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Anna Louise Richardson & Theia Connell

‘Augury – The diary of birds’ is a collection of writing and recorded conversations that describe experiences of preternatural communication with the natural world. These stories delve into those moments when contiguous worlds overlap, and the trauma of loss reconnects us to the world outside in new and unexpected ways.

This conversation between Anna Louise Richardson and Theia Connell is part of an interview series accompanying the collaborative exhibition ‘Watching’, by Anna and her husband Abdul-Rahman Abdullah at West Space.

Anna Louise Richardson is an artist and freelance curator investigating rural Australian identity and associated mythologies. Richardson works primarily in charcoal and graphite on cement fibreboard, using a realistic approach, flattened perspective, cut-out shapes and manipulated scale to amplify the subject matter. Her artistic practice reveals ideas of intergenerational exchange, parenthood and signifiers of identity based on her experiences of life in rural Australia living and working on a multi-generation beef cattle farm. The complexities of human relationships with the natural world and the intergenerational qualities of these relationships are driving themes throughout her practice. Richardson’s work depicts animals as a recurring motif to examine shared values on the role of animals in culture, commerce and ecology and how these are shaped through different narratives.

Theia Connell is an artist, curator and producer of contemporary art projects based in nipaluna/Hobart. She is currently a Senior Producer at West Space, a member of the Artistic Directorate at Next Wave, and sits on the board of CONSTANCE ARI and Contemporary Art Tasmania. As Co-founder and Director of Visual Bulk, an experimental art space and community project in nipaluna/Hobart from 2015-19 and again from 2021-22, Theia has supported emerging arts practices locally through a DIY artist-led agenda. Involving herself in festivals over the last decade, she spent 5 years at Dark Mofo as a Creative Producer and then Creative Associate, seeding and developing major public commissions with local and international artists. As an artist, Theia has exhibited across Australia and internationally including Incheon Art Platform (Seoul), Snehta (Athens), BUS Projects, Watch This Space ARI, Firstdraft, Kings ARI and more.