Connor Obrien’s mentorship with Craig in Winton

Connor Obrien, left assisting Craig fliming in Winton Image courtesy and © Craig Walsh. Photo: Hiromi Tango

Connor Obrien became part of the Digital Odyssey team when he travelled from his hometown of Brisbane to Winton Qld, to take part in a 2 week mentorship with Craig.

Connor has kindly written a few lines for the blog about his time spent with Craig and family, and the community of Winton. He will continue to contribute to the Digital Odyssey project, assisting with compiling video footage of artwork displays and public programs. Big thanks to Connor for his insightful words, and for all his fantastic assistance with the Digital Odyssey project in Winton.

When I first arrived in Winton, it was an excitingly alien landscape. Although I had seen pictures, it was the first time that I’d ever ventured very far out of Brisbane, and the thrill of empty space in both the landscape and my mind was too much of an opportunity to pass up. The people of Winton, from the very first moment you get there, hit you with a barrage of kindness, one of the tools of survival in a regional centre. It can be a little off-putting at first, but it is clearly genuine and one of Winton’s most endearing qualities. It was a lot colder than I’ve ever experienced, which was nice, I like the cold, but I can’t even imagine summer! Working with Craig, Hiromi and the community has given me much food for thought.

The impact that Digital Odyssey had on Winton really surprised me, and it was refreshing to have the negative country stereotypes quashed. It’s a shame that we had little time there, you could really feel people’s minds starting to buzz and get excited about contemporary art, their fears were falling away and it was clear that all they needed was to just experience the art and they understood. It’s clear that if you approach things in the right way, the ability of contemporary art to reach all people is there, if you want it.

I’d like to thank Craig, Hiromi, Kimyo, Jan Brown and the people of Winton, Mimi Kelly and the MCA for all their help in making this one of the most wonderful experiences of my life, I sincerely hope that in the future there will be more opportunities like this for artists, and that Digital Odyssey continues to reach out to communities and have the same impact that I saw in Winton, something that everyone should be privy to.

Connor Obrien is an emerging video and media artist based in Brisbane.

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