Home' Scoop Homes and Art : SHA 31 Summer 2011 Contents 92 HOMES & ART SUMMER 2011
ou’re standing shoulder to
shoulder with festival-goers,
rocking and jostling amongst
the crowd as musicians perform
on stage. From the corner of your eye
you notice someone pushing their way
towards you. The stranger stands next
to you, before gently taking your hand
in his own. How do you react?
Such was one of the ‘interventions’
enacted by artist Benjamin Forster as he
literally came to grips with Splendour in
the Grass festival patrons.
He soon realised that while individuals
were ty pically passionate about music,
they were also willing participants of
festival culture, eager to engage in a
diverse range of experiences.
The festival, held in Woodford,
Queensland, in 2011, is an annual music,
arts and culture event. Benjamin and fellow
Perth-based artist Bennett Miller were two
of 15 artists selected to participate in the
festival and an associated arts program.
Titled Splendid, it’s an initiative ru n by
the Splendour festival and arts agencies
across Australia, and offers opportunities
to collaborate with other emerging talents
across a range of artistic disciplines.
Particularly innovative is the program’s
three-week residential Arts Lab, facilitated
by ‘provocateurs’ such as Berlin-and-
Adelaide-based performer Paul Gazzola
and Técha Noble from Sydney art collective
The Kingpins. Artists progress through
a series of workshops, experimenting
and brainstorming concepts for art at the
following year’s Splendour in the Grass.
Part of the process is to attend the
festival, where they’re able to gauge the
crowd, see how the event operates and
speak with those who have work installed.
Benjamin is a visual artist who gleefully
appropriates from the fields of pop culture,
A collaboration between the Splendour in the Grass festival and
arts agencies is promoting new creative talent. We meet two WA
artists who were invited to take part WORDS Lee Kinsella
CLOCKWISE from above Close Encounters, by Jordana
Maisie, was a thought-provoking installation at Splendour in the
Grass 2011. Festival-goers were invited to text the alien; Perth
artist Benjamin Forster, who attended the festival; Benjamin’s
workDiscourse, which won the non-acquisitive prize at the 2010
Fremantle Arts Centre Print Award. It’s the result of an inquiry
into the p rocess of conversa tion based o n statisti cal prob ability.
The transcript spilling from the printers is a hypothetical dialogue
between classical economists Karl Marx and Adam Smith.
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