Artists

Making Sense of our Fears and Priorities

Christian College Geelong (Bellarine Campus): Now You See Me
A Guerrilla Art and Drama Collaborative

Students from Christian College’s Bellarine campus will be challenging us to confront ours fears and question our priorities as part of their interactive show at this year’s Geelong After Dark.

Now You See Me is a collaboration of the college’s Year 9 Drama and Guerilla Arts students in which a combination of theatre styles and installation artworks will tell a story of what happens when we take our senses for granted.

Drama teacher Victoria Kent said the theatrical component of the work – titled Super Senses - mixes several drama styles including melodrama and Greek theatre to deliver a moral story of what happens if super heroes with super senses don’t appreciate those senses.

“We have another character come in who takes those senses away. The super heroes then need to navigate through the artworks without those senses. Once they learn they shouldn’t be taking their senses for granted, they get the senses back.”

“In creating the piece, the students hope people realise that not everyone is blessed to have all their senses … It’s not easy when you don’t have them at all. A lot of people take them for granted.”

Guerilla Arts teacher Lori Ruplal said the installation artworks sit side-by-side of the performance taking their cue from Geelong After Dark’s 2019 theme, Heighten Your Senses.

“It’s like a little avenue of oddities that the audience get to take part in. It’s meant to be interactive with each artwork. For example, some students have created boxes you have to put your hand in and you’re not sure what you are going to get.”

“They have gone with the ideas of what if you couldn’t see or hear or what if you lost your sense of touch.”

In a style reminiscent of Edwardian carnival sideshows, the work is designed to elicit feelings of wonderment and fear by also using glow in the dark pictures and culminating in a video that will be projected on muslin.

“It is all about fear and what fear can create through noise and a very creepy video they’ve created,” said Lori.

“Through the artworks, it is that real focus on disruption. Wanting to disrupt people and see how people respond to being disrupted.”

“It’s about the fact the world is different for each person and how each person interacts with this world we’ve created in this space. Is it going to be a positive experience for you or will it be a challenge for you?”

For the 20 boys and six girls involved in the project, the challenge of creating the piece has been one they have relished.

Victoria said Geelong After Dark offered an experience to the students beyond what was available from the classroom.

“We can talk about being able to make a difference and make an impact through your art but this gives the students opportunity to test that and see the rewards … It’s amazing. They’re blown away by what they’re able to put together and the confidence they have.”

This is the third time Christian College (Bellarine) has taken part in Geelong After Dark and Lori said many students choose Drama and Guerilla Arts as their Year 9 electives with the hope of being part of the festival.

“Because it’s our third year running, these guys chose the subjects knowing they had the chance of being part of Geelong After Dark and they were excited about that opportunity. They started talking about it in October last year.”

The College is one of four Geelong region schools involved in this year’s festival. Newcomb Secondary College is also presenting installation work, Botanical Lobotomy, to highlight how we connect with a changing world while Barwon Heads Primary School and Barwon Valley School have both been working with ACT Natimuk on an aerial dance, animation projection and shadow puppetry performance titled Galaxias: A View Beneath the Surface from the Sky.

Says Kaz Paton, Manager, Arts & Culture

“Engaging with the arts to inform and transform are key elements for audiences at Geelong After Dark. We are thrilled that Year 9 students from Christian College (Bellarine Campus) have once again embraced Geelong After Dark. Their project will engage audiences, make them think and we hope be transformed by the experience. We are also delighted to be able to offer emerging artists a platform to test their ideas in public – another essential part of Geelong After Dark.”

At Christian College, where there is a strong focus on giving back to the community, Victoria said it was important younger generations continued to be involved in local events.

“The students really appreciate the opportunity to be part of something real and put together something for a purpose.”

You will find Now You See Me in Aitchinson Place off Little Malop Street (next to the Geelong Performing Arts Centre). Several performances will be held throughout the evening on Friday, 3 May.


ART HELPS US IMAGINE HOW WE AFFECT TECHNOLOGY AND HOW IT AFFECTS US

Through the eyes of Dr Anne Scott Wilson, Geelong is a city whose industrial past and imagined future are at the coal face of a digital revolution with culture having an important role in creating new opportunities and experiences.

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Geelong After Dark is delighted to welcome back Anne to this year’s event which will again showcase her experimental and immersive works using kinetic sculpture, light, sound and artificial intelligence to heighten our senses.

Anne will bring two new works to the city on Friday, 3 May. One is an exciting collaboration between herself and the internationally-renowned Ars Electronica Australia (ARS EA), an organisation whose philosophy of art and technology she says synergises with hers.

“With a philosophy of collaboration and experimentation, I use tech like a paintbrush and understand the need to explore what is happening to us in our everyday digital interactions. You need specific types of technicians to work with artists, ones who understand tech as a tool to explore ideas.”

Anne’s 2019 installation will be on display in the Geelong Council Chambers off Little Malop Street. Part 1 is a kinetic sculpture using old and new technologies in a work she describes as playful.

“People will see everyday objects re-purposed into a polystyrene sculpture of moving parts affected by how people move in and around it. As you get closer, the work changes, it moves faster or slower, volumes and moving parts accelerate and decelerate.”

Visuals change too. LED light reflects off a shiny CD recalling its history. The CD while still in use is quickly becoming a part of history with many now relegated to op shops and land fill.

Part 2, the collaboration with ARS EA, is about voice. In this case, the voice of the people of Geelong. Disembodied voices of the past will use the acoustic qualities of City Hall’s atrium.  At the same time, participants will be invited to relate their feelings of Geelong’s culture which will be recorded into the ‘beehive’ – ARS EA’s platform for collecting media.

“It’s about encouraging people to voice their experience of Geelong After Dark.  The City Hall is a place for residents of Geelong to have a voice and the beehive will capture a collective response.”

“Our own experiences and background influences how we respond to artworks. It is very subjective. The beehive will capture how people are experiencing the event. The work fills a physical void of the atrium and a non-physical void, that is the collective voice of its people in the City Hall.”

Therefore, not only is the installation a collaboration between Anne and ARS EA, the encounter will also be a partnership between the artwork and each participant. In the same way Anne is using technology as a tool, the artwork itself becomes a way for individuals to create unique experiences.

The movement and musical nature of the piece is reflective of Anne’s previous dance career. A trained ballet dancer, Anne commenced her artistic life with the Queensland Ballet before moving to Melbourne with her family in the 1970s.

After a stint in Sydney with her then partner, artist and composer Ian Hartley, she returned to Melbourne to continue her life in dance. She performed in musicals and contemporary works before establishing her own dance company whose performances included work in television, at concerts and as cheerleaders at sporting events.

The next phase of Anne’s career saw her studying art at RMIT. It was at this time she started experimenting with technology and installations with a focus on performance. This interest continued through to her PhD studies at Monash University.

Most recently, Geelong has been lucky to attract Anne to Deakin’s Waterfront Campus where she now works as a lecturer in Art and Performance.

Anne’s love of Geelong is based, in part, on the sensory experience our city delivers. For her, the sight of the water and the horizon line on the bay generates a sense of moodiness and space. After spending most of her life in metropolitan cities, Geelong also provides a sense of peace. Anne relishes the relative quietness of the city as night-time settles combined with the ability to see the stars on cloudless nights.

Anne’s commitment to Geelong extends to her involvement in the #VacantGeelong research project. Initiated by Deakin’s School of Architecture and Built Environment, the project seeks to explore the architecture of the city’s industrial past with the redefinition of the landscape in a 21st century artistic and technological locale.

For Anne, it is not hard to recognise the link between her Geelong After Dark artworks and her adopted city and the relationship of industry and technology in Geelong’s history and landscape.

“Geelong is in a state of flux and deindustrialisation. It is reimagining itself and technology is a major part of Geelong’s changes, more so than many cities.”

“It is important for people’s voices to be heard and be able to participate in the future … Tech offers a great opportunity to redesign from grassroots people up but we need to listen to each other.”

Anne says this is something at which Geelong exceeds:

“Geelong After Dark is a great support for local artists and gives them room to experiment. That is unusual with a lot of festivals held in bigger cities.”

“Geelong puts its money where its mouth is. It is a strong supporter of the cultural sector and artists are grateful for that. Geelong has a philosophy of looking out for each other.”

Making a Big Impact with Music at Geelong After Dark

Geelong-based musician Tim Hulsman is never one to shy away from a challenge. And the bigger the challenge, the more determined he is to make an impact.

After making his Geelong After Dark debut shrouded in fairy lights while playing slide guitar in the inaugural 2014 festival, Tim will be back this year with his latest big idea.

When you attend Geelong After Dark 2019 on 3 May, it will be well worth your while heading to the Market Square Mall to see Tim unveil and play a bespoke five-metre-long, four-stringed slide guitar which he believes will be the largest slide guitar in world.

Tim says he always likes to think big and this time he took that thought literally: “I still wanted to play slide guitar but why not create the biggest slide guitar that’s ever been created in the world and play that.”

The concept is the brainchild of Tim, his partner Nina Grant and art director Mike Patton. All three agreed there needed to be a visual aspect to the performance to bring the bones of the music to life.

“Instead of magnifying something we create a larger version of it. You can see sound in motion. A vibration that runs along a really long string can actually be seen.”

“I don’t actually sit there and play it. I have to run along it and dance. I actually have to create choreography to be able to play it.”

“Nina and Mike will also be performing live art in response to the music with the results projected onto a giant screen. So people watching will experience a lot of colour and movement in the overall show.”

Tim knows the over-sized guitar is an experiment but its creation is aligned with Geelong After Dark festival’s philosophy of allowing artists to push their boundaries. For a self-taught musician like Tim, such a challenge is just another step in his development as a musician.

“Music is just in my soul from when I was five years-old. My mum recounted stories to me about how I would react to music even at that age. I would be completely in a trance state. I would stop whatever I was doing and be lost in the music until it finished and then would snap out of some sort of spell.”

“I didn’t really start to play music until I was about 12 years old. I took to guitar and had a friend who was playing guitar at the time. We bounced off each other with that and taught each other to play. I have been self-taught since those early days.”

Tim’s musical talents now extend to drums, piano, bass guitar, violin and vocals. He founded his own band, toured Australia several times and has released four albums.

Since moving to Geelong eight years ago, Tim has established himself on the local music scene with regular appearances at Pistol Pete’s, the Workers Club, Beav’s Bar and the Barwon Club.

“Geelong has a strong history of having a music and arts scene. Although I hear from other people who’ve been around it’s waned in recent years. However, it’s starting to redevelop and I thought it was a really good time to be here while that redevelopment is happening.”

“Geelong is a big enough town to be well-received and there’s enough people for you to make something happen but it’s also small enough for you to make a difference.”

When not creating or playing music, Tim also spends time teaching through the High Voltage Rock School at Drysdale and Point Lonsdale primary schools, introducing kids from ages seven to eleven to drums, keyboards, guitars and vocals.

However, it’s not just the music culture which excites Tim. It is also the wider transition of Geelong to a creative hub.

“Geelong is going through a massive transition from an industrial town. We have been going through a transition for ten or so years now of becoming an education town and, because of that, a melting pot for creativity and new ideas because we’ve got all these young people coming through.

“I’m not just talking about music and art. I’m talking about science and medicine and all those things as well which are very creative fields. Geelong’s identity is really changing and the culture is changing because of that.”

“The cultural change is slow but it is driven by art. It’s driven by the presence of creative people and driven by a community involved and engaged in creating its own identity. Music and art are massive parts of that wherever that happens in the world.”

“Festivals such as Geelong After Dark which we are holding now in Geelong are world class. They are going to do all sorts of great things for the economy here in the long run and the rest of the world’s perception of Geelong and what we are about.”

Geelong After Dark (GAD) 2019 Friday 3 May: Artist Expression of Interest closed

Pixel Alley, Little Malop St, John Fish Collective; Photographer: Christina Francis

Now in its sixth year, GAD is an exciting celebration of art, our artists and the role they play in making Geelong unique.

GAD is a curated event that may include projections, interactive activities, underground or street performances, music, installations, exhibitions and more.

Geelong City Council is now calling for submissions from individual artists, groups and artist collaborations for GAD2019.  

We invite artists to view Central Geelong – its laneways, intersections, cultural facilities and hidden spaces – as a stage to bring us together with artworks that extend boundaries of form and function.  

Working across multiple platforms and genres, artists will reveal new places, new connections and new perspectives.

The GAD EOI process encourages:

  1. Exploration, discovery and going further

  2. Great artworks and practice development

  3. Connections between people and place

  4. Visitation and active participation

  5. Cultural vibrancy and variety

GAD2019 Theme: Heighten Your Senses

We all use our senses – be it through sight, hearing, taste, touch or smell – to navigate, explore and interact in our everyday lives.  And then there is the sixth sense – our intuition or “ESP”, acquired through past experiences, surrounding influences and natural instinct.

Under the cover of dark, which heightens our senses, GAD2019 invites you to explore one or more of the senses via evocative art interventions that inspire and transport audiences to a different world.  

Application Categories

Category 1: $200 - $500
(up to 20 projects will be selected)

Category 2: $1,500 - $2,000
(up to 10 projects will be selected)

Category 3: $3,000 - $5,000
(up to 7 projects will be selected)

Submission

Artists are invited to submit proposals responding to the GAD2019 theme, and the following:

  • Less than 15 minutes duration

  • (installations will be considered for the full duration of the event).

  • Able to be repeated no less than 2-3 times between 6.00pm -10.00pm.

  • Site specific, where possible. (If your preferred site is not available, we will assist you to find an alternative site.)

  • Artists are asked to consider unexpected places in their proposals. See event map on next page.

EOIs CloseD: Midnight Sun 23 Sept 2018.

Successful applicants will notified mid-Oct 2018.

2019 Geelong After Dark Event Precinct

2019 Geelong After Dark Event Precinct

Selection Criteria

  1. Proposals will be evaluated according to:

  2. Creative approach reflecting event theme

  3. Use of public/unusual space

  4. Calibre/experience of artist/s/team

  5. Audience engagement/interaction and experience.

  6. Budget

  7. Special consideration will be given to applications that look at the city through a local lens, and reflect Geelong’s designation as a UNESCO City of Design (geelongcityofdesign.com.au)

  8. and/or the City of Greater Geelong’s vision for a Clever and Creative Future (geelongaustralia.com.au/clevercreative)

Submission Details

All submissions must include:

  1. Contact details (name, email and phone).

  2. Artwork statement (200-250 words max) describing the proposed artwork, concept, project or performance.

  3. Detailed budget and nominated application category.

  4. Preferred site or GAD Event Zone (refer map above).

  5. Bios/CVs of artist/s, including any web/social media links, and detailing total number of individual artists who will participate in the project.

  6. 1-3 quality images reflecting either your concept or your arts practice. (Jpegs must be uploaded separately - they may not be embedded in the proposal document).

  7. Summary of your proposal (50 words max) to be used for event program and other marketing channels if successful.

Successful artists will be required to:

  • Hold their own Public Liability Insurance – certificate of currency must be provided.

  • Develop a Risk Plan for their proposal once a site has been allocated.

  • Register on Council’s Preferred Supplier system.

  • Submit all Invoices prior to commencing.

All proposals to be submitted online. 

For more information contact the Arts & Culture Department on 03 5272 6186.