By Angus Smith
West Projections Festival is a program of public events and a series of light installations created by artists, scattered throughout the streets of Footscray.
The theme this year is Synthesis and projections will appear across 28 locations, including public spaces, venues, shop fronts, Victoria University (‘VU’) campuses, creative spaces and the streets of Footscray.
The festival strives to build links between local businesses, artists, festival participants and the wider Footscray community. A key part of the West Projections Festival is audience participation through a series of free public guided walks. These curated walks include artist talks at each of the 28 projection sites. Most of the walks begin at Footscray Train Station and end at one of the many participating venues across Footscray, where everyone is encouraged to chat with the artists and discuss their experiences.
The festival, now in its fourth year, is produced by Wynter Projects, and has been co-produced with VU as part of its Footscray University Town initiative.
Program coordinator for VU at MetroWest Bec Carey-Grieve, says Synthesis is partly a creative response to the current political climate.
“We wanted West Projections to respond to a lot of the ‘othering’ that is going on at the moment — it’s happening in a gendered sense, a cultural sense, people are being pitted against each other — so we talked about identity, unity and solidarity which led us to Synthesis.”
According to Chantal Wynter, Producer of West Projections Festival, a key attraction this year includes the Right Side of the Tracks resident walk – a series of walks, projections and performances that involve residents of a particular street in Footscray.
The unique initiative initiated by artist Daniela Rodriguez in association with the Due West: Immersive Arts Festival, marks the first time West Projections has collaborated with residents in such a proactive way.
Another first includes self-guided walks, where audiences can engage with the projections at their own pace, while streaming the audio (via the West Project website) of artist talks and accompanying audio.
There is also something for the kids with a ‘dancing lights disco’ to be held at Kindred Studios. “It will be like a projection disco for children and we are encouraging children and adults to dance the afternoon away,” says Wynter. The event will be hosted by Kindred Studio, Born to Boogie, Mosster Studio, and Wheelie Good Fun.
West Projections Festival: 11 – 27 August 2017. For more information and a copy of the program visit westprojections. com, facebook.com/westprojections or drop into VU at MetroWest at 138 Nicholson street Footscray.
Explore the festival through free themed guided curated walks with performances. Wheelchair accessible. RSVP essential.
Bring your smart-phone with headphones to stream artist interviews at sites of projection. Suggested itineraries can be found at westprojections.com
Walk on the Wild Side
11AUG/FRI 6-7pm (Meet at 5.45pm at Footscray Train Station)
Nicholson St combo
19AUG/SAT (Meet at 5.45pm at Footscray Train Station)
The Walk of Resistance
First projection site contains nudity (Meet at 5.45pm Yarraville Train Station)
Hopkins St Strut
26 AUG SAT (Meet at 5.45pm Footscray Train Station)
The Right Side of the Tracks (same itinerary for each night)
17, 18, 19th of AUG THU, FRI, SAT (Meet at 5.45pm Footscray Train Station) Presented as part of Due West Festival.
Angus Smith is a freelance journalist and Projects and Communications Officer at Footscray University Town.