ARGO is a long-term collaborative regional art project in Renmark that takes as its starting point the history of the ARGO Barge and the remarkable group of men who passionately restored it. Closely associated with the paddle steamer era, their stories and the ARGO’s history are synonymous with the opening up of life along the Murray. The 1916 built ARGO is a one of a kind floating pumping station that was employed in the construction of the Riverland irrigation system.
In 2021 the 7 minute video of interviews and historical footage of the ARGO was screened at the Olivewood Historical Homestead and Museum ARGO celebration event as part of the 2021 SA History Festival.
Through a collaborative working process in association with the newly formed ARGO working group led by local artist Italo Vadaro and members of the Renmark community, ARGO will unearth knowledge about the places where we live and the people who make these places what they are. The projects intention is to explore how history can be lifted out of books and reinterpreted in artistic ways through the potential of a large-scale outdoor multimedia and digital story telling event.
The ARGO project will celebrate a community, its people and their enduring spirit. It will provide a legacy of inter-generational knowledge while documenting a fast disappearing history of the Riverland district and its people.
The ARGO project has received funding from Country Arts SA and FRRR – The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal for its first stage development as well as generous support from The Riverland Youth Theatre.