As a project of the Blue Mountains Creative Arts Network (BMCAN), the Wild Mountain Collective has decided to adopt Regenesis as its name and purpose. Regenesis is the call to human beings for a new relationship with the Earth and all its lifeforms that aligns with Australia’s ancient cultural ethos of Caring for Country. This ethos is enshrined in First Nations’ knowledge systems and the way this knowledge was kept alive in the Songlines through the power of the arts.
Regenesis requires both an inner spiritual transformation of how we see ourselves, and an outer transformation in how we act. Regenesis takes us from an extractivist approach to wealth creation to a set of regenerative practices that are based on the nature of all life on Earth as one of an interwoven ecology of complex systems.
BMCAN connects creatives across the Greater Blue Mountains, bringing together people on the un-ceded lands of the Gundungurra and Dharug people of the Blue Mountains and the Wiradjuri people of our Western hinterland. We pay respects to their Elders, past, present and future and treasure their Knowledge Systems and their care for Country over millennia. We commit ourselves to supporting the 2017 Uluru Statement from the Heart’s call for for Voice, Treaty, Truth and accept their invitation to walk with First Nations people towards a better future, acknowledging the eco-spiritual truths of First Nations knowledge systems as the foundation of what it truly means to be Australian.
We are a group of artists, photographers, sculptors, art therapists, philosophers, anthropologists, environmental conservationists, musicians and other like-minded people in the Greater Blue Mountains coming together to use the creative arts to explore and celebrate the idea of regenesis as inner and outer transformation in terms of our sense of our interconnected relationship with nature and one another, to engage with a philosophy of regenerative living, an attitude of ‘Interbeing’ with all things. In this we acknowledge and wish to learn from the 60,000+ year cultural relationship between Australia’s First Nations peoples and Australia’s natural environment, recorded in songlines, music, dance, art, storytelling and kinship structures.
We are part of a growing international zeitgeist that seeks to provoke deeply felt shifts in the human experience of nature, and a deepening conversation with the traditions of diverse indigenous, oral cultures and a recovery of the mysterious eloquence of earthly reality – a deeply immanent sense of the sacred in the world around us, celebrated in the idea of regenesis.
Leanne Tobin—Darug artist and educator living in the Blue Mountains
John Wolesley—one of Australia’s leading landscape painters, whose unique style tries to relate the minutiae of the natural world – leaf, feather and beetle wing – to the abstract dimensions of the earth’s dynamic systems.
Freya Mathews—environmental philosopher, conservationist, academic, published author, ‘The Ecological Self’, who is currently working on a book about Daoism and Eco-civilisation
The Blue Mountains Creative Arts Network
The Blue Mountains Creative Arts Network (BMCAN) is a community-based NFP that connects creatives across the Greater Blue Mountains, supporting a vibrant, sustainable, inclusive, creative arts community through leadership, member services and collaborative partnerships. It does this through a range of activities such as:
- Auspicing grants for artists
- Publishing a quarterly ARTBytes e-newsletter
- Group exhibitions for member artists in a range of venues
- Promoting the range and strength of the work of Blue Mountains artists and artisans
- Working in collaboration with Radio Blue Mountains’ Talking Artz program produced by Brad Diedrich
- Collaborative partnerships with other organisations through our Network sharing platform on bmcan.com.au
- Multi-arts events funded through grants and sponsorships
- Publishing the Regenesis blog, which explores the new zeitgeist of regenesis and regenerative agriculture, economics and society, which is being promoted through organisations such as the Australian Earth Laws Alliance.
The Greater Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains World Heritage Area (BMWHA) is a magical, environmentally protected area of high plateaus, vivid red escarpments, gorges, waterfalls and forest, just 100 km inland from Sydney, Australia’s largest city. It is the traditional homeland of at least six Aboriginal language groups: the Wanaruah, Wiradjuri, Gundungurra, Dharawal, Darug and Darkinjung people. The region is networked with Aboriginal stories, travel routes, special places and connections, and thousands of documented rock art and occupation sites. The BMWHA is comprised of eight conservation areas including the Blue Mountains, Wollemi, Garden of Stones and Kanangra-Boyd National Parks. Two-thirds of it is dedicated as wilderness, including the two largest declared wilderness areas on the eastern Australian mainland. It is home to the City of Blue Mountains, which is comprised of 26 urban villages along the Great Western Highway and Bells Line of Road, attracting a large and thriving artistic community with strong environmental connections and is known as the City of the Arts and the home of the City of Lithgow, the Seven Valleys of Capertee, Wolgan, Kanimbla, Lithgow, Megalong, Hartley and Tarana. This is an area transitioning from its coal-mining and coal-fired power generation economy to become a renewable energy and eco-cultural tourism hub as the gateway to the Central West of NSW.
Activities of the Regenesis Project
- Mixed Media Exhibitions—exploring the outer and inner, meaning of regenesis and the ethos of living in tune with the rhythms and flow (Dao) of the elements
- Exploring Ideas—exploring the insights of different authors and our own writing in essays and poetry in the Regenesis blog
- Projects—developed in collaboration with other organisations and creative practitioners
- Alliances and collaborations with like-minded groups and projects across Australia and internationally.
Our activities are co-created by our members and will evolve organically over time, depending on the energies of our community.
The Regenesis Project is an open group that welcomes all creative artists and thinkers who share our ethos.
Barbara Lepani is the 2022 President of BMCAN, Co-ordinator of the Regenesis Project and administrator of the Regenesis blog.
Information about the current activities of BMAN (the previous organisation of BMCAN) can be found at: www.facebook.com/BlueMountainsArtistsNetwork/posts and www.bman.org.au and Instagram, Bmartsnetwork and bmansocial