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TOPIC: The Threefold Social Impulse
Nigel Hoffmann
holds a PhD with a thesis title ‘Goethean Science as an Educational Pathway’.
He is the author of Goethe’s Science of Living Form: The Artistic Stages and The University at the Threshold: Orientation through Goethean Science. A high school teacher for eighteen years, Nigel has lectured in Australia and Switzerland.


This workshop will examine Rudolf Steiner’s social ideas, of which Joseph Beuys was an avid student. Together with workshop members and, by exercising artistic imagination, the participants will attempt to come to grips with what is meant by the term, referred to frequently by Beuys, “The Threefold Social Organism“.

TOPIC: Beuys’ influence on Indonesian artist Tisna Sanjaya

Honorary Professor Goddard is a retired academic, writer and curator specialising in aesthetics. He was recently Dean of the School of Art at RMIT and before that Head of School of Design and Art, Curtin University. As a curator, Professor Goddard has made over 50 exhibitions and published widely on Australian, Aboriginal, and Concrete Art, including three books.


He is the founder of the Australian Centre for Concrete Art – an international group that constructs large, public minimalist wall paintings and gallery installations.


He is also chairperson of The Bureau of Ideas – an international think tank that promotes public discussion of art, design, architecture, and philosophy through forums in non-academic environments.


Julian has had a long and a keen interest in Beuys and this talk will focus on the impact of Beuys on the work of senior Indonesian artist Tisna Sanjaya from Bandung, West Java. 

TOPIC: Biodynamic Farming as a path to overcoming Climate Change
Ian Cuming spent every school holiday at his uncle’s farm and loved it.  He never thought he would be able to become a farmer, so he studied law, but at the end of six years realised this career was not for him.

He set out for England and enrolled at Emerson College where he studied Biodynamic agriculture and did an apprenticeship at Old Plaw Hatch Farm, where he learnt how to milk cows and plough the English way. 

He then spent ten years in the North York Moors in a Camphill Community, living and working with people with a disability on Honey Bee Nest Farm. 


Upon returning to Australia, he commenced farming and became a director of the Biodynamic Association of Australia and a founding member and director of ECOSS, an environmental organisation in the Yarra Valley.

He has recently sold his farm in Victoria after nearly twenty years of growing kiwifruit.


Ian will discuss biodynamic farming, its place in addressing the effects of climate change and how individuals can effect change through personal action.

TOPIC: The interface between Beuys and my Aboriginal heritage.

Robyne has held several academic positions over the past 30 years, at La Trobe and Deakin Universities in Melbourne Victoria, and at Curtin and Edith Cowan Universities in Perth, Western Australia.

In 2017 Robyne retired from academic work to focus solely on her art practice. Visit: 

With a group of 8 to 10 participants this experiential workshop will involve initial discussions, some making of objects, followed by a Q&A session.


The intention of this workshop is to share and explore, the interface between Beuys’s work and Robyne’s Aboriginal heritage, in the context of her art practice.


The art materials supplied will be very low tech. i.e., Black paper, white pencils, scissors, and sticky tape. Please bring a curious mind.

TOPIC: ‘…beyond Beuys’

Andy Wear who started school in a small country town in Queensland, became a punk rocking art school dropout and now holds a PhD in Aesthetic Philosophy.


As an academic and scholar, he has written about Joseph Beuys extensively, and, has, as a guest at numerous national and international academic conferences, spoken at length about Beuys’ relevance to the disciplines of philosophy, pedagogy, politics, and organisational theory.
Andy’s interest not only covers Aesthetic Philosophy but includes Pedagogical Theory, Philosophy of Education and Organisational Philosophy.


In this talk, Andy will consider the creative realm ‘…beyond Beuys’ – what his legacies are, and what subsequent generations of artists (and their art) offer to ‘the social organism as a work of art’.

TOPIC: Embedded Movement
Birgith Lugosi was born in Austria, studied movement, painting and sculpture in Munich and travelled to Australia in 1985, establishing the Aurora Australis College of the Arts (now in its 32nd year), with Karl Kaltenbach AO and Burnum Burnum a Woiworrung and Yorta Yorta man at Wallaga Lake in southern New South Wales. Birgith has taught in Europe, China, and Australia.


In this experiential workshop, Birgith will take participants through conversation and activity connected to understanding how inner movement can play a key role in understanding both the physical and embedded spiritual bodies in which we live, in relation to the cosmos and our participation in the sensual world.

These ideas connect to the life force balance which the Chinese call chi, the ancient Indians called prana and Beuys called etheric.

TOPIC: Beuys and Community Engaged Arts
An International Tate associate and current chair of Regional Arts Australia, Simon has been a community engaged practitioner for nearly 40 years working with diverse communities across the world and his recent personal practice uses drawing, bookmaking, and video installation.


Having completed his reflective practice PhD at RMIT in 2019 Simon is now writing an interactive drawing book for creative practitioners about Reflective Practice. Visit:


Community-engaged practice refers to a form of collective or collaborative creative practice that is centred around working within a community, or communities, that may result in activity, engagement, or artwork together to address social conditions or issues. In community-engaged practice the audience, previously conceived as only a ‘viewer’, has been repositioned as a co-creator or participant. 


Community-engaged practice develops relational dialogic relationships between participants, is likely to take place outside traditional arts settings, frequently engages with diverse, under-represented, communities and sought its inspiration from people-centred humanist approaches and social and emancipatory ways of thinking. What role does Beuys have in the development of this way of working?


In this gathering, artist and academic, Dr Simon Spain will explore the connections between Beuys’ conception of Social Sculpture and the development of the community engaged arts movement.

TOPIC: Beuys and Materiality

Emeritus Professor David Thomas is an artist and previously Professor of Fine Art (Painting,) in the RMIT School of Art. His work explores the contemplative function of painting, photopainting, and installation in the contemporary world, how new iterations of the monochrome tradition can address issues of the perception of time and space, complexity, knowing and feeling. He exhibits widely in Australia, Asia- Pacific and Europe. Visit:


This talk will examine the connection Joseph Beuys had to the materials he employed to construct artworks. Beuys appreciated that the manipulation of materials required knowing and feeling, consciousness and intuition.

Over his lifetime with amazing sensitivity and originality Beuys worked with a diverse range of materials and forms via his drawings, paintings, sculptural objects, and installations to generate readings and emotions and to pose questions about our humanity.


Yet beyond the concrete use of materials one of his key contributions to art and society was dealing with the non-material media through his practice, harnessing what one might term social energy or social action.

TOPIC: The Spirituality of Beuys

Ian George was a founding director of Melbourne integrated property development company CGA Bryson, responsible for finance and construction.


Ian is interested in practical approaches to Beuys’ Social Sculpture and Permanent Conference and how these can create impulses in society to transform it in an open, humane way, in freedom.

In 2019 he founded the Joseph Beuys Cafe, Melbourne with Beuys scholar, Dr Wolfgang Zumdick. Visit:


This conversation with focus on the spiritual in Beuys. Referencing books discovered in the Beuys library, we will investigate methods Beuys was aware of in developing non-visible perception in the sensual world, and how these approaches might be applied today to help heal the world.