call of the Running Tide and contact Jill Chism at firstname.lastname@example.org or Rosey Cummings at email@example.com
Jill invites everyone to enjoy this particular style of art practice.
The aspiration for the CRT artists is to provide something new for the community while providing an event that encourages visitors to the Douglas Shire.
Further Information /