There are plenty of reasons to celebrate this weekend: the Design Canberra Festival is celebrating our incredible local designers with an online auction of their work and party at the Fitters Workshop, Kingston on Saturday night; the National Arboretum is celebrating its 100-year-old cork forest on Sunday, and Braddon is celebrating being fabulous all weekend! The SpringOUT Festival continues and so does Dendy’s Jewish Film Festival. The National Gallery is hosting the first of three Hyper Real Nights events, and you can catch the second instalment of the Ainslie and Gorman Art Centre’s Ralph Indie Season, Love/Chamberlain.
The Design Canberra Festival started this week and continues until 26 November. It celebrates Canberra as a global city of design, which, of course, it is. Since Canberra’s inception as the prize of a design competition, this town has been a living design laboratory. With over 150 events on the Festival’s program, there is much to get amongst. Here are five events for this weekend.
Modernist mid-century bus tour
Where: Gallery of Australian Design, Queen Elizabeth Terrace, Parkes
When: Sunday, 12:45 – 4:30 pm
Put on your black skivvy and join architecture enthusiast, Martin Miles on a tour of the buildings around Canberra designed by Roy Grounds and other modernist architects. Grounds (1905-1981) was a Victorian architect, who between 1953 and 1962 was part of the ‘Grounds, Romberg and Boyd’ partnership. His Canberra buildings include the iconic Australian Academy of Science, the Forrest Townhouses on Tasmania Circle, and several houses in Campbell. Martin’s tour starts and finishes at the Gallery of Australian Design in Parkes (between the High Court and the Questacon). After the tour finishes, hang around for the Sunday Session — from 3 – 5 pm — at the architectural award-winning ‘Pop Inn’, which this week is popping up in Parkes.Pure Pod Twilight
Where: New Dairy Road Studios, Fyshwick
When: Saturday, 2 – 5:30 pm
These markets will feature stalls by ethical designers, up-cyclers, recyclers, artists and textile designers, as well as live music, beer tastings, and delicious food. There will also be an opportunity for you to get creative and get involved in making a piece of public textile art from discarded denim jeans provided by the Salvos and The Green Shed.
Where: Australian Academy of Science, ANU
When: Friday 8:30 am – 5 pm & Saturday 9:30 am – 1 pm
This inaugural national design writing conference started on Thursday and continues until Saturday lunchtime. It will bring together designers, writers, critics, bloggers, researchers, collectors, makers, curators and design lovers to explore the way design speaks to us, and the way we speak about design. Keynote speakers include Alice Rawsthorn and Dana Tomic Hughes, and there will be panel discussions about:
- Design for social inclusion: makers making a difference;
- Object narratives: storytelling as a tool used by designers in the design process;
- Designing responsibilities: how media and design writers can support and promote original design; and
- Where do we go from here? Vision and wisdom projects in design and design writing. Tickets are $290 and $120 for concession, book here.
Where: The Fitters Workshop, Kingston
When: Saturday, from 8 pm
This is the Festival’s opening party and will be a celebration of local, small-scale designers and makers. Limited edition and one-off pieces from Canberra’s leading designers will be on display, highlighted by an experimental lighting design installation created by Matt Adey of ‘House of Vnholy’ (Dark Mofo). Most of the items on display will have been sold via an online auction before the party so that successful bidders can take their purchase home on the night. This auction opened last week and closes this Friday at 9:30 pm. Tickets for this event are $10 online, or $15 at the door.
Where: University House, ANU
When: Sunday, 10 am – 4 pm
These vintage markets will feature stalls of clothing, jewellery, books and homewares from the modernist era. There will also be vintage cars on display, vintage hair and make-up demonstrations, a best-vintage-dressed competition, and Nana’s recipes baking competition.
Where: Ralph Wilson Theatre, Gorman House
When: Friday 7:30 pm, Saturday 3:30 pm (relaxed performance) & 7:30 pm and Sunday 5:30 pm
The second work in this year’s Ralph Indie season, Love/Chamberlain is a hyper-real fantasy portrayal of Courtney Love and Lindy Chamberlain meeting on the Federal Highway at midnight, on their way to consult an oracle! Both of these women were unjustly accused of murder: Chamberlain, in a law-court, of her baby daughter Azaria; and Love, in the seedy realm of conspiracy theorists and documentary movie-makers, of her husband Kurt Cobain. Written by Bridget Mackey, directed by Cathy Hunt and performed by Emma McManus, Barb Barnett, and Heidi Silberman. Tickets are $30 or $25 for concession, book here.
Where: Haig Park
When: Saturday 9 am – 9 pm & Sunday 11 am – 6 pm
Braddon is throwing a party this weekend in Haig Park to celebrate its transformation into a foodie hub. Braddon’s favourite restaurants will be cooking up a storm and the Canberra District Wine Association will be hosting a District Food and Wine Frolic, so all tastes from burgers and beers to wine and cheese will be catered for. There also will be live music and performance art, Dachshund, Pug and Poodle races, and even goat yoga from 9–11 am on Saturday morning! Check out the program of events here. Tickets for the District Food and Wine Frolic are $20+bf, book here.
Where: National Gallery of Australia
When: 6 – 8:30 pm
For three Friday evenings in November, enjoy the National Gallery’s Hyper Real exhibition after dark. The first of these events will feature word poet, Omar Musa, electric violist, Mr Michael and ‘The Australian Dance Party’; as well as the exhibition’s uncanny sculptures. Tickets include a drink and are $55, $50 for students or $45 for NGA members. Book here.
Where: Tuggeranong Arts Centre
When: 2 – 4 pm
As part of the SpringOUT festival, Tuggeranong Arts Centre is hosting a live recording of Rebecca Shaw’s and Peter Taggart’s popular comedy podcast, Bring a Plate. Separated of late by distance, Rebecca and Peter haven’t recorded an episode since September. But they’ll make up for it this Saturday with much hilarity as the two discuss popular culture, politics, sport and review a classic film. Rebecca will hang around after the recording to sign copies of her books.
Where: National Arboretum
When: 11 am – 3 pm
Canberra’s cork oak forest is turning 100 and the Arboretum is throwing a party. There will music, dancing, story-telling, public talks, guided walks through the forest, demonstrations of cork stripping and food vans including a gourmet BBQ, nachos, pizza, wine, French crepes, coffee and gelati. The ‘Friends of the Arboretum’s Harvest Group’ will also be selling homemade fig jam, conserve and chutney, and pickled figs made from the Arboretum’s fig trees; as well as lavender bags, dried rosemary, gourds, dried edible viola, and cornflower petals and chamomile flowers for tea from the Arboretum’s Discovery Garden. Check out the full program of events here.