2018 Tina Critical Animals Exhibition, Photo: Paul Freeman

This is Not Art Festival

This is Not Art (TiNA) is a marquee emerging arts festival that celebrates Newcastle as a leading creative city. In 2019, Octapod hosted the 22nd annual This is Not Art Festival (TiNA) over the October long weekend.

In 2020, will not be held due to the impacts on the arts sector and fesivals due to COVID-19.

This is Not Art will continue into the future to imprint its distinct brand of creative art, music, writing and performance across multiple venues in the city of Newcastle. Emerging and experimental artists from around the country will continue to use TiNA as a platform to be inspired, share ideas, network and express their unique selves to a supportive audience.


The 2019 festival comprised of three co-presenters:

National Young Writers’ Festival (NYWF’s) mission is to provide a joyful, radical and transformative bootcamp for Australian writers under 35. The program was curated in consultation with emerging writing communities. Topics spanned fiction, non-fiction, poetry, spoken word, digital media, journalism, comics, games. The festival theme was ‘foundations’ and the program was designed to equip young writers with the tools for a successful writing career.

Crack X partnered with five NSW based arts organisations that support emerging artists to provide creative development residencies that resulted in an outcome presented at TiNA. They also delivered a ‘rough and ready’ scratch night, providing an opportunity for artists to develop their process of making and experimenting with the seed of an idea.

Critical Animals provided a platform for emerging artists, thinkers and researchers to present developing ideas, research and practices at a Symposium, as well as an exhibition and digital catalogue. The Symposium was positioned as an incubator for early career academics – offering a safe and supportive space to present their research and engage in critical discussion.

And one Special Guest:

WE DON’T DANCE (WDD) produced three evenings of music and art comprising of collaborations between emerging musicians and artists from Newcastle and regional NSW.