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Art you glad: Brisbane's month-long celebration of art festivals


This weekend Brisbane Art and Design (BAD) Festival will be taking over the Northside while Indigenous Art Program: Hyperlocal is transforming Brisbane’s streets into galleries of Indigenous art.

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Anywhere Festival is reimagining theatre spaces all over town and MELT: Festival of Queer Arts and Culture has a stacked program of events celebrating the queer community.

Here are the art festivals currently open in Brisbane and surrounds:

Brisbane Art and Design (BAD) Festival

Spending its third weekend at locations around the Northside including Albion, Newstead, Teneriffe, and Bowen Hills. BAD Festival is hosting exhibitions, workshops, poetry readings, tent dresses and a supper club.

Join City Winery’s executive chef, Travis Lane, at Colab 4010 where he will be hosting a supper club with film works from artists at Kiosk Film and a photography exhibition by David Chatfield.

The CTRL ALT DEL exhibition will be hosted by Mayne Line Gallery showcasing works from culturally diverse peoples.

The Perides Art Foundary will be hosting artist talks on their craft of bronze sculpting while the Jen Manton Gallery will see a poetry reading with Nathan Sheperdson who will be responding live to the exhibited works of Arryn Snowball.

All this and much more around the Northside this weekend with a mixture of free and ticketed events, to find out more information visit the BAD website. 

Indigenous Art Program: Hyperlocal 

Giffin Lane Banner: YOU CAN GO NOW by Richard Bell. Medium: Digital Image, 2021.

Running from May 7 to July 31, the Indigenous Art Program is transforming Brisbane’s city streets into grand exhibitions of Aboriginal artworks.

Part of the Brisbane City Council’s permanent Outdoor Gallery, the Hyperlocal exhibition is comprised of vitrines (glass display cases), light boxes, banners, and projections right across the city.

Hyperlocal is a celebration of the Indigenous artists who add to the creative landscape of Brisbane and encourage the average city-goer to become an active audience member in exhibitions around town. Brisbane City Council is also hosting walking tours and artist talks to accompany the works.

The 2021 program includes artists Dale Harding, Tony Albert, Ryan Presley, Vernon Ah Kee, Gordon Hookey, Fiona Foley, Richard Bell, Judy Watson, Bianca Beetson and Robert Andrew and is curated by BlakLash Creative.

For more information and locations, visit the Brisbane City Council’s website. 

Anywhere Festival 

The Great Grandiosa by Act/React for Anywhere Festival. (Image: Supplied)

Anywhere Festival is a celebration of odd spaces. The variety performing arts festival plays host to an 800-event strong program across 100 venues with the guiding principle being ‘anywhere but a theatre’.

The result is a series of performances by creatives in spaces such as gyms, underground reservoirs, backyards, ferry stops, rooftops, warehouses, cafes, trams, parks and heritage homes.

With performances such as The Time Travel Cafe, an interactive performance where audiences can mingle with figures from history, The Importance of Being Wasted, a recreation of Oscar Wilde’s classic play where the actors are getting boozey live on stage, Archaeopteryx, where you can listen to a string quartet play among the fossils at the Queensland Museum, and much more.

The festival celebrates the nooks and crannies around Brisbane, Ipswich, Moreton Bay, and Noosa and runs until the end of the week, May 23. For more information and a full list of programming, visit Anywhere Festival’s website. 

MELT: Festival of Queer Arts and Culture 

MELT with us party (Image: Dylan Evans)

Presented by the Brisbane Powerhouse, MELT Festival is a celebration of all things queer, near and far.

The official launch occurred on May 20, with 15 events running over 11 days including Jeremy Goldstein’s Truth to Power Cafe and Killer Queens, a performance of queer rock royalty which is guaranteed to blow your mind, including musical tributes to Freddy Mercury, Bowie, and Prince.

Queer Lit will present Claire Christian in conversation with Holly Throsby, Holden Sheppard, and Ellen van Neervan to discuss the best of Brisbane’s LGBTQI+ writers and the MELT Portrait Prize will be exhibited until June 13.

In its sixth edition, MELT Festival is back to promote visibility and inclusivity in the arts world and beyond. For more information, visit the Brisbane Powerhouse’s website. 

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