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THE ALTITUDE PROJECT

The Altitude Project is a contemporary art event, encompassing the themes of aviation and astronomy, to be held on three historically linked sites across the Blue Mountains: Linden Observatory, and two parks named after celebrity aviators, Kingsford Smith Park and Melrose Park in Katoomba. 

The Artists

Michaela Gleave in collaboration with Amanda Cole and Warren Armstrong, Michael Petchovsky, Graham Davis-King, Brad Allen-Waters with Jon Drummond, Gail Priest, Rachael Peachy with Paul Mosig, Solange Kershaw with Damien Castaldi, Jacqueline Drinkall and Chris Caines.

The Team

The Altitude Project curators, Miriam Williamson and Mahalya Middlemist are artists/curators living and working in the Blue Mountains.  They both practice across a range of media including sound, installation and experimental film.  The cultural references in The Altitude Project reflect Miriam and Mahalya’s passion for engaging the audience by drawing the community’s attention to these important historic sites through this series of site specific contemporary art events. 

Caroline Wilde is the third member of the small team of organisers for The Altitude Project.  She runs her own business as an interior designer and graphic designer and has a background in architectural drafting. Caroline used her myriad skills to design and print the Altitude Project promotional materials; manage our social media presence;  accurately map our sites and the location of artworks; muster volunteers; liase with artists and contractors and give administrative support to the curators.

Caroline’s own practice is based in the craft of weaving that incorporates found objects, industrial materials and technology.

Concept

Conceptualised and researched over a period of two years The Altitude Project originated as two distinct projects.  Inspired by sentimental notions of childhood stopovers in Kingsford Smith Park and the current controversy in the community over the proposed 2nd Sydney airport, Miriam Williamson developed Altitude, a proposal for sound artists to perform in the heritage sound shell with the aim to bring people back into this once popular public space.  A local history blog on the celebrity aviators of the early 20th Century provided a rich cultural reference to extend the project beyond sound to encompass visual arts. 

Concurrently her curiosity about the ‘mysterious’ Linden Observatory, and a determination to raise awareness of its creator, amateur astronomer Ken Beames, through use of the site as a venue for the arts led to her becoming the Linden Observatory Trust’s Cultural Officer.  The two curatorial themes, aviation and astronomy merged as The Altitude Project unified by the big skies over the World Heritage Area of the Blue Mountains.  

Miriam invited Mahalya Middlemist on board as co-curator and together they further developed the curatorial theme of innovation, invention and technology linking the sites.

Our Friends and Supporters

The Altitude Project team would like to acknowledge the following for their support, contribution, and enthusiasm for the project:
Trish Doyle, NSW Member for the Blue Mountains; Kath Harrison, Josie Vendramini, Barbara Cuthbert, Len Kaspar, Ruth Bennett and Neil Smith at Katoomba Neighbourhood Centre Inc.; Ian Bridges and Ray Stathakis from Linden Observatory Trust; The Local History Studies Group; Meredith Brownhill and Vera Costello from Friends of Melrose Park; Joe Carbonne and The Dauntless Movement Crew;  Katoomba/Leura Rural Fire Brigade; South Katoomba Rural Fire Brigade; Katoomba North Public School; Woodford Academy; Councillors Don McGregor and Romola Hollywood; Blue Mountains City Council staff: Andy Turner, Wendy Dollin, Lin Mountstephen and the landscaping and gardening team for their preparation of Kingsford Smith Park; the Metropole Hotel, Katoomba; Paul Innis of Blue Mountain’s History Tours; Ann Finegan; Billy Gruner; Joyce Hinterding; Sarah Keighery; Charlie Komsic; Emma Rooney; Jacqueline Spedding; Fleur MacDonald; Chris Tobin; Gianni Wise; Mary Travers; Amanda Hunt; Fiona Davis; Alex Gooding; Fiona Davis; Lorna McKenzie, with special thanks to David Haines for his advice and support. 

Our Partners & Sponsors

The Linden Observatory Trust, Katoomba Neighbourhood Centre, Blue Mountains City Council, and Friends of Melrose Park.

The Altitude Project is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW and the Blue Mountains City of the Arts Trust Cultural Grants Program 2017 – 2018.

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