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Be mesmerised at Whitsundays Arts Festival

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THE 2022 Whitsundays Arts Festival artists-in-residence will create a magnificent outdoor art exhibition in Fairy Tree Park, on Saturday, September 24.

Everyone is invited to watch the spectacle unfold as the artists in residence bring their installations, created in collaboration the week before with the local community, to the festival site.

Once the decorations are up, join the festival team for the Festival Opening Ceremony, on Saturday September 24, at 5pm.

Renowned Townsville artists Marion Gaemers and Lynnette Griffiths will spearhead the ‘Soaring Stingrays’ creation.

Large and small stingrays, made from recycled marine materials supplied by Eco Barge, will be suspended among the trees on site.

The rays take hours of work and 30 local collaborators began to create the larger stingrays in a June workshop.  

Marion and Lynette have created large installations in major exhibitions nationally and internationally, including in GOMA, Brisbane, and recently were commissioned to create a seven-metre woven, coral garden landscape, now held in a private museum, in Majorca.

Reflect, reminisce and remember

The ‘Pursuit of Happiness’ art installation, at the festival, is an invitation to explore your memories and experiences, and reflects the festival theme ‘Memories’.

Memories are important to us all as storytellers and vital to the strength and longevity of our culture.

“Amanda Sadler will lead three days of workshops as we gather with her to talk about our own memories, while creating a beautiful installation of painted memory boards,” WAF president Jess Begun said.

“At sunset, on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 September, the majestic fig tree of Fairy Tree Park will come alive!

A talking tree

An artist of many talents and genres, Michael Pope will be one of the guest resident artists at this year’s Whitsundays Arts Festival.

“Michael, along with artist and collaborator Aaron Ashley, will be recreating their sculpture ‘Scarewood’, which won the People’s Choice award at the 2021 Ephemera, in Townsville.

“They will personalise the experience for Airlie Beach by adding new elements. Through recordings and projections, audiences will experience an audio-visual feast as the tree talks.”

So come along to Fairy Tree Park, on the Airlie Beach Foreshore, and marvel as stingrays soar, memory boards flutter in the wind, and nature comes alive.

The visually mesmerising installations explore people’s connection to the region, celebrating the reef, oceans and trees, highlighting the beauty of home and culture through art that evokes memories.

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