ONE of Canberra’s most profitable artwork initiatives of latest years, the set up pageant Contour 556, has morphed into the Canberra Artwork Biennial, opening in early October.
Initially themed across the top above sea stage of Lake Burley Griffin, Contour 556 has now been joined by two different contours – 606, the College of Canberra’s and 656, the Nationwide Arboretum’s.
I caught up with director Neil Hobbs as he put the of entirety to plans for the burgeoning pageant, which is now funded by ArtsACT and EventsACT and is predicted to increase throughout extra public, non-public and gallery areas within the internal north and south of Canberra.
Hobbs says the change of title, as he and his collaborators thought-about how to deal with the fast growth of Contour 556, locked into the contour of the lake and metropolis solely.
“We thought, let’s have three slices of the Canberra, layered panorama,” says Hobbs, himself a panorama architect by occupation, including, “the entire level of the biennial is to uncover the historical past of Canberra’s layers and the way they’re positioned within the land.”
There’s lots of Canberra’s historical past concerned, quite a lot of which is hidden, he says. “For example, the lake hides the Molonglo River Basin. A lot of what we’re doing is about what’s hidden.”
Bringing this concept to mild this 12 months shall be “Each shall row (O Waly, Waly)” by Ian Marr, a pair of undulating slabs positioned on helps slightly below the water floor of the lake, so fairly actually hidden.
The inclusion of the Nationwide Arboretum’s Contour 656 within the wider biennial works very properly numerically, Hobbs notes, nevertheless it’s additionally an establishment he’s at all times needed to have concerned within the occasion, too.
Proper now, the Nationwide Arboretum is within the first flush of its new Forest Sculpture Gallery, unveiled on September 9. Works of a extra substantial nature, now collected by the Arboretum, have particular relevance to the outdated Contour 556.
Jeremy Blincoe and Michael Van Dam’s enormous chrome steel chain sculpture, “Cloak”, exhibited on the 2020 Contour 556 on the Civic Pool, for example, shall be put in completely within the Himalayan Cedar Forest.
Marr’s “A Literary Map of the Molonglo”, from the 2016 Contour 556, has been acquired and goes on everlasting show within the Pin Oak Forest.
Contour 606 works fairly properly numerically, too, Hobbs says, and as with the Arboretum, there’s a contour 556 hyperlink as Wiradjuri artist Karla Dickens’ sculpture “Second Pores and skin”, proven on the lakeside occasion in 2018, has been taken into the College of Canberra assortment.
“So, there’s a pleasant hyperlink that exhibits how our pageant isn’t just a short lived occasion,” Hobbs says.
The road-up of 61 contributing artists is a who’s who of latest Canberra creativity, together with a number of dance artists, and takes place over a broad vary of venues, together with Springbank Island, Henry Rolland Park, Thor’s Hammer Mixing Room Gallery and King O’Malley’s pub.
Among the many extra seen highlights shall be Adam Norton’s “Big Badges”, a collection of huge spherical vibrant text-works trying like old skool lapel badges of over a metre in measurement and put in across the lake.
Canberra Artwork Biennial, varied places round Canberra, October 1-29. All particulars at contour556.com.au
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Ian Meikle, editor