A Journey Through Art: Nocturnal Arts Pop-Up Sites Review

Review by Sofia Casanova

Nocturnal Arts

Warm summer night’s breeze and a full stomach. Seven great pop-up sites as an after-dinner show. I didn’t have the pleasure of encountering all seven, but the ones I did were a representation of the artistic life residing within Wollongong. I exchanged words with the lovely coordinator of the project, Alice McClintock, who explained that the pop-up sites are a way for people in Wollongong to have a taste of art while they enjoy an evening walk. 

Nocturnal Arts 1

Walking along the strip in between Crown St Mall, I was met with a dramatic performance on the stairs. As I watched, I realised their performance was based upon contemporary human interaction. The group, (exist)ential, had travelled on public transport for two days, collecting pieces of Wollongong’s daily hustle and bustle, interactions and gestures. Through this experience, they created a performance that rings true with anyone that passes by. 

Nocturnal Arts 2

Further along was The Vanishing Shore: the Climate Altar, a creative display in front of the church. The art by Bernadette and Mark Smith brought attention to the conservation of our water systems. Their clever use of plastic plants was a representation of the thought that one day, all plants will be like that – plastic and fake. 

The Smiths performed a speech together in regards to saving our planet and their passionate timbre was inspiring. The fundamental part of their art: the earth is warming and there will be dramatic changes to our planet unless we try to fix it.

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Towards the Art Precinct I heard the squawk before I saw her – a seagull, or rather a woman dressed as a seagull. The seagull, Alice, was inspired by Nina from The Seagull written by Anton Chekhov. She considers Nina to be the most successful character of the play as she practices her art despite what others think.  Alice’s art was derived from how Nina, as an actress, becomes a seagull, and she wanted to represent Nina’s passion and drive to be who she wanted to be. 

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Down the corridor into the Arts Precinct, the walls were dancing with lights. Zender Bender were placed in front of the false wall of the Town Hall and, throughout the night, they experimented with the possibilities of lights. As an interactive light show they had the flexibility to let people play with creating different lights. An all-round great display.   

Nocturnal Arts 5

The final pop-up site I encountered was Cloudy with a Chance of Fun, an interactive artwork projected onto the tall wall of Town Hall. This video display was designed to encourage fun as Wollongongians walked around after dinner. Using an Xbox Kinect, the idea was to keep it simple and let people have fun with it. As I tested it out myself, I found it had a calming effect as you pretended to touch colourful clouds. You simply couldn’t resist it.

Having a taste of Wollongong’s night life and art was a fun experience. Be sure to check them out when they pop back up again.

Written by SCWC

Posted on May 11, 2016