The Gertrude Street Projection Festival theme this year explores PAST, PRESENTs, FUTUREs. Artists have been asked to imagine the future and their works of art will once again light up the streets of Fitzroy from 23-25 July 2021 from 6pm to midnight each night. These boundary-pushing artists will invite you to stop, look and consider your future with their poignant artworks that consider colour, race, gender, sexuality, age, ability, class and nationality, combined with how science and technology are instigated in their futures.
Artists featured this year include Tom Blachford, Dr Kirsten Garner Lyttle, Susan Maco Forrester, Wesley Dowling, Billy Raffin and more, including digital artists working with new technologies who have been invited. PAST, PRESENTs, FUTUREs hits fast forward to 500 years from here, asking artists for speculative visions far beyond the now. Program highlights include -
Dr Kirsten Garner Lyttle's work which will be projected on the Seekers building. Lyttle is a Melbourne based artist, academic and researcher of Māori descent, whose work explores the intersection of indigenous customary art practice and digital technologies.
Tom Blachford's work will shine onto The Workers Club building. Blachford prides himself on translating space, texture and design intent into strong sets of images. He has worked with RMIT students to animate his brightly coloured photographic cityscapes into a moving metropolis.
Billy Raffin's work will light up the Ends and Means window. Raffin is an Argentinian-Australian artist who interrogates playful representations of the mundane, transforming simple interactions into thoughtful articulations.
Glynn Urquhart will be lighting up the rear of the Le Labo Fragrances building. A queer multidisciplinary artist working primarily with animation and digital media, exploring themes surrounding the physical, the digital, and the spaces that exist between the two, in collaboration with queer Ngarigu artist Peter Waples-Crowe.
Another program highlight, one for the kids - Interstellar Superheroes is a project that's intended to engage and collaborate with the children that gather and play at Cubbies, the Fitzroy Housing Estate's Adventure Playground. Cubbies has provided a safe outdoor space in the Fitzroy Public Housing Estate for over 40 years, welcoming and supporting children from diverse backgrounds and continuously providing opportunities for creativity and imaginative play. Interstellar Superheroes aims to unite these children and their families through these unprecedented times, providing a significant connection to the wider community through the Gertrude Street Projection Festival.
Centre for Projection Art with artist Susan Maco Forrester, assisted by Billy Raffin, have engaged a group from Cubbies in a series of workshops, guiding and supporting these kids to create a large-scale public artwork to be shared with their wider community, including lighting up the prominent towers. Through this project, children will learn about the impact that art has on communities to bring people together through a shared vision. This Festival is the southern hemisphere's original grassroots project art festival with a renewed and laser-specific focus on intriguing and cutting-edge projection arts, both emerging and established. This not-for-profit organisation is looking to rally community sentiment and financial support to ensure the festival's future. if you'd like to generously support this event, head to the website and donate.
The Yalinguth Mobile App Launch is one that invites you to experience a different kind of projection, one for your ears. Can you hear the land you're walking on? Yalinguth (meaning "yesterday" in Woi Wurrung) is the name of a new App that uses sound-based augmented reality to connect the land of Fitzroy with the stories of its First Peoples. It's like entering a 3D sound world where you may be drawn to a song, stumble across a protest or walk alongside a storyteller or poet. The overall premise of Yalinguth is guided by the words of Elders that "we need to go back, to go forwards".