Contour 556 Public Art FestivalShare Event on Facebook Share Event on Twitter Share Event on LinkedIn
Contour 556 is open and continues until 13 November . It is a public art festival and spreads around the Lake foreshore from the National Library through the Sculpture Garden of the NGA through Bowen Park to the Kingston Arts Precinct with installations that use ceramic, stone, timber, concrete, paint, wallpaper, glass and the ubiquitous found objects put to good use. But it’s not just an exhibition, the festival will include performances as diverse as poetry readings, video, dance, song and performance art with a full schedule online at the contour 556 website.
For the opening night at the Lakeside space, variously used by the NPG, NGA and many a fine night of openings and celebration for all manner of the arts, was overflowing with artists and supporters of this enterprise that could develop into a variation of ‘Sculpture by the Sea’ though no intention is perceived that it is a knock off, but it does gives the Lake foreshore a lease of life its needed and spreads the festival into what will be a true arts precinct in the future.
It is for Neill Hobbs, Landscape Architect and now curator of this festival, a part of his PhD research through the University of Canberra, it will bring him the feedback he needs for his work with the responses asked of all who make time to see, experience and have an opinion to let him know if it works. There are educational resources available for teachers and students on the website and activities to pursue as well.
With a list of sponsors and supporters Hobbs has worked hard to bring on board, this little festival will be a formidable addition to the arts scene that is so much a part of our community engagement with the city and the built environment and extends that back to the community to enjoy....for free.
With the MV Gull puttering from the venue emblazoned with Katy Mutton’s ‘Dazzle Camouflage’ it was a colourful start to the opening and for Jim Patterson at the helm a pretty in pink look that sure beats any coat of paint he’s tried before. And when we watched the first cut on the Mintaro slate at the launch of Contour 556, it is now exciting to see the finished slab that Ian Marr has created with unique Canberra and region names and quotes to remind us of the past. It’s a must buy for the ACT Government!
But my favourite installation is a horse called ‘A Burden’ created by Andy Townsend, Susie Bleach and Harry Townsend. He looks like a young Waler horse, hardy, strong and dependable and an icon of Australia’s horse history, with this one just back from a trip to Perth for their Cottesloe Sculpture by the Sea. His face says “do I have to do this” and we know he will.