Opening of the Lake Macquarie Multimedia Arts Pavilion


Australia’s first permanent multimedia regional arts pavilion – The Multi-Arts Pavilion, mima (called MAP mima) in Lake Macquarie, New South Wales – opens to the public this spring with a series of free public events and 10 new commissions from Australian artists such as Hiromi Tango, PluginHUMAN, Lottie Consalvo and the musician Andy Firth.

Each new commission explores the region’s unique history, culture and landscape and celebrates Lake Macquarie as a cultural center for contemporary art and performance.

Conceived as a flexible high-tech multi-arts platform, the MAP mima will host a special cultural program throughout the year with national and international contemporary art installations, digital art demonstrations, live performances and music. Located an hour’s drive north of Sydney on the shores of Lake Macquarie in Speers Point Park, the architecture pavilion complements the award-winning Museum of Art and Culture Lake Macquarie and is part of the Lake Arts Precinct.

MAP mima has an architectural language with bold, imposing forms and is based on the award-winning concept design by architecture student Samantha Bailey and was built in collaboration with the University of Newcastle School of Architecture and Built Environment. The pavilion takes its name from the awabakal word mima (pronounced me’ma), which means “reason to stay”. The naming of MAP mima is an active invitation to visitors to learn about the Awabakal land they stand on and to acknowledge the millennia of knowledge passed down by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in Lake Macquarie and across the country.

Led by Jacqui Hemsley, Lake Macquarie City Council Arts, Culture and Tourism Manager, MAP mima aims to encourage cultural participation in contemporary art outside of traditional venues.

Hemsley advises: “MAP mima is an ideal stepping stone for emerging artists and a platform to present alternative productions to a new audience. Our goal is to present exciting, experimental works and public programs that create a connection between the place, art and audience that the visitor will not find anywhere else. “

The heart of the hyper-faceted design of the MAP mima is The Cube, a central multimedia gallery that enables a full-area multimedia experience. A large hydraulic awning opens The Cube to a covered stage area for live performances that leads onto a cobbled courtyard and into the park. Another design feature of the pavilion is The Node, a trapezoidal structure that protrudes from the brick facade towards the lake and carries a huge projection screen from the inside out that is visible in the park. A state-of-the-art soundscape generated by speakers strategically positioned around the building provides a platform for a rotating program of works by artists.

The new artist commissions that will be presented at MAP mima include:

  • A new commission from the renowned Japanese-Australian artist Hiromi Tango with the title Mima: Beautiful Space responds to both the name Awabakal for the pavilion and the homophonic Japanese reading of MI and MA, which means “beautiful space”. Presented in MAP mima, the illuminated work of art by Tango gently shines on the walls of the building and forms a beacon that welcomes visitors to the pavilion and announces its arrival.
  • A series of painted tiles by acclaimed Australian artist Noel McKenna, paying tribute to man’s best friend and celebrating the venue as a dog-friendly place.
  • A large format work by local artists Kira Jovanovski and Claire Lavis, commissioned for the exterior of the building. The artwork shows, in Morse code on the masonry of the facade, the declaration of commitment by the Lake Macquarie City Council for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in Awabakal language.
  • Two new works presented in the pavilion, entitled Dawn and Awa, were created in collaboration with local Awabakal experts. Dawn is an immersive 360-degree experience created by Worimi artist Luke Russell together with artist Donna Gayford McLaren and the projection art heavyweights illuminart. The immersive projection explores the language, the natural beauty of the Lake Macquarie shoreline, and the sunrise over Awabakal land. A second work, which was created in collaboration with local Awabakal experts, is entitled Awa and combines stories from salt and fresh water – similar to the shores of Lake Macquarie. In this work, Aboriginal artists Donna Gayford McLaren and Saretta Fielding examine how traditional Awabakal people lived by the lake and how contemporary indigenous experiences interact with stories of their ancestors. Awa means flat plain or surface and takes its name from Awaba, the traditional name of Lake Macquarie.
  • More than 80 meters of illuminated overhead lines will appear for the public when they enter the new art district. Celebrating the building’s experimental nature, this public work of art is a collaboration between Lake Macquarie City Council and the University of Sydney’s Design Lab. Under the direction of Dr. Luke Hespanhol, students studying digital location have developed a public art response along Speers Point Promenade experimenting with interactive, digital approaches to art and location.

The most important commissioned exhibition is an immersive 360-degree video installation entitled Emerge by PluginHUMAN. The huge surrounding imagery was created by the growing biopolymer sculptures made from local materials. Accompanying the projection experience are the tiny original sculptures in a number of ports of discovery in the foyer.

To celebrate this new space, Newcastle composer and musician Andy Firth was commissioned to write the Lake Macquarie Fanfare. The music complements a big band with a didgeridoo and synthesizer and speaks to the architecture, format and importance of the Lake Macquarie City Council’s cultural initiative. Andy Firth and the big band will perform on the MAP mima stage to celebrate the public opening of the pavilion on a date to be confirmed this spring.

The project is funded by the NSW government through the Regional Cultural Fund in collaboration with Lake Macquarie City Council.

On the subject of matching items

August 20, 2020 – The PA People is supplying systems for the Rathmines Theater of the Lake Macquarie Council

July 22, 2021 – Cedar Mill Group acquires Humm Events

July 20, 2021 – The Victorian Performing Arts Community posts an ad in support of COVID-19 vaccinations

July 14, 2021 – The NSW government offers coronavirus assistance to the arts and staff

July 9, 2021 – Cairns Indigenous Art Fair 2021 captures the culture of the First Nation People

July 6, 2021 – New Australia Council research declares commitment to digital art

July 5, 2021 – 25 new projects receive arts funding from the Queensland government

June 30, 2021 – The Queensland government funds First Nations arts and culture projects

June 28, 2021 – Cairns Performing Arts Center wins State Prize for Public Architecture

June 24, 2021 – Global Wellness Institute sheds light on public art and wellness trends

June 23, 2021 – NSW budget includes $ 1.3 billion commitment to arts and culture

June 22, 2021 – TarraWarra Museum of Art hosts major exhibition of indigenous art

June 21, 2021 – Australia’s largest indigenous visual arts event includes hybrid delivery mode

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