You Are Here: Art, Not Apart

Art, Not Apart is a regular alternative art and underground culture festival that attracts quite a mix of people. I’ve been to this festival twice now and both times have been a real sensory awakening.

Welcome to the suitcase jumble sale.

Welcome to the suitcase jumble sale.

The You Are Here blurb:

Art, Not Apart is a many-arts festival focused on the making and interactivity of art.

Last October, artist Sami Sommavira visually interpreted the headlining musicians of Art, Not Apart. While sitting on stage with the and, she made small paper sculptures inspired by their sounds. The progression from improvised jazz by the Canberra Symphony Orchestra Ensemble to jazzy electronica by electronic music producer Hypnagog was visualised by Sami’s tiny little pieces glued onto glass to form a greater work. The papered and painted glass work was completed by the music: it made more sense when witnessed in the making. The divisions kept breaking down: the framed work made more sense when framed by the whole stage. The boundaries of even the stage were blurred with the festival, which is mostly improvised and seemingly endless in breadth. Sound sculptures, live painting, clock-making, body-painting and roving dancers were easily lost in the laneway of creative spaces – spaces given to local artists to use as they willed.

The papered and painted glass showed the endless connections we can trace through art. From this perspective, nothing is apart.

After the sun and dancefloor dissipated, thousands of people had connected with works they liked, avert and opened towards. We can only hope the divisions kept breaking down after the festival.

A renewed Art, Not Apart will fill NewActon in March 2013. There will be more artists, larger installations, a second stage and a greater focus on food.

I went to the one in October, I enjoyed it quite a bit more than I thought I would. I am a creative person, as you know, but the visual arts aren’t my thing usually. Despite that, I found so much to look at and hear and experience it was rather surreal.

This year I was a little more prepared, so I wasn’t quite as surprised with the quantity of things to look at.

My review:

The scent of freshly made crepes floated upon the light breeze, mingling with the music and conversation as the Art, Not Apart festival took a hold on New Acton this past Saturday. A fresh-eyed crowd filled the precinct, eager to absorb the jumble of art and artists that were breathing life into this local festival.

One could mix with the mish-mash of accepting souls as they enlivened the dreary urban landscape with wild, imaginative smatterings of creativity and suitcases full of second-hand gear. Coming to life upon the walls of New Acton’s urban jungle were examples of the artists’ subconscious expressions. They ranged from a vampiric tomato-headed angel to a full-height, tribal alien robot in black and white being created as the public streamed past.

From a welcoming and creatively decorated central stage, the extremely talented and award-winning poetry slammer Raphael Kabo sent words of whimsy and woe into the growing crowd’s waiting ears. Raphael was followed by the obscure yet lively music of Natalie Magee, reminiscent of folk mixed with modern rock and jazz. She and her band had the crowd entranced and tapping their feet as the organic foods from Urban Food Café and the other food stands were being heartily enjoyed. The creperie stall had a bustling line of waiting patrons that seemed to struggle with what to look at next as their delicious meals were being made to order. The senses almost became overwhelmed with the sights, sounds and smells of this truly amazing festival.

But this was not just a festival for arty folk. Kids could express themselves by building a cardboard box fort, while other patrons could purchase artwork, or a piece of written creativity from Scissors Paper Pen’s WORDLAB stall. Added to all this were the artistic displays that ranged from expressive dancing accompanied by the soulful tune of a lone saxophone, to talented street artists providing live viewings of their creations in the making.

Art, Not Apart has come to life within Canberra three times now. I’m hoping it will continue to do so for many more years to come.

My thoughts:

That version of the review is after editing, it is quite a bit different from what I sent through to the team (especially when I compare it to the other four reviews I did). I tried playing around with capturing the ‘atmosphere’ of the place and I clearly failed, as most of that has been culled or changed. I’m not worried about that, sometimes it’s nice to challenge yourself.

If anyone is interested I can post the original as I sent it to the blog team.

Do you have local art festivals near you? Have you been?




4 thoughts on “You Are Here: Art, Not Apart

  1. I wonder why they changed it so much? I wouldn’t mind seeing the original…

    • The feedback I got was that it wasn’t really clear, I thought it was, obviously, or I wouldn’t have sent it in. But I also think it was the style too, it was different to all my others. Probably more like an article than a review. I can post it for you Dianne, keep an eye out 🙂

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