Contour 556: interventions in the landscape

Ann McMahon, Ship of Fools

Taking its name from the water level of Lake Burley Griffin, ‘Contour 556’ is a new art festival in the Australian Capital Territory with public programming and an acquisitive prize on offer. Landscape architect and project curator, Neil Hobbs, says the event will consider “how we perceive and remember space… It clarifies and condenses the notion of the designed landscape setting for central Canberra – not just as a place for national institutions in isolation, but a place for interaction between people, the landscape and our cultural repositories.”

Hobbs has invited 50 national and international artists to install and perform interventions in the landscape, particularly across the grounds of public galleries and the inner South’s foreshores. Gary Carsley’s proposal One Place in Another challenges how people in power name and claim space, with particular reference to colonial monoliths that create ‘authenticity’ by design. In addition to this you will find work from Alex Seton, Alex Asch, Hiromi Tango, Dan Lorrimer, Haeli Van Veen, David Capra, Katy Mutton, Wendy Teakel and the Song Street Project. Both static works in mixed media such as steel, glass and wallpaper will be staged as well as performance, video, poetry and dance.

On the performative thread, Hobbs explained, “I wanted to enlarge it from an object-based event to an event that reached more than just the visual.” ‘Contour’ will present performances by Brenda L Croft, live works by Jaqueline Bradley, interactions with the National Gallery of Australia Sculpture Garden through A Chorus of Women, and a poetry recital in Bowen Place.

21 October to 13 November, 2016
Australian Capital Territory
Free public art event

Ann McMahon, Ship of Fools, 2016, recycled plastic strapping over a stainless steel armature
Fabricated by Oscar Gardiner, Magwelding Services
Courtesy the artist