• Ian Marr.

    Ian Marr.

  • The first cut on Ian Marr's Mintaro slate......

    The first cut on Ian Marr's Mintaro slate......

  • Zarha Seck

    Zarha Seck

  • Zarha Seck and her mum Sophie Zeck

    Zarha Seck and her mum Sophie Zeck

  • A sunny spot while the big people talk.....

    A sunny spot while the big people talk.....

  • Chris Bourke launches contour 556, interventions in the landscape

    Chris Bourke launches contour 556, interventions in the landscape

  • Jim Patterson of Burley Griffin Cruises with artist Katy Mutton

    Jim Patterson of Burley Griffin Cruises with artist Katy Mutton

  • Neil Hobbs

    Neil Hobbs

  • Adrian Brown performs a 'welcome to country' for the launch

    Adrian Brown performs a 'welcome to country' for the launch

  • Ian Wood-Bradley and Shane Breynard

    Ian Wood-Bradley and Shane Breynard

  • Michael Le Grand, Philip Spelman and Wendy Teakel

    Michael Le Grand, Philip Spelman and Wendy Teakel

  • Marie Hagerty, Brenda Croft and Gordon and Deb Clark

    Marie Hagerty, Brenda Croft and Gordon and Deb Clark

  • Marianne Courtenay and Penny Wheeler

    Marianne Courtenay and Penny Wheeler

  • Richard Phillips and Adam Stankevicius

    Richard Phillips and Adam Stankevicius

  • Lyndon Anderson, Phil Nizette and Jennifer Jones

    Lyndon Anderson, Phil Nizette and Jennifer Jones

  • Stedman, Sophie and Katy Mutton

    Stedman, Sophie and Katy Mutton

  • Marilyn Gray, Amanda Briggs and Neil Doody

    Marilyn Gray, Amanda Briggs and Neil Doody

  • Alex Asch and Alexander Boynes

    Alex Asch and Alexander Boynes

  • Katrina Harris and Hester Gascoigne

    Katrina Harris and Hester Gascoigne

  • Katy Mutton and her vision of 'Dazzle Camouflage' for the MV Gull.

    Katy Mutton and her vision of 'Dazzle Camouflage' for the MV Gull.

Contour 556: intervention in the landscape

10 June 2016

Contour 556: interventions in the landscape is Canberra’s new public art festival destined to bring an eclectic mix of local, national and international art and performances to Lake Burley Griffin the Spring from 22 October to 13 November. The event is the idea of local landscape architect and and public art enthusiast Neil Hobbs who together with his partner Karina Harris are long time supporters of the arts in many and varied areas and they’ve formed Harris Hobbs Public Projects with a vision to create a link that will enhance and invigorate the lake foreshore and the water with a comprehensive mix of dance, song,  poetry, textiles, sculpture and much more to the southern end of the lake.

The launch for the event was held at the exhibition space that has variously been part of the National Portrait Gallery, The National Gallery of Australia and the Gallery of Australian Design, but now languishes as a space in need of invigorating. It was on this occasion with a broad collection of our artistic community and contributing artists, all enthusiastic about the idea.

Sculptor Michael Le Grand saying it will be a big effort for him as the timing coincides with Sculptures by the Sea where he has been a regular contributor and which he is not going to miss because there’s going to plenty of celebrating for the 20th anniversary of that event.

For artist Katy Mutton the transforming of Jim Patterson’s MV Gull has been a pleasure to work on and the image of what she hopes to achieve reminds of an Emilio Pucci ‘pretty in pink fabric boldly covering the cutest boat in Jim’s flotilla from Burly Griffin Cruises. She calls it 'dazzle camouflage'.

Letter cutter Ian Marr was on the back of his truck with slabs of stone, marble and slate, one of which he started at just the right time to cut the first ‘s’ at the end of pineapples in a wordy description of a Chateau D’Yquem evocative and enticingly like sipping this fine sauternes sitting by the lake. Highly unlikely, as some vintages are in the heady $800 range but salivating at the language will do.

Chris Bourke in his capacity as Minister for the Arts launched the project and the ACT government has contributed $35,000 from the arts and events kitty, with support from private sponsors and volunteers, to make this an event to look forward to. And those of us who love public art, and see so many benefits to the ordinary aspect of this part of the lake foreshore will relish the opportunity to enjoy the event.

And the 556 refers to the water level of the lake. And I have no idea how that’s measured.