OSCA is an independent arts platform based in South Australia supporting artists and generating projects across a diverse field of practice in urban and regional settings. OSCA connects and locates cutting edge contemporary arts practice and artists with diverse communities and operates as a conduit for artists to extend their practice in a supportive and collegial environment. OSCA’s mission is to provide artists and non-artists with opportunities to dream, develop and create contemporary art works that explore new models of participation and practice in urban and regional contexts.
OPEN SPACE CONTEMPORARY ARTS
OSCA provides a unique service within the Adelaide arts ecology as a company dedicated to community engagement and participatory arts practice. We work with People, Process and Place to develop socially engaged projects that deepen connections to the world around us through the lens of local understandings, knowledge, concerns, desires and interests. OSCA understands criticality and community engagement are rich sites for collaboration and exchange built on commitment and trust. OSCA looks for authentic and immersive participation guided by our key creative principles to Connect, Engage, Create and Contribute.
Formerly known as KneeHigh Puppeteers, OSCA has been a South Australian art maker since 1995. Our past body of work has been built on producing and touring new performance works with a particular focus on large-scale puppetry, spectacle theatre and community engagement projects. Led by Tony Hannan, KneeHigh Puppeteers had significant success with commissions for local and national festivals and countless international tours in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. The company has traditionally received triennial funding from Arts SA and The Australia Council of the Arts along with significant additional income from commissioned work. After numerous high profile commissions at local and national festivals, and many international tours, it was considered time for the company to renew and revitalise. In 2011 the organisation sought interest for a new artistic director and in 2012 Dario Vacirca was appointed to lead and re-vision the organisation. In 2012 Kneehigh started shifting course to include new artists and artforms crossing performance, video, installation and curated events. Alongside the realization of major commissions for festivals such as Woodford and Come Out and the development of new works, this transformation saw the implementation of artist driven projects and the development of an Associate Artist model supporting leading independent SA artists.
At the start of 2016 a new artistic team consisting of Artistic Director Paul Gazzola & General Manager Janine Peacock took to the helm. Their combined history of over 50 years in curating and producing works with various communities in city, urban and regional sites has seen OSCA consolidate its recent past and step forward with a new and bold set of directives.
OSCA acknowledges we work on Kaurna land – always was, always will be.
OSCA is supported by ArtsSA.