When it comes to all things festival and culture-related, I can honestly say that Melbourne clearly takes the top prize in its extravagance for both.
There are literally one or more festivals (and large conferences) per week (i.e. Comedy Fest, Writer’s Festival, Film Fest), and there are beautiful ads and marketing for each around the city wherever you go. But my favorite ones all relate to art – and I’m not talking art galleries and historical paintings (art history is so not my thing) – I’m talking sheer, open-minded creativity of local artistic minds, through everyday objects and/or colorful materials.
In July (Australia’s winter), the Gertrude Street Projection Festival in Fitzroy illuminated the ideas of talented projection artists every evening. Buildings, laneways, tree trunks, cars, windows, sidewalks, and specific stores showcased vibrant works of art that were simply astonishing.
All of the exhibits left me staring in awe, but the one that tickled my fancy the MOST was this elaborate spinning-wheel hologram of prisms that also utilized light reflections and glass to create the most insane optical illusion ever. I’m pretty sure I stared at this for a good 15 min, then came back to it several times before finally giving up my spot to leave.
According to the official site, the Gertrude Association aims:
• to produce and exhibit media art projects;
• to encourage, develop, and mentor local and community artists;
• to present free out door art experiences;
• to support the culture and community services of Gertrude Street;
• to share all that with other communities.
Melbourne is truly a supportive and collaborative city that enables everyone, specifically millennials, to grow and challenge their inner artistic abilities. I respect this city so much because of all the funding, nurturing and free festivals that are put on every year to showcase young talent, and my only hope is that other cities from around the world follow suit.