marcus westbury

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Australia’s most interesting “Creative” people?

January 29th, 2009 by marcus

It’s quite likely that i will have a new gig coming up around the middle of the year organising a “Creative Industries” festival conference event in one of our major cities. It’s all very hush hush for now while we are all working quietly behind the scenes. But…

The best (and most daunting thing) about the brief is that it is not defined by artform. It is a rare opportunity to put together an event that spans everything from architecture, visual art, advertising, computer software & web development, fashion, design, photography, film, video, performing arts, music, literature & publishing, radio & television and video games.

A brilliant but daunting brief. The biggest challenge is how you make it coherent and relevent given how expansive the possibilities are. It is almost impossible for anyone (in this case, me!) to be much of an expert on all of these areas.

At this early stage, the programming structure will probably follow on from a basic desire to seek out the best, brightest and most interesting people from all those fields together in one space and create an environment where they connect and bounce off each other. The question is who are they?


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9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Simeon Jan 30, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    The winner is Sid-er-knee!
    That’s my tip.

  • 2 Kate Eltham Jan 30, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    Nah, come up to BrisVegas. The water’s fine! Bizarrely, it’s even the coolest place in the country at the moment.

  • 3 Rachael Jan 30, 2009 at 6:44 pm


  • 4 matt Jan 31, 2009 at 5:45 am

    so… like a grown up tina. love to hear more about this.

  • 5 Alex Gibson Feb 2, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    Creative Industries… that would have to be a part of QUT somehow wouldn’t it?

    I hope there is some critique of the notion of creative industries in the conference. While economists are encouraged by creative peoples ability to ‘value-add’… many of the ‘creatives’ themselves are left wondering when the hoards of middle-management are going to burst into their studios and make demands that the ‘production line’ be more profitable.

    That said, I think it’s a great idea for a conference. Certainly a theme that has traction in Australia and globally as the value of creativity becomes more clear, particularly as a catalyst for innovation. Such innovative cultures and societies are especially needed in an age of financial crisis, food shortages and potential environmental catastrophe. ‘Creative societies’ more than ‘creative industries’ are will make new solutions to such lingering problems. But certainly creative industries, managed appropriately, would be a great start to a more creative society.

  • 6 David B Feb 3, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    I don’t know who the most interesting creatives are in my industry. I’m mostly privy to the most underutilised and bored ones. All very talented, though.

    XMediaLab is the closest thing I’ve seen to what you’re describing. It was a lot of fun.

  • 7 Rachel Carroll Feb 25, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    This is a fantastic project and one that could also work as an ongoing series.
    The artists you choose are people that inspire you.
    Up and coming artists or those that have made it and keep evolving.
    What artists do you know that have this level of commitment?
    And passion?
    Those that are a bit like yourself..
    Those that are not just doing it to get themselves ahead but those that seek to help others or other causes at the same time. A bit like your newcastle project.
    I went to a talk series at the National Library in Sydney where some of best artists spoke about their work and were photographed in their studio.
    This was an interesting project. But not everyone sort to contribute beyond their own visual imagination.
    One artist comes to mind who deals with social issues on a large scale is Fiona Hall. But I would like to add to this and make a bit of a list, it thats ok.
    AT the end of every year they feature some of Sydney’s best artists in a show at the SH Erwin Gallery, this could be another place to start.
    You are an inspiring thinker.
    All the best

  • 8 Rachel Carroll Feb 26, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    Ok as promised I am starting the list.
    Not sure how often you read this, but here goes.
    Coming from Sydney my explorations are going to be Sydney based.
    Tonight I went to an exhibtion at the National Art School.
    I saw paintings by two up and coming artists who share quality and talent with poilitics and social realism.
    The First Monika Behrens is a COFA graduate and she has been in Primavera. Her work explores images about our native extinct species and video installations about our endangered ones. They are all created as cakes or clay prior to being painted.
    The second, Melody Willis paints about consumerism on hemp. Socially conscious as well as sustainable.

    Very exciting.

    The third is pending his opening is next month. But he combines environmental science with Aboriginal heritage.
    Simon Taylor. He is currently working at an Aboriginal Gallery/art Centre 200km south of Alice Springs, in Papunya, were it all began in the 1970’s.

    Hope this helps . I can find websites for these artists and phone numbers if that is further help.
    Rachel Carroll

  • 9 marcus Feb 27, 2009 at 6:16 am

    Just an update on this one. As it’s happened – as it always happens – the budget has shrunk and the brief has evolved somewhat. In the end, it may just have to start this year with the trying to bring together folks mainly from the city in question… I’d love to say which one that is, but it’s all embargoed so i’d have to kill you – or someone would have to kill me.