Big Skies Collaboration

The Big Skies Collaboration I”m co-leading brings together arts practitioners, astronomers and local communities to celebrate people’s relationships with the Cosmos, as experienced from or near the 700 Kilometre Array (700KA) of astronomical observatories in inland rural New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.

Our twin goals are to create and inspire new creative works on astronomical themes, and to offer country people some of the cultural opportunities their city cousins now take for granted. Our Collaboration will peak in July 2019, the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moonwalk, which famously involved several of the observatories in our 700KA. We hope that our interventions will bring lasting benefits for the communities involved.

My contribution includes the Skywriters Project to establish a constellation of writing groups in inland NSW, and a new literary nonfiction book tentatively called Skycountry.

Big Skies now has its own site: see bigskiescollaboration.wordpress.com

READ the lastest Big Skies blog posts here >>

 

From left: Mayor of Parkes Shire, Cr Ken Keith OAM; Anna Wyllie, Economic & Business Development Manager; Christine McMillan, Arts OutWest & Big Skies Project; Merrill Findlay, Big Skies Project; Kent Boyd, General Manager; and Finn, Director Technology & Corporate Services, at a meeting to discuss the Big Skies project, 3 July 2015.

The first Big Skies Collaboration meeting with Parkes Shire Council in July 2015. From left: Mayor of Parkes Shire, Cr Ken Keith OAM; Anna Wyllie, Economic & Business Development Manager; Christine McMillan, Arts OutWest & Big Skies Project; Merrill Findlay, Big Skies Project; Kent Boyd, General Manager; and Les Finn, Director Technology & Corporate Services, after our meeting to discuss the Big Skies project, Friday 3 July 2015. Photo by Elise Spedding.

Members of Central West Astronomical Society at their monthly meeting, 3 July, 2015, following a brief presentation about Big Skies by Merrill Findlay.

Central West Astronomical Society members at their monthly meeting at Parkes Radio Telescope, 3 July, 2015, which included a brief introduction to the Big Skies project. L-R: David Bigg, Peter Burnheim, Paul Clark (President, CWAS), Merrill Findlay, Christine Speers (Vice-President, CWAS), John Sarkissian, Lawrence Crowley (Treasurer, CWAS), Denis Crute.

Waiting in a heavy frost for the sun to rise over the Seven Sisters Ridge, Yarrabandai, on the shortest day of 2015. Photo by Merrill Findlay.

Waiting in a heavy frost for the sun to rise over the Seven Sisters Ridge, Yarrabandai, on the shortest day of 2015. Photo by an extremely cold Merrill Findlay.

Cultural astronomers Duane Hamacher and Trevor Leaman, with students and associates from Nura Gili Indigenous Programs Unit, University of New South Wales, Margaret Brooks from University of New England, artists associated with Arts OutWest, and filmmaker Ellie Gilbert at Seven Sisters Ridge, Winter Solstice, June 2105. Photo by Merrill Findlay.

Some of the Winter Solstice weekend campers at Seven Sisters Ridge, Yarrabandai. Back row: cultural astronomers associated with Nura Gili Indigenous Programs Unit, University of NSW. L-R Melissa Razuki, Dr Dr Duane Hamacher who leads Nura Gili’s Indigenous Astronomy Group, Tina Leaman, and Trevor Leaman who is conducting reseach on Wiradjuri astronomy. Front row, Brook Lenon (Arts OutWest), Carla Guedes (Nura Gili), Dr Margaret Brooks (University of New England), filmmaker Ellie Gilbert (Canberra), Erin (Peak Hill), and Christine McMillan (Arts OutWest). Photo by Merrill Findlay.

 

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Page created 6 May 2015. Last updated 30 June 2016.

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