Forty-nine sculptures will be temporarily exhibited on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, on Aspen Island through Bowen Park, Henry Rolland Park and to the Kingston Arts Precinct as part of biennial public art and performance event, contour 556.
The event, similar in nature to Sydney’s Sculpture by the Sea, will see 60 local, national and international artists participating through performance, storytelling, song, poetry, projection, text and traditional sculpture, exploring stories of Australian political, cultural and physical history.
Contour 556 is the water level of Lake Burley Griffin, which links the event in name as well as in purpose to the history of the central Canberra landscape.
The artworks and installations selected for the festival respond in some way to Canberra’s history, from 50,000 years ago to the present day.
ACT Minister for the Arts and Cultural Events Gordon Ramsay said the artists and performers involved will be responding to the Canberra landscape, making the event a quintessentially local one.
“Although it’s only temporary, contour 556 will indeed have permanent ramifications for us. It’s going to be inspiring, it will be challenging, as all good art is.
“It will help us, and help everyone who comes through, to explore the link between artwork and space.”
contour 556 came about as the creative practice component of curator and well-known landscape architect, Neil Hobbs’s PhD research through the University of Canberra. The festival was first held in 2016.
Hobbs said his primary objective with the event is to transform how viewers remember or recall the Canberra landscape after seeing the artworks or performances.
“Whilst Lake Burley Griffin is a designed landscape, it is very much a blank canvas for people to populate and complete with their memories.
“My hope is that contour 556 will add another layer to our memories of the lake and how we perceive and remember this space”.
The event is partly funded by the ACT events fund, artsACT, and the City Renewal Authority.
contour 556 will run from Friday 5 to Sunday 28 October.
See contour556.com.au for more.