J U N C T I O N Arts Festival- An Interview with Creative Director Greg Clarke / by Ainslie Macaulay

Image: Artist Medhanit Barratt, in  Breathtaking . Photograph by Jacob Collings.

Image: Artist Medhanit Barratt, in Breathtaking. Photograph by Jacob Collings.

Situate Art in Festivals is thrilled to have Junction on board as a Festival Partner! With the program kicking off on the 5th of September, no doubt Launceston is gearing up to some exciting events. What are some of your top picks?

 My top picks are four very special collaborations that shouldn’t be missed; Journey of the Free Words - a three-part theatrical music odyssey written by Nathan Maynard and featuring the wonderful Denni Proctor; Breathtaking - staged inside Launceston’s oldest Church, will see three extraordinary Tasmanian singers stun audiences with the sheer beauty and power of their remarkable voices; Roundabout - Launceston’s Devil State Derby League, Launceston College dance students and the Allstar Cheer and Dance Tasmania come together in a dance, music and roller disco spectacular around Prince’s Square’s stunning Val d’Osne Fountain; and Nitty Gritty: True Stories told by Humans- a powerful community event based on authenticity, commitment and trust between the local storytellers and the audience. 

2. Junction works with multiple organisations and groups that support both emerging and established artists. What role do you think festivals like Junction play in community and public space?

Junction has a seven-year tradition of developing, commissioning, curating and presenting participatory and community engaged contemporary artwork in non-traditional art spaces throughout Launceston. We have worked with many organisations and independent artists over that time providing opportunities for artists working in these areas to connect their work with a broader audience and community.  Since 2017 we have predominantly focused on programming and commissioning the work of Tasmanian independent artists and arts companies across all art forms and disciplines, including a strong live music program, dance, visual arts, poetry and experimental arts. Nearly all of the events in the 2018 program feature work by Tasmanian artists. 

Arts festivals, like Junction, can help develop and showcase the work of contemporary arts practice and increase developmental pathways for emerging artists. They enable artists to test new ideas and develop and present their work to new audiences. Through working with other organisations, Festivals are able to share ideas, resources, encourage networking and best practice, and create further opportunities for artists. Through supporting artists and organisations to also create community-engaged work, Festivals can create long-lasting legacies that celebrate their communities, local stories and cultural history.  

Through site-specific work and events in public spaces, Festivals are able to reach broader new audiences, many of who may not habitually visit galleries and theatres. They can also have the potential to revitalize often forgotten public spaces or spaces that the community may have never visited.

 3. We love that one of the groups you have been working with, is Launceston's very own Devil State Derby League. This work will activate the Val d'sone Fountain in Princes Square. Are there any other sites around Launceston that visitors will see in a different light?

In Stompin Youth Dance Company’s new work ESC. visitors will go on an intimate adventure in the backstage areas of Launceston’s iconic Princess Theatre. At the Workers Club, a totally immersive upside down world of disfigured shapes, installations and mind bending illuminations is being designed and built by Paul Squared (Launceston based visual artists Paul Eggins and Paul Murphy) for our new late night club. 

Junction Arts Festival is on from 5-9 September 2018, Launceston TAS.

PROGRAM: https://www.junctionartsfestival.com.au