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Young Creatives Blog
Wednesday 9 March 2016
As the 2016 Perth International Arts Festival comes to an end, a feeling of sadness looms over me. I still remember getting the phone call saying that I have been selected as the Young Creative for Visual Arts, a few months ago and I didn’t expect time to go by so fast! Though it may seem very clichéd, being one of the Young Creatives for this year’s Festival has been an eye-opening and great experience for me and I am certain that it has been the same for the other Young Creatives as well. I was given so many wonderful opportunities, such as helping with PICA installations, meeting and chatting with artists and attending a variety of shows. It has given me a chance to get away from the cyclical and work-filled days of an International Baccalaureate student and instead take part in art-filled days and nights.
The highlight of this year’s Festival still remains The Secret Garden exhibition by Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg due to the immersive atmosphere it created. Acquiring Sean E. Avery’s words of wisdom was also another highlight as his advice and guidance in pursuing a career in the visual arts was, and will be, extremely helpful. Apart from the visual arts related events, I also got to watch several shows with the other Young Creatives.
As a non-Australian who goes to an international school, I hardly ever get to fully experience Australian culture and the Perth International Arts Festival gave me the opportunity to do so. The opening event for the Lotterywest Festival, Home, allowed me to have a greater appreciation for Perth. I previously lived in Paris and when I moved here, I constantly craved for the French gothic architecture, the hustle and bustle of the Paris Métro and its close proximity to other European countries. But as time passed, Perth grew on me and I began to love its tranquillity and the ocean view from my balcony; and as Tim Minchin sang, ‘It’s not perfect, but it’s mine,’ I realised that I’m certainly grateful to call Perth my home. Spear was one of the last shows I got to watch and its moving story about an Aboriginal boy’s journey and beautiful cinematography will stay with me for a long time.
Plexus, created by Aurélien Bory and performed by Kaori Ito, was another event I got to attend. The set, lighting and Ito were all brilliant, but its repetitive nature made me appreciate the show less. On the other hand, Ariane Beyer (the Young Creative for Dance) enjoyed the show to a great extent, which proves just how subjective art is. Throughout the Festival, the number of times I asked myself, ‘What is going on?’ was plentiful. This question was reoccurring during Refuse the Hour which was the first show I watched. The set and props were aesthetically pleasing, but I only understood about 20% of the content, give or take. Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and the Twin Paradox were familiar concepts, but I still didn’t have the sufficient knowledge to comprehend the entire show. As confusing as it was, I still very much enjoyed the incredible combination of dance, music, science and philosophy.
As I summarise all these events, I am reminded of all the provoked emotions, extended thoughts and acquired knowledge from all the shows, events and meetings I got to experience. My love and appreciation for the visual arts, as well as the other areas of art, has increased; all the things I have learned will definitely help me move forward with my future in the arts. My current art-making process has developed according to the different artistic styles that have inspired me throughout the Festival. I predominantly worked with two dimensional media before and I was never comfortable with three dimensional art forms. After immersing myself into Djurberg and Berg’s sculpture filled exhibition, The Secret Garden, I was motivated and inspired to start creating work in the three dimensional division of art as well. My body of work also mainly consists of black and white, monochromatic paintings and drawings because I find it so difficult to work with colour. Avery’s trademark use of cyan, magenta and yellow made me want to experiment with the colour combination. I ended up liking it and incorporating it in my studio pieces. The interactions I had with the artists, their exhibitions and getting to familiarise myself with their art-making processes has already encouraged me to expand my body of work and produce studio pieces out of my comfort zone.
My experiences in the Festival have opened up potential career options. One of these options is book illustration. Having close meetings with Avery and Gregg Dreise, who are both illustrators with published picture books, allowed me to become more aware of the advantages and disadvantages of that certain career path. I still plan on taking Visual Communications at university, but writing and illustrating a picture book is something that I’ve just recently added on my bucket list.
The 2016 Perth International Arts Festival has come to an end and so has my time as a Young Creative. I am so grateful to have been a part of this annual event and many thanks to the amazing Festival team and featured artists. So long and farewell for now!
Young Creative: Visual Arts