On the Couch with Ian Pidd

Ian Pidd The Lost LandsWho is Ian Pidd?
I’m a theatre and festival director, occasional actor of over 30 years experience. I’ve directed Moomba, chaired Melbourne Fringe and founded Junction Arts Festival and The Village. Currently Artistic Director of new family music and arts festival, The Lost Lands. But I’m also a dad, husband, gardener, bee keeper and hopeless ‘fixie’ rider.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Learn to say no, learn to stop worrying (I still worry), be a bit less didactic in my theatre making, start working on festivals in my twenties (It really is a young person’s game.)

Who inspires you and why?
People who do one thing really well. Musicians, visual artists, writers, cooks, gardeners, instrument makers… I get restless and tend to work on a million things at once. So I do get a lot done, but sometimes it all feels like it flies past me.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I try and make art that is in the world, not in the art ghettos. Art that is as participatory as possible – in the way that it is made as well as the way it is experienced. My favourite thing is when a project brings a huge number of people who don’t know each other  together for an active experience, and that creates the possibility of relationships that last beyond the project itself.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I travel so much for my work that, seriously, my favourite holiday is at home. But I do look forward to my trips to Yogyakarta, New York and Point Addis back beach.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
A1 Turkish bakery on Sydney Road (Food! Diversity!), a suburban football match (the real game), La Mama Theatre (the most blessed theatre space in Australia), Point Addis Back Beach….

What are you currently reading?
Francis Spufford’s luminous recreation of 1740’s New York city Golden Hill. Part thriller, part comedy of manners, the novel is set at a time when New York is a small prosperous trading centre, with the hint of the glory and deep wealth division to come.

What are you currently listening to?
Fyffe busker and pop-folk meister King Creosote’s new record Astronaut Meets Appleman. If the hairs don’t stand up in the back of your neck when the bagpipe solo kicks in on the track Surface, then you have died in the night.

Happiness is?
I’m going to have to reach for the cliché of waking up next to my wife. (Susan Giles, Artistic Director of Polyglot Theatre.)

What does the future hold for you?
Well we have very high hopes for The Lost Lands, so I see years of that festival just getting better and better. I have a whole bunch of really nice theatre projects on the board.  And maybe sitting down with my guitar and learning to do one thing really well…

The Lost Lands takes place at Werribee Park and Mansion: 29 – 30 October 2016. For more information, visit: www.thelostlands.com.au for details.

Image: Ian Pidd (supplied)