Starting tomorrow, a flock of artists will be setting up eccentric and eclectic shows as part of Next Wave Festival within the inner north. Over the 18 day span, 31 world premiere productions of evocative experiences that ponder memories of the past, explore the turbulence of today and determine challenges of the future.
Spanning a democratic dinner party to a near death experience, a dog dancing competition to an unlikely collaboration between mother and son, the 2018 program brings together artists and audiences to share courageous stories that are told in ways that only Next Wave Festival can. Now in its 34th year, Next Wave continues to blaze a trail across the country’s arts industry, crafting unique learning programs and presentation opportunities for artists that reflect a commitment to social and cultural diversity, environmental sustainability and inclusion.
Fifteen projects in the 2018 festival have been developed through Kickstart Helix, Next Wave’s flagship development program. A unique opportunity for Australian artists to not only present brand-new work, but to access the money, time and space required by young artists to develop ambitious projects and build a professional foundation in the arts into the future. From printmakers, curators, installation artists and zine makers through to practitioners working in Islamic decorative arts, queer performance and radical alter-egos, the selected participants represent a diverse cross-section of identities and artistic practices operating in Australia today.
On the launch of her second Next Wave Festival program, Director and CEO, Georgie Meagher says, “At a moment that feels more divided than ever, this Festival captures the unsettled mood of our times. It is full of energetic conversations and interrogations that play out in both earnest and light-hearted ways, with important moments of release from that intensity, with our keynote project Ritual, and a lot of parties.”
Ritual is the central pin in the 2018 program. Set to the rhythm of the sun, emerging artists and audiences are invited to pay respect to country and elders with a free event held at a different location every day of the festival. With a different performer leading the celebration daily, Ritual is born from a desire to create pockets of time and space for people to take a moment from their busy lives to connect, strengthen and reflect.
Within the inner north, you can catch events such as:
Festival Opening Party, Brunswick Mechanics Institute (Brunswick)
Thursday 3rd May / 8pm – late
Presented by Archie Rose, discover your second home during the festival period, with tunes, drinks and of course, art. It’ll be like a house party…if your friend just happened to live in a heritage theatre.
Next Wave Nights Presented By Mountain Goat, (various locations including Amarillo, The Tote, etc.)
4th – 20th May
Whether you’ve spent the day exploring the eye-opening creative performances on offer, or even if you wish you had rather than be condemned to your 9-5 job, you may want to just end the day with a drink, a hearty meal, or dance the night away. Make sure to check the program where to meet and find your new best festival night buddies.
Bloodlines, Blak Dot Gallery (Brunswick)
3rd – 20th May
Throughout generations, culture and tradition is passed down…but also, dark memories and trauma that have shaped who we are today. A story told through a narrative of Indian miniature paintings with sound, video and prose, Bloodlines addresses the unacknowledged history and experiences of women taken from South India to South Africa as indentured labour during the late 1800’s and throughout the early 1900’s.
Tricked onto vessels, and often raped and abused on board before being mistreated on the sugar cane plantations they were sent to, these women buried their stories beneath years of shame, intergenerational trauma, and loss of culture. Simpson journeys with her mother to search for historical information through disappearing oral histories, from their own matrilineal heritage. By sharing these harrowing experiences, Simpson affords them a rightful place in history.
There are a vast number of events you can seek to entice your artistic mind and alight your inspiration. Click here for the full program rundown.
Next Wave continues to set the industry standard with a focus on accessibility that ensures a program inclusive of both artists and audiences with disability. Companion and Carer card tickets will be available once again and many events across the program will include opportunity for tactile tours, audio description, audio notes, Auslan interpreting, assistive learning, open captioning and relaxed performances.
An invitation to revel in shared stories, make memories and reflect on the world in all its calamitous uncertainty, Next Wave Festival 2018 gives marginalised voices the chance to be heard.
For tickets and the full program menu, click here
Media Release courtesy of Next Wave Festival
Feature Image Credit: Next Wave Festival