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Contour 556

Home > Canberra > Art | Community Events | Exhibitions | Festivals | Free
by Sue W (subscribe)
Lover of exploring, family, food and fun!
Event: -
A 2km walk of art installations along Lake Burley Griffin
Contour 556 is a new art festival for Canberra, held along the shores of Lake Burley Griffin between 22nd October and 13th November, 2016. The name Contour 556 refers to the water level of the lake and will feature a range of at least 50 artworks positioned along the foreshore between the National Library and the Kingston Foreshore. Each artwork will reflect the artists impressions and memories of the lake and the landscape, from 50,000 years ago to today.

As the artworks will be the work of individual artists with individual memories of the lake, each will have their own interpretations - creating works that are sure to impress.

contour 556, canberra, lake burley griffin, ACT, events, october,
Ann McMahon 'Ship of Fools' 2016. Photo Sam Cooper. Source: Contour 556 Facebook


contour 556, art, exhibition, lake burley griffin, canberra, ACT, sculpture,
Source: Contour 556 Facebook


Canberra attracts thousands of visitors to the city each year to visit the National Galleries and Contour 556 will be another drawcard to the arts-loving Capital. During the three week festival there will also be talks, performances, dance, song, choral, spoken word and performance art.

On selected days of the program, look out for a group of artists carrying a 'float' from the High Court down to the lake and entering the lake at the central pier. This 30 minute performance art by Jacqueline Bradley, a lecturer in the Sculpture Workshop at the ANU School of Art, is just one of the many performances you will see along the foreshore. For a full list of the program each day, see here.

One of the sponsors of Contour 556 is local company Lake Burley Griffin Cruises, with local character Jim at the helm. To view the art installations from the water, why not join a cruise and listen his humorous commentary and experience this festival from a different perspective. His boat, the MV Gull, will even be transformed for the festival, so you can view the festival as well as be part of it.

Katy Mutton 'Plain Sight' 2016, contour 556, canberra, ACT, art, sculpture, public art, events, october, 2016,
Impressions of Katy Mutton's 'Plain Sight' 2016. Source: Contour 556 Facebook


lake burley griffin cruises, canberra, contour 556, art, sculpture,
Artist Katy Mutton with Skipper Jim. Source: Contour 556 Facebook


With so many award-winning artists and sculptors lined up for the event, the variety along the 2km of walkway will be spectacular. Over 30 of the artworks will be installed, made from steel, glass, ceramic, stone, timber, concrete and painted line markings (see below), to name just a few. Following are some of the artists who will be exhibiting, with examples of their work.

contour 556, canberra, ACT, events, october, november,
Song Street Project 'AND I THINK TO MYSELF' 2016. Source: Contour 556 Facebook


louis pratt, canberra, contour 556, canberra, art, sculpture, public art, ACT,
By artist Louis Pratt. Source: Louis Pratt website


Alex Seton 'Paper Armada' 2015. Photo Mark Pokorny, contour 556, canberra, art, lake burley griffin, ACT, events,
Alex Seton 'Paper Armada' 2015. Photo Mark Pokorny. Source: Contour 556 Facebook


Contour 556 is organised by landscape architect Neil Hobbs, whose aim for the festival is to evoke memories of the landscape and lake over the years. It is also a research project for Mr Hobbs, who is a PhD candidate at University of Canberra in the Faculty of Arts and Design. He is looking for the answer to the question:

"Can Art transform the Public Realm?"

Prior to the event, the public can have their input into the event via Contour 556 Facebook and by completing a confidential survey.

One thing is guaranteed about Contour 556 - it will be an event where you can expect the unexpected. With such a variety of artworks and sculptures to see along the way - which ones will inspire you? Or make you scratch your head?

Either way, it will provoke a response - and that is what art is all about.

Karena Keys 'We'll Float #7' (detail), contour 556, canberra, lake burley griffin, ACT,
Karena Keys 'We'll Float #7' (detail). Source: Contour 556 Facebook

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Why? Experience Lake Burley Griffin with a new perspective
When: All day, every day during the festival
Phone: No phone number provided
Where: The National Library, Parkes Place West, Parkes
Cost: Free
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