Report to the Community 2011 - Page 17

OUR EVENTS Visual Arts Program Launch Melbourne Festival remains committed to presenting audiences with the very best of all the visual and performing art genres and as such continues to showcase the most celebrated visual artists from Australia and around the globe. To celebrate the launch of this amazing program the Festival together with partners the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) invited some 600 guests to join them as Artistic Director, Brett Sheehy, presented no less than three World Premieres and six Melbourne Exclusive visual arts exhibitions. In total Melbourne Festival presented twelve visual art exhibitions in 2011. From the apocalyptic parade of giant AngelsDemons which lined Swanston Street; to the dark photographic observation of the abandonment of the contract between photographer and subject In camera and in public; a multimedia salute to the women who contributed to a groundbreaking decade in Australian art A Different Temporality, to the ‘Cacophony’ of incandescent light, colour and movement across the surface of the Arts Centre and the joyful Sumi Ink Club; which saw children and adults alike join Sarah Rara and Luke Fischbeck of band, Lucky Dragons to create a collaborative, group wall drawing. Foxtel Opening night Rousing applause made way for a celebratory mood as Melbourne Festival audiences left theatres to come together at the official 2011 Foxtel Opening night party. Opening with the joyous, communal experience of The Manganiyar Seduction and China’s most popular contemporary drama, Rhinoceros In Love, Festival audiences spilled out onto the pavement of Melbourne’s art precinct only to be enchanted by the illuminating creativity of Electric Canvas as they transformed the Arts Centre with their hypnotic and dazzling light show. The Foxtel Opening night party held at Melbourne’s historic Forum Theatre and officially opened by Premier of Victoria and Minister for the Arts, Ted Baillieu, hosted up to 1,000 Festival patrons, stakeholders, artists, celebrities and industry guests who enjoyed a live performance by Melbourne’s Love Birds before hitting the dance floor to ensure that the next 17 days of the very best music, performing & visual arts kicked off in style. Festival Lounge The artist’s home away from home, the Melbourne Festival Lounge was the place to soak up the backstage atmosphere, indulge and celebrate the very best the Festival has to offer. In 2011 the Arts Centre’s Café Vic was transformed into an oasis of festivity. During the evening this performance lounge featured everything from low-key solo musicians to high camp cabaret, dance, and cinematic installations with an eclectic soundtrack provided by Festival partners 3PBS FM. By day, the Lounge played host to the Festival’s renowned Artists in Conversations series giving Melbournians the opportunity to hear from some of the esteemed artists appearing at the 2011 Festival. Free admission to the Lounge ensured that everyone could be part of Melbourne Festival’s offstage story; the perfect place Page 17 for audiences, artists and art lovers to come together. Artist Talks and Industry Outreach What happens onstage is only one part of Melbourne Festival’s raison d’etre. The Festival brings together up to 600 artists from all corners of the globe; all in Melbourne to provide audiences with a feast of dance, theatre, music, film, opera, multi media and visual art. The Festival creates a unique opportunity for audiences and local artists to gain insight and collaborate with the internationally acclaimed talents of the artists performing at the Festival via a series of one off talks, workshops and master-classes. In 2011 Melbourne Festival hosted the ever popular Come Together: Artists in Conversation with a series of free forums giving audiences access to the ideas, thoughts, inspirations and lives of the Festival visiting artists. These included India’s Roysten Abel (The Manganiyar Seduction), Russia’s Tatiana Arzamasova (Angels-Demons. Parade), Germany’s Thomas Ostermeier (Hedda Gabler), UK Choreographer Hofesh Shecter (Political Mother) and Ukrainian violinist Maxim Rysanov (Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra) to name but a few. Moderated by Amanda Smith of ABC Radio National’s Artworks, the Artists in Conversation series, were eagerly anticipated and well attended bridging the gap between performance and audience.