A wealth of creativity
Another two years, another great festival. Another program of work by amazing artists. 2017 was marked by outstanding work from our local artists. The major commission The Season headed a wonderful program of new Tasmanian work, including the multi-genre Babel. Tasmania’s performing artists and companies, including Terrapin, Blue Cow, Tasdance, MADE, Tasmanian Theatre Company and Stompin’ were complemented 2b theatre company from Canada, Volker Gerling from Germany, the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre from China, and Nick Steur from the Netherlands.
And that was just in theatre and dance.
In music the TSO performance of The Rite of Spring (for me the Ligeti piece, Lontano was the highlight of the concert), and an Ode to Melba, the first sensational performances of the newly formed Van Diemen’s Band, performances by Sequenza, Silkweed and Dean Stevenson’s Facing North, Acoustic Life of Sheds, Paris Combo, Axoum Duo, and Canadian sensation Martha Wainright, alongside another fantastic Spiegeltent program, provided amazing musical experiences for every music lover.
And the Visual Arts program was simply astonishing. The statewide project of curator Jane Deeth, Sites of Love and Neglect and the collaboration with New Caledonian artist Nicolas Mole Islands – A Speculation sat alongside an a richly layered range of visual arts exhibitions.
The most exciting thing about the 2017 program was the range and quality of creativity demonstrated by Tasmanian artists. Festivals don’t happen overnight and some projects were the result of three years of discussion, gestation, development and collaboration. Complex ideas often take time to develop. That development paid off in spades this year.
It has been a wonderful experience for me to be Artistic Director of two Ten Days on the Island arts festivals. And while it has been gratifying to provide audiences with highly creative experiences that would not have been possible without the festival, including Teatro de los Andes, Aakash Odedra and El Son Entero in 2015, and White Snake, The God That Comes, Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra in 2017; I am most proud of the productions that we have developed with our local artists and companies. The collaborations that we have developed have given Tasmania artists a spotlit platform and context in which to present their work, that is recognised nationally and internationally. I hope, as in the past, that some of our artists will be able to use that exposure to take their work to other audiences, further afield, to grow their reputation and ambitions and to demonstrate the creative wealth that we have here.
FREEZE! and Babel photos by Al Bett
Facing North photo by Christopher J