Breathing new life into our ‘forgotten places’

When the region’s artists were presented with a challenge to uncover, reimagine and bring to life forgotten places on the Sunshine Coast this is what happened.

 
Breathing new life into our ‘forgotten places’

Late last year, Horizon Festival called for submissions from established Sunshine Coast-based artists who wanted to present new or existing works in the festival’s 2023 Homegrown program, which has the theme, The Forgotten Coast.

A record number of artists responded, with judges selecting three projects that best embraced the theme.

These included an interactive visual showcase of Kunda Park, one of the region’s first industrial estates, a laundromat where you come away with a lot more than a load of clean washing and dance performances in some of the Coast’s most loved bookstores.

Successful artists will now receive support to plan and deliver their project, mentorship from influential experts in a chosen field, as well as $12,000 for project development and presentation.

Interactive artmakers Nicole Veovodin-Cash and Teddy Horton were one of the chosen three and said their work would examine the overlooked industrial estate at Kunda Park.

“During Horizon Festival our installations and collaborative evening event will provide an immersive experience for everyday audiences to enjoy — particularly those who wouldn’t often go to art exhibits,” Teddy said.

“Our local industrial spaces, such as Kunda Park, provide the core of our manufacturing and provide jobs to the community but are so often overlooked.

“We’ll be telling the stories of the Kunda Park community through photography and projections, inviting audiences to feel as well as see the unique experience.”

Spotlight on the ‘unseen and invisible’

Libby Harward and Dominique Chen were also successful with their project ‘Blak Laundry, which invites audiences to wash their dirty laundry during the festival.

“We’re creating a functional laundromat for our Homegrown project. The laundry in Maleny will allows audiences to converse, celebrate and collaborate on all things Blak while doing a load of washing,” Libby said.

“We’ll be looking at the unseen and invisible aspects of our lives and times, bringing Aboriginal stories into interactive view.”

The final project presenting as part of this year’s festival comes from LJ Projects who will celebrate and dance through the region’s unique bookstores.

“Labyrinth promises an escape from the outside world into a place of solace and familiarity with a hint of otherworldly dimensions,” Chloe Keating said.

“Across a number of Sunshine Coast bookstores, we’ll offer dance pieces created specifically for each unique bookstore, celebrating what makes them special.”

‘Unique, diverse and exciting’ program

Horizon Festival Director Hannah Clissold said they had asked for projects that uncovered forgotten or invisible places on the Sunshine Coast and made them memorable again.

“The three projects chosen will breathe new life into the forgotten places the artists have selected, creating a unique, diverse and exciting program,” Ms Clissold said.

“The Homegrown Program will be delivered during Horizon Festival, on from August 25 to September 3.

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said the Homegrown program was a wonderful way to support established artists — a key component of the Sunshine Coast Arts Plan 2018-2038.

“By funding and supporting artists to create and present works, we’re supporting and helping grow our local arts ecology, which ultimately means our community has more ways and places to see and experience art in all its forms,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“The region’s premier arts festival, saw attendances of more than 20,000 in 2022, offering a wealth of exposure for the Homegrown artists.

“Horizon Festival audiences will also be the first to see these local works, which may well go on to be national or international shows – that’s a great trajectory to aim for.

“The three selected projects examine a diverse range of spaces and themes and should provide something for all tastes when presented during the festival.”

The three Homegrown projects are a small first look at the full Horizon Festival program, which will be unveiled on June 14. Across 10 days and nights, audiences will be able to experience a range of music, cultural connection, visual art, performance, family events and more – right across the region.

Audiences can sign up for updates at https://www.horizonfestival.com.au/ or can follow @horizonartfest on Instagram and facebook.

Horizon Festival 2022 highlights are available to view on the Horizon Festival website.

Homegrown is supported by the Queensland Government through the Regional Arts Development Fund, a partnership between the Queensland Government and Sunshine Coast Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland, and also by the Sunshine Coast Arts and Heritage Levy.

The Levy, which is charged to every rateable property, is used to develop local artists and local content, grow participation and audiences, and embed art and creativity into the identity and experience of the Sunshine Coast. 

Projects funded by the Levy, contribute to achieving the four key arts goals within the Sunshine Coast Arts Plan 2018-2038.