Unconventional practice and logistical challenges?
Hear from artist and CA alum Marisa Georgiou
on her Festival experience and making a human fountain.
How would you describe Critical Animals?
Critical Animals is a supportive and inclusive celebration of experimental contemporary artists at all stages of their practice. Critical Animals seemed to be the place where “go-getters” gravitated, people really active in their practices and the arts community from all over Australia, and passionate about what they do. The best kind of people!
Why did you apply for CA 2016?
Having just finished my honours year, I felt like the only people who read my research had been the assessors! I really liked that CA offered panel discussions, so that I could have a platform to publicly talk about the work, as well as an exhibition opportunity. There are not many symposiums that have speakers at a relatively early academic level, so that really drew me to it. I also loved that it was away from my home in Brisbane, and I could feel comfortable trying something new artistically in a new town.
What was the best part of the Symposium for you?
The friends/networks I made, seeing familiar faces at all of the events over the weekend.
What makes the festival unique to you?
Newcastle is a beautiful town, with lots of unique little pocket-sized venues to hole up in and watch a talk, reading, performance or anything in between.
How did Critical Animals support you in the lead up?
The team was really organised and supportive of a performance that needed a certain amount of problem solving with water, indoor/outdoor space, etc. They also relied on me to pull off my own work, and offered advice without micro-managing. I felt like they trusted me as an artist.
What did you get out of the festival?
I have maintained the networks I made at the festival, and been given letters of recommendation for other opportunities in the year since. I was able to flesh out the public presentation aspect of my CV, and it was great to be showing interstate, as I was in need of an adventure at the time!
Who would you recommend to apply for Critical Animals 2017 ?
I would recommend recent university graduates who have never done a panel discussion or artist talk before, anyone who wants to try something new in their practice, and those who want to engage more broadly with other artists who utilise creative research methods.
What advice would you give to people applying this year?
Plan your panel discussion! Not many people are good ad-libbers. Take the opportunity to try your most out-there ideas, it’s a perfect environment to challenge yourself.
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Image: Marisa Georgiou, Fountain, 2016