Friday, 19 July 2013

Great City Lights At The Gertrude Projection Festival

I think that people are a lot like bugs (bare with me) in the way we are attracted to bright, radiant light. Thankfully however, our infatuation with all things luminescent-unlike our buzzy friends- doesn't usually end in our untimely comical death from a bug-zapping lamp. No, our obsession with light tells of how truly embedded we are in digital culture today; the thrill and spectacle of fluorescent, multi-coloured glints and glimmer still have the ability to conjure a childlike wonder and whimsy that turns the simplest of scenes (even a dingy club) into a wonderland. Tonight, Melbourne honours this long founded infatuation with The Gertrude Street Projection Festival, where the Hipster-Centeral Street becomes one giant screen that will transport viewers into a world of illumination and mystery. 
Now in it's sixth year, The Gertrude Street Projection Festival promises to be the most exciting event-filled  festival to date. Running from the 19th to the 28th of July, the festival is an opportunity to change our familiar cityscape into an unexpected world filled with mystery through the use of light and colour-taking everyday experiences and spaces and altering the public's perception of them. Artists are given the opportunity to create installations that will be splashed across Gertrude Street's buildings, showing you a side of the city you've never seen before. Tonight is opening night and to honour the occasion, artist Nick Azidis will illuminate the 14-storey towers of the Atherton Garden Housing estate, bombarding the site in colour, life and personality. If this all sounds quite similar to Melbourne's White Night (which you should have heard about, because if you didn't i'll assume you have no internet, no phone, no television, can't read and sleep in a homemade tent on a hill somewhere near Bundoora) that's because, well, it is, and many of the creative minds behind Gertrude Street's projections come from the same talented pool of artists.

If you're, how shall I say, somewhat averse to the cold, never fear! Like all good festivals, this one features an inaugural Festival Hub, located upstairs at Gertrude's Brown Couch, a bar that's keen on strong martinis, music, chilling and, as the name suggests, couches! The Hub is open every night from 6-8 and is the perfect space to relax, enjoy a drink with mates and catch one of the awesome events, such as live gigs, the Guerrilla Gameshow trivia night, and the Opening Night Party which promises to be pretty (to borrow the phrase) cray.

The Gertrude street Projection Festival is the perfect opportunity to get caught up in the magic and mysticism of light, as you see the buildings, lane ways and footpaths you know transform into a new inspired world. Sure, we may not have wings, seven eyes or four hairy legs, but there's no denying that when it comes to shiny-ness, we're just like flies to a flame.

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