13 March 2012

Review - Art, Not Apart

| Buzzcuts_Canberra
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Upon arrival at Art, Not Apart I spotted crotchet rugs scattered with cushions and striped deck-chairs which were all too inviting on such a sunny day. I stopped a while to listen to the eclectic Goji Berry Jam and peruse my brown paper program. Some walked by quizzically, unaware of Art, Not Apart’s existence until they stumbled right upon it. Others held their programs at odd angles deciphering the map and still more were just happy to read a copy of the Saturday paper on a deckchair in the sun to the accompaniment of tunes.

Venturing into Kendall Lane theatre to see a short film about families, myself and some others present were puzzled by the appearance of an MTV clip of the ‘Lonely Boy’ music video by The Black Keys. After a few minutes the one of the film’s directors came to our aid and ‘Always the Son’ assumed its rightful place on screen. What followed was a moving tale about the nature of families and, in particular, the turbulence that comprises some father-son relationships. Perhaps most remarkable about this particular short film is that it was shot entirely on an iPhone 4 and yet from the wide-angle landscape scenes and picture quality you’d never know unless you were told.

When I emerged from the theatre, everywhere I looked, people were engaged in art. Some were transforming wooden boards into spray-painted masterpieces while others attached small balls of Styrofoam to wire frames creating cloud-like sculptures. T-shirts painted by little fingers hung from a tree while children and adults alike were entranced by the beautifully quirky handmade ‘Podkins’ – a collection of hand and machine-sewn soft toys with names like ‘Cecil’.

After eating some tasty strawberry gelato against a backdrop of ‘Tall Poppies’ by the Joe Oppenheimer Band and picking up some bargain-priced journals from Loom a loudspeaker announced another short film screening – ‘The Telegram Man’. It gave a sobering contrast to the frivolities outside the theatre – even the free popcorn seemed less appetising – and yet its unassuming sadness gave the day beauty and poignancy. As I turned down Kendall Lane to leave, stepping over newly drawn chalk figures as I went, I wished Art, Not Apart was on tomorrow so that I could once again immerse myself in the bands, films, poets, craftsmen/women and artists in attendance today.

By Ashley Orr

Buzzcuts is review writing program for young people. It is an Express Media initiative. For more information head to: www.expressmedia.org.au

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