Hey there! You’re invited to This is Not Art 2016

TiNA_FB_Covershot_4Welcome to Newcastle

2016 will be the year TiNA turned Newcastle green.

Of course, I mean this in a very literal sense. As we enter our 19th annual, This is Not Art (TiNA) Festival, I extend the invitation to all local businesses, cafes, shops and restaurants to show their support by adopting TiNA’s neon green colours. Perhaps you’ll pop up some green balloons, perhaps you’ll paint your building emerald-the possibilities are endless, but each play a crucial role in supporting one of Australia’s leading independent arts and cultural festivals since 1998.

In the same way TiNA’s call to “go green” has nothing to do with politics, there is a common misconception that the festival is only for the artist and cultural connoisseur demographic. You know the stereotype; lots of tortured artists, strong opinions, at least one person wearing a beret. This is not the case.

As a project of Octapod, one of NSW’s leading regional arts and cultural organisations, the focus of TiNA is to contribute to a thriving cultural economy and ecology in the Newcastle region. We want to make art inclusive and accessible, and this is reflected in the festival program. Highlights include slam poetry, a workshop for adolescent writers, a festival feast, stand-up comedy, walking tours around Newcastle, a science party, and some live bedtime stories. From the art novice right through to the dedicated arts and cultural community, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Welcome to our 2016 Festival partners and sponsors including Arts NSW, The City of Newcastle, the University of Newcastle, Design Centre Hunter, Hunter TAFE, Headjam, Newcastle Herald, Purser Corporate Communication and Jennings Print. Without the support of the NSW Government and these fantastic local organisations, TiNA would not exist.

Once again, TiNA welcomes back longstanding co-presenters National Young Writers Festival (NYWF), Crack Theatre Festival and Critical Animals. Helping to activate Newcastle’s CBD across 22 venues over the October long weekend, these three have developed an exciting, diverse program which will deliver a whopping 190 events.

NYWF are boasting their largest artist count in the company’s history, with Omar Musa, Claire Sullivan, Jennifer Down, Eliza-Jane Henry-Jones, Ellen van Neerven, Jonno Revanche and Giselle Nguyen among the many making their way to Newcastle this year.

Crack Theatre Festival are taking experimental performance to new heights, with glittery bad-ass bike tours, interactive dance and sensory soundscape just some of the many performances bound to revolutionise your experiences of art. Their 2016 program will also see an entire day dedicated to the work of female and female-identifying artists, in response to emerging themes derived from artist applications.

For Critical Animals, this year’s program will draw on a mix of political, satirical, experiential and interactive workshops. With exhibitions like #RichForks and the Artistic Madness panel, these are bound to provoke thought and are not to be missed.

This year we welcome some special guest programming from Watt Space Committee members Johanna Lynch, Tim Buchanan and Amy Hamilton. Presented at Watt Space Gallery, their experimental art program “Liquefy and Stickum: Experimental Art House” will open in conjunction with the TiNA festival launch and I’d encourage everyone to come along.

And finally, welcome to you, the community! Whether you’re a new face or an old favourite, join us for TiNA 2016, as we paint the town green.


Christina Robberds
Octapod Director and TiNA Festival Producer