Cementa is a unique, regionally situated, socially-engaged, artist-led organisation dedicated to cultivating contemporary art in our regional context. Our annual program of residencies and special projects culminates in our major production, Cementa Festival. Our biennial festival of contemporary art brings together over 60 regional and urban artists for a four-day celebration of Australian contemporary art and the small town that hosts it. This is done through the exhibition of video, installation, sound, performance and 2D/3D artworks in venues and locations across the town and surrounds. Venues include shopfronts, vacant lots, the scout hall, local museum and community centre, the golf course, front yards and public parks. Taking its regional situation as its focus, Cementa celebrates the rich diversity of voices that can be heard within our contemporary arts communities.
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Kandos is a small town (pop. 1200) approximately 3½ hours drive from Sydney, between Lithgow and Mudgee. Founded just over 100 years ago, the town grew up around the cement works and owes its existence to nearby plentiful supplies of limestone and coal. The Kandos works was once the largest cement plant in the southern hemisphere, attracting workers from all over the globe. Its high-quality cement was used to build the Sydney Harbour Bridge and much of the city of Sydney.
In 2012 the cement works closed, leaving the town without its defining industry but creating an opportunity for transformation. We believe the presence of this industrial heritage in the rural heartland of NSW provides an ideal context for the demonstration of contemporary art’s capacity to describe, engage, critique and celebrate both the world and our living in it.