For 10 days in July, the ever so cool Gertrude Street becomes even cooler, courtesy of the artists behind the Gertrude Street Projection Festival. This year, the Festival will celebrate its 8th year of transforming Melbourne’s hippest street into one of our most visible large scale illuminated outdoor art galleries.
Bright lights, enticing video and perfectly positioned colour-scapes will adorn over 40 sites on and around Gertrude Street injecting electric splashes of colour on almost anything you can imagine. Shop fronts, laneways, windows and footpaths will come alive with bold visions of award-winning projection artists, all exhibited for free.
Presented by The Gertrude Projection Association and helmed by Festival Director Nicky Pastore and Festival curators Kym Ortenburg and Yandell Walton the festival aims to shine a light on relevant issues within the community with a focus on innovative projection works from a diverse group of artists.
A new addition to this year’s festival is the Mentorship Progam, which aims to create opportunities for emerging artists in the development of new work, in collaboration with established artists, the community and local businesses.
“We are really excited about introducing this brand new initiative - the GSPF Mentorship Program will not only provide artists an opportunity to receive one-on-one mentoring but also develop the creation of new site specific artwork,” says Festival director Nicky Pastore. “Each project aspires to challenge the projection art form in its own way – utilising sculpture, immersive installation, large-scale projection and autonomous electronic devices.”
Some of the highlights this year include The New Vanguard exhibition at Seventh Gallery featuring six artists who use innovative and experimental projection techniques to create artworks that are distinctly twenty-first century. The exhibition culminates as a forecast of the future of contemporary art, based on what is happening now; and Wheel Of Fate – a roving theatre performance which leads audience members on a choose your own adventure around Gertrude Street and the surrounding areas.
Projection artists whose work will be featured in the 8th Gertrude Street Projection Festival include Chase Burns with his large scale crashing waves engulfing the Builders Arms Hotel; Alden Epp’s creative projections sculpture on the wall of Ladro and the colourful and thought provoking wall projection of Deb Bain – King.
The Festival Hub this year is The Catfish which will be transformed into a late night space offering a range of free and ticketed events including live performances, workshops, panels, music and of course, projection artworks galore. Festival alumni artists Krystal Schultheiss and Rose Staff will curate the visual component of the Hub program – having recently curated industry focused events for Melbourne Fringe Festival and Pause Festival, as part of their projection collective Project Pixel Squared.
The Gertrude Street Projection Festival runs 10 – 19 July and artworks will be projected from 6pm until midnight every evening during the Festival. For more information, visit: www.gspf.com.au for details.
Image: Andre Fazio, The Couch Potato