Friday, September 23, 2011

happy takes shape...

.... and lucky for me I was able to take part! 
Today or tonight is the Grand opening of Art+About 2011, a festival that I wrote about earlier this week. It is an annual arts festival that sees the month of October light up with open air exhibitions, free workshops, lane way talks, installations and school holiday activities for the kids. It really is a huge festival these days, and lucky for me I've been able to get my hands dirty with one event that speaks to my love of weaving... and talking! 
So what am I going on about? 
Well the place is Hyde Park and the project is called Happy Talk. 

Heidi walking along the massive 'fabric' banner that had just been completed

Happy Talk is an initiative started by Liane Rossler (who you may know from her 25 years as co founder and designer for Dinosaur Designs) and Heidi Dokulil (former editor of Monument magazine, and co founder of the Springboard initiative, The Parcel Group and The Australian Design Unit)  to open up conversations between the creative industry and the wider community in Australia, and across the Pacific. 

Over the last two years Liane and Heidi have been consulting with Pacific Islander communities to create this project, and this amazing Long House in Hyde Park so weaving workshops, talks, and conversations between anyone, about anything... i.e. 'Bula Time' can happen and grow. 
So I guess its like a giant fun house really!
Hahna and co. working on the design.

This amazing structure is called a Long House and they feature in many Islander communities. Built from what can be salvaged and recycled on many Pacific Islands, The Happy Talk ladies have used this sustainable model to create this house using timer pallets, a product that is normally discarded on building sites. 

Most of the products in the whole initiate have been recycled, borrowed, made, or bought through recycling and gardening centres! 
As you can see from these photos the whole place is open, inviting, and colourful! The HUGE banners outside the structure are based on a traditional Cook Island design, and have been blown up onto huge tarpaulins to keep the structure protected from the elements, AND, make the place stand out and be noticed in the big grey city.

The team marvelling at the beautiful Fijian weaving

Inside the house  the light makes the space look like one big weaving... which I love! In this shot discussions are being had about the beautiful big weaving, which will cover one whole wall...

This is what it looks like close up.... and it covers all my favourite colours, and radiates warmth.

This beautiful weaving commissioned for the project is by artist Sione Falemaka  who will also be running a few of the weaving workshops! It will also placed on one of the walls in the Long House, so make sure to take a closer look if you make it down there...
I love the feather detail at the bottom which spells out Happy Talk. 

Some of the Happy Talk team getting excited about the weaving about to be hung on the walls. In this shot is (from Left) Liane, Heidi, Sione and Sian from The Paper Mill Gallery. 

And this is where I left the organisers a few days ago...
Today I am sure the place is all spick and span, ready for its big unveiling!
Good good luck to all the team for tonight's opening which starts at 7pm and is open to one and all! 
Im looking forward to all the workshop action which begins next week...
Hope to see you there...

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