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Saturday, May 15, 2021

Retired buses thrown to the wolves

CIT students and faculty from all walks of life are coming together to breathe life into six decommissioned Action buses in Orange Wolves, a festival that will run at City Walk later this month, 26-28 November.

The two-day festival will be a multi-disciplinary experience encompassing music, media, arts, fashion, technology and design.

CIT College of Technology and Design director, Fiona Dace-Lynn, tells Canberra Weekly each faculty runs annual events for their students that don’t get much exposure outside the institute.

“Normally at the end of the year we have 11 separate events, and each one of those will have about 30-50 students, their family and their industry attend,” she says.

The idea behind Orange Wolves is to pull something together in one big event to showcase what they’re all doing.

“The other thing is it’s really important for the students now to be working across teams, collaborating, problem solving, all of that stuff besides the normal technical stuff,” she says.

The event has been made possible with a $50,000 grant from the City Renewal Authority, and Transport Canberra, who donated six Action buses, each being styled by a different faculty.

“When the students heard there was funding for this they were really excited. It meant they could take what they do normally and lift it to that next level,” Dace-Lynn says.

One of the buses has gone to the CIT horticulture department in Bruce, which is being turned into an indoor garden.

Another will go to fashion, hair and beauty students, where wigs will be created from recycled material and garments will be made from discarded bedsheets.

CIT’s media department has created a bus ride rivalling The Magic School Bus, called Night Ride, an immersive on-bus audio-visual experience that will take passengers underwater and into space.

The visual arts bus will use Canberra’s emblematic Bogong Moth to explore the concept of duality in life. The exterior of the bus will be transformed into a shiny kinetic sculpture using thousands of discarded CDs; while inside will offer a sensory contrast as viewers enter a cave-like sanctuary.

The Design Den bus, being run by Advanced Diploma of Graphic Design students, will be a high-tech offering complete with Augmented Reality experiences, motion graphics showreels and large outdoor typographic branding.

The sound production students are recording stories of Ngunnawal elders, while the outside will be adorned in work that relates to climate change from photography students.

“The inside of the bus will be an opportunity to sit, reflect, and learn about the traditional owners of Canberra and hear their stories,” Dace-Lynn says.

“For us to be able to get those elders into the studio and capture their stories, because they’re all increasing in age, is really important, and we’re going to donate those recordings to AIATSIS.”

There will also be a big stage on site that will host performances by CIT music students throughout the event, a fashion parade for Diploma of Applied Fashion Design students on 26 November 7pm, and plenty more.

Students of CIT Yurauna Centre are also getting involved by painting their totems across all of the buses.

“All the way through, the role of Yurauna Centre and Ngunnawal people has been vital to this project, so that’s a really lovely collaboration,” Dace-Lynn says.

She says Orange Wolves has involved faculties from all walks of life at CIT, with automotive students at Fyshwick stripping the buses of their seats initially, right through to the IT students designing a website for the event.

Orange Wolves will run 26-28 November at City Walk, Civic; orangewolves.com.au

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