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Editions

Harbouring the artistic wave

29 May 2012

Harbouring the artistic wave Image

By Andrew Yeung

Docklands put aside its waterfront precinct glamour and became a harbour for contemporary arts in late May during the Next Wave Festival.

The artistic exhibition lasted from May 19 to 27 at various Melbourne locations including the Mission to Seafarers and NewQuay Promenade in Docklands.

The nine-day festival provided a platform for 40 budding contemporary artists which included an opportunity for ritual, parties and food.

Next Wave’s artistic director Emily Sexton said this year’s festival attempted something new and embraced mobility, pleasure and challenges.

“Next Wave invites audiences to take part in whole-day journeys, guided through a curated collection of new art works and ideas,” she said.

“We work so closely with our artists over an extended period to create truly ambitious, ground-breaking work.”

“This is bleeding-edge contemporary art and bold attempts at searing, soaring exchange,” she said.

The site-specific Hull at the Mission to Seafarers was an audio-visual installation by artists Laura Delaney and Danae Valenza.

Next Wave provided a lot of flexibility and excitement for budding artists like Danae and Laura.  

“With Next Wave, you have a lot of room to develop which was really useful,” Danae said.

She incorporated voices from the Chinese Methodist Church Choir and set up melting ice to trigger her audio installation. She said the best part during the Next Wave festival was the ups and downs in her production.

“When we were recording the voices, they were quite unsure,” she said. “At the opening it was great to see them react to the work. They were really excited!”

Other Next Wave highlights were Shelters along NewQuay Promenade and the walking tour Flyway from Carlton to Docklands.

The scattered Shelters sculptures along the promenade were improvised dwellings, rafts and lookouts by Joseph L. Griffiths.

He built the sculptures on-site entirely from natural and recycled materials in under-utilised spaces.

Artists Elizabeth Dunn took her Flyway audience through a 90-minute walking tour to discover hidden video screens, inspirational creatures and natural cinema.

She collaborated with sound artist Lawrence English to reveal to the audience the challenges migratory birds face for survival.

Next Wave hosted a talk session Breakfast Club at the Wheeler Centre about artists working in the Docklands.  The club presented the arts in context and showed how its projects relate to the broader society.

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