‘Margrete Erling is an artist and Community Cultural Development (CCD) strategist based in Mandalong, NSW. Her work experience includes six years as Community and Public Artist at Wyong Shire Council (2006- 2011), four years as Events Coordinator at Marrickville Council (1998-2001), employed in numerous CCD arts positions, and has teaching experience with TAFE NSW in Sydney and Newcastle (teaching fine arts photography and events management).
Since 1997, Margrete has been employed as a Community Artist working variously in educational institutions, local government, correctional centres, regional/ rural & metropolitan areas across Sydney, the Central Coast & Hunter regions. During that time, she managed & facilitated many cultural events & CCD projects with a diverse range of creative mediums, including use of the moving image, photography, sound, sculpture, mosaics, 2D media including printmaking, mural painting & drawing. Similarly, she has worked with a broad range of participants and stakeholders- children, young people, singular male &/or female groups, multicultural groups, seniors, & people with intellectual/ physical/ psychiatric disabilities, local government, NGOs, community groups, schools and more.
From 2006, Margrete worked primarily within public art & place-making projects across the Wyong Shire. Her community based arts practice, is aimed to engage specific & targeted community’s through facilitated, practical community cultural development arts focused workshops and projects.
While in recent years Margrete’s focus has been on the CCD aspect of her arts practice, as a practitioner the quality her work has been widely recognised with awards from Lake Macquarie Business Excellence Awards –Winner Art & Cultural Innovation Award (2012), NSW Local Government Cultural Awards (2010), Australia Day Award- Best Community Event, Lake Macquarie City Council – “Back to the Bay” Festival (2008) and the Campus Camera Award, University of NSW College of Fine Arts.
She has participated in more than 30 exhibitions, project managed about 50 community art projects and events since 1997, and facilitated personal projects with funding from ‘NSW Community Builders’, Local Government, Australia Council for the Arts, the Australian Film Commission, and Presented at the National Regional Arts Conference- “Junction 2010” in Tasmania. In terms of community projects, she has worked with teams of up to 50 people and budgets upwards of $120,000. Margrete’s career has been guided by the principle espoused in her personal favourite quote “Life’s crowning glory is in the here and now, and we’re here!”.
Margrete lives on her farm at Mandalong with her partner and two young daughters. Yara Balba Arts Studio, on her farm, is the current venue for facilitating arts workshops and classes with various individuals and groups. She also facilitates and supports community workshops in sustainable management practice.