For the past seven years, the Gertrude Street Projection Festival has transformed the Fitzroy street into an interactive art gallery with thought-provoking projections. This year is no exception.
Forty sites on and around Gertrude Street will be covered with moving images and video that shine a light on community issues such as identity, cultural divides and hope.
This year a mentorship program has been introduced. It provides emerging artists with industry support and a platform from which to show their work. Festival director Nicky Pastore says the new program not only supports artists, but brings greater diversity to the festival. "This year the metorship program has allowed us to create new projects for the street and allowed us to be more site-specific," she says. "We wanted to encourage the creation of new work, more innovative projects and to establish a better connection between artist and mentor and really dedicate time to those relationships."
Included in this year’s festival is The New Vanguard exhibition at Seventh Gallery. It features six artists that use innovative projection techniques to create distinctly abstract works. The Wheel of Fate will lead visitors around the festival in a roving theatrical performance.
According to Pastore these interactive elements make the festival a unique experience that changes the way audiences think about projection art. "It's challenging the idea of what projection work is," she says. "Essentially it an go anywhere and that's the beauty of projection: it's versatile and can transform any space."
A diverse range of other artists are involved in the event, including Melbourne cinematographer Case Burns, whose large-scale crashing waves will engulf the Builders Arms Hotel and filmmaker Alden Epp, who’ll douse Ladro in projective sculpture. There will also be a live visual projection by Paul Barron of Culture Mechanics on a wall in the carpark at The Broadsheet Restaurant.
Gertrude Street bar Catfish will host the festival’s hub, with free and ticketed events including live performances, workshops, panels, music and projection artworks.
The Gertrude Street Projection Festival runs from 6pm until midnight each night from July 10–19.