Flare – A photographic retrospective of the National Multicultural Fringe Festival 2004-2009

lulu 23 February 2010

Belconnen Gallery, Belconnen Community Centre, Swanson Court Belconnen

Feb 23nd – March 12th

Photos by ‘pling, Silas Brown, Cole Bennetts

Official opening by former Fringe director, Jorian Gardner,

Wednesday February 24 6:30pm

All welcome, light refreshments provided

The National Multicultural Fringe Festival grew from humble beginnings into a major festival in its own right over the course of its six year life. From 2004-2006 it was held outside the Street Theatre on Childers St. In 2007 it was relocated to Civic Square where its program, audience, stages and infrastructure continued to grow.

‘pling photographed every Fringe and says that the ten pieces he’s exhibiting in Flare will offer the viewer “…a sense of something that came from the rough outdoors into a more theatrical environment”. ‘pling is at home photographing rough environments. He began photographing live performances in the 1980’s heyday of punk, starting with the legendary Stranglers. In the late nineties, ‘pling attended and photographed Utopia/Dystopia by Splinters Theatre of Spectacle on Aspen Island. From then on he became a photographer of choice to Canberra’s fringe arts community. He describes the National Multicultural Fringe as having “a vibrant, happy atmosphere that involved all of Canberra’s Fringe artists.” For ‘pling, photography is a labor of love. He photographs the experimental and edgy shows that he likes to see and will only shoot mainstream theatre, “if someone asks me nicely.”

Silas Brown is a professional photographer who works for the City News. He has also photographed every Fringe and his sharp eye offers a different perspective to ‘pling’s moody style. Brown was the official Fringe photographer during the Street Theatre era and many of his Fringe photos appeared in newspapers and on promotional posters. Silas is a keen photographer of live performances and has mounted several solo exhibitions.

Cole Bennetts emerged as a photographer during the life of the Fringe. He was the official Fringe photographer in the Civic Square era. His slightly macabre, voyeuristic view was perfect for the final Fringes with their Burlesque content and bent carnival atmosphere. Cole works has a freelance professional. He has recently done a shoot for Frankie magazine.

Fringe director Jorian Gardner was tireless in his enthusiasm for the Fringe. For six years, while also working full time as a journalist for the City News he made the festival happen. Gardner secured funding and sponsorship, organized infrastructure and programmed the Festival. He also variously MC’d the stage, manned the bar and dealt with unruly patrons. Gardner is thrilled to have the Fringe’s history celebrated in this exhibition noting happily that, “thanks to the team at Belconnen Community entre I haven’t had to organize a thing.” Gardner will open the exhibition at 6:30 on Wednesday February 24. Come dressed in your finest Fringe attire.

For further information contact: Simone Penkethman62640235 simone.penkethman@bcsact.com.au

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