BALLARAT’S creative industries scene is set to become a hive of activity as the 2017 Season of the Arts kicks into full swing.
The Ballarat International Foto Biennale has already established an appealing scene for this year’s Season of the Arts, with the work of some of the world’s leading photographers and photo media artists attracting thousands to the city since its opening night on 19 August.
That momentum is expected to grow over the next few months, with an array of exciting exhibitions, events and performances headlining this year’s Season of the Arts. Some of this year’s Season of the Arts highlights include: Ballarat Laneways After Dark –The third Ballarat Laneways After Dark will kick off with an all-ages live music event showcasing some of the region’s best emerging musicians during one evening on 9 September.
The festivities will continue into the evening with Backspace Gallery opening its doors for visitors to explore the Self/Selfie exhibition, and local food vendors and free performances by The Tesky Brothers, Jazz Party, Hollie Joyce and Neighbourhood Relations will bring Alfred Deakin Place to life. Ballarat International Foto Biennale – Until 17 September American photographer David LaChapelle headlines this year’s month-long Biennale, alongside some of the world’s leading photographers and photo-media artists. This year’s Biennale showcases more than 100 exhibitions, never-beforeseen, and one-off events at a number of galleries, heritage locations and cafes across the region. Ballarat Cabaret Festival – 5-8 October Hand-picked by artistic director Fiona Scott Norman, this year’s festival will feature some of the biggest icons and best next generation cabaret performers throughout Ballarat’s CBD over four days this October.
This year’s festival includes cabaret favourite, Dolly Diamond, who will take to the stage at The Ballarat Mining Exchange over two nights in what is expected to be an evening of old-school entertainment. For the first time in Ballarat Cabaret Festival history, Australian icon Debra Byrne will also take to the stage during her one-off performance on 8 October.
Romancing the Skull – 14 October – 28 January The Romancing the Skull exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ballarat explores a range of themes, including the skull as a reminder of mortality, the use of the skull in addressing social and political issues, and the skull and crossbones as a symbol of piracy and rebellion. As part of the exhibition, the Art Gallery of Ballarat and the City of Ballarat, in partnership with MexVic, have joined forces to present a Dia de Muertos Fiesta in Alfred Deakin Place on 4 November with music, food vans, stalls and family activities.
During 27-28 September, the Gallery will also present a number of children’s activities based on the Day of the Dead as part of its Spring School Holidays program.
Other highlights presented in association with the Romancing the Skull exhibition include Australian artist Shaun Gladwell’s Virtual Reality work Orbital Vanitas 2016, and the Fashion for Funerals – Putting the FUN into Funerals performance directed by Ballarat artist Kat Pengelly. Fashion for Funerals – Putting the Fun into Funerals Taking inspiration from blood cells, black diamonds and the dance of death, Ballarat-based artist Kat Pengelly presents her new collection Fashion for Funerals – Putting the Fun into Funerals. Pengelly’s new collection will feature as part of a multimedia theatrical fashion show at the Helen Macpherson Smith Theatre at Federation University Arts Academy in Lydiard Street North from 23-26 November.
Open House Ballarat – 28-29 October Some of Ballarat’s most significant buildings will open their doors for public viewing as Open House Melbourne extends its program of events to regional Victoria for the first time.
The two-day event will see a series of private houses, significant commercial and civic buildings and landscapes open for viewing, allowing locals and visitors to see inside these iconic spaces which are not normally open to the public.
Royal South Street Society Eisteddfod Competitions – Until 8 November The Royal South Street Society Eisteddfod is Australia’s oldest and longest running eisteddfod.
More than a million aspiring singers, dancers, orators, writers, musicians and composes have passed through Ballarat over the last 126 years of competition, with hundreds more expected during this year’s eisteddfod. The Ballarat Frolic Festival, live music acts throughout the region and local exhibitions at the Post Office Gallery and Lost Ones Gallery will also coincide with this year’s Season of the Arts.