Stretch Arts Festival

The Mandurah Stretch Arts Festival ‘Drift’ Installation Art Award

Every year the City of Mandurah put together the Stretch Arts Festival, and this year were proud to host the inaugural ‘Drift’ Installation Art Award featuring installation and sculptural works responding to the concept ‘Belonging to Nature’.

In line with the festival’s overall theme of ‘Spirit, Land, People’, artists were encouraged to explore the notion that we are not only consumers but contributors to nature, connected to the earth and universe through its natural laws.  This year’s ‘Drift’ Installation Art Award was the best yet with many amazing pieces of art displayed around the eastern foreshore.  Beyond Bank Australia, Mandurah Branch were the proud sponsors of the major prize for this years award with a $2000 prize for the winning piece.

Mandurah Branch Manager Jodie Nairn spent a few hours on Saturday afternoon walking the foreshore and viewing the installations with the judges for the competition and hearing about the works from some of the artists themselves.  Many of the artists had been hard at work for hours prior to the event opening to have their pieces displayed just right.

Some of the amazing installations Jodie had the privilege of viewing with the judges:

Stretch Arts Festival         Stretch Arts Festival

After the judges deliberated, Jodie, Ceri and myself attended the award ceremony at the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre.  There were an intimate group of artists, art enthusiasts, event organisers and friends and family present.  The event organiser and City of Mandurah Art and Culture organiser introduced the presentation and first and second place recipients were announced with the People’s Choice award to be announced at the end of the Festival.  The second place prize was presented by the City of Mandurah, with a $1000 cash prize.  Jodie spoke about Beyond Bank and our role as a mutual bank and our passion for nurturing our communities prior to presenting our $2000 cash first prize.

The winning piece (photo at the top of this article) was created on the day over many hours from early in the morning.  Jodie watched as people lay on the ground while their figures were traced onto the path and the white sand was laid.  The red sand, which was brought down from near the artists original home in Northern WA, was then used to fill in the spaces.  The installation, entitled ‘minangu ngurrba yagu’ (people south of wajarri country visit mother) was completed by the artist Nichole Monks and her mother Jenine Boeree and anyone could apply to take part in forming the figures.

Following the Award Ceremony we were invited to attend the ‘Common Threads’ Wearable Art Showcase in the main theatre which was also an absolutely amazing performance showcasing some very talented artists. Following the Wearable Art Showcase we attended the Fishtrap Theatre where we were entertained by the wonderfully talented Allan Girod telling his story of how he came into the world of acting and fell in love with it in his production “Absolutely”.

The ‘Drift’ Installation Art will be on display around the eastern foreshore until Sunday 10 May and there are many other fantastic events taking place around Mandurah for the Stretch Arts Festival. Beyond Bank Australia and Mandurah Branch are overwhelmingly proud to be a part of such a fantastic community event which showcases so many talented West Australian artists and encourages the wider community to become involved in the arts.

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