Art & Design

4 Things To See At The Gertrude St Projection Festival

By James Shackell
27th Jul 2017


There aren’t many winter events that can tempt us away from our favourite activity—sitting over the heating duct with our jumper over our knees (don’t judge, you know you do it too). The Gertrude St Projection Festival is one of them. We’re always willing to brave sub-zero temperatures for epic light installations and late-night food specials.

This is the festival’s 10th year running, and the program has been stacked with local artists, including Yandell Walton, Ray Thomas, Susan Forrester and Jody Haines. If you haven’t checked it out already, this weekend’s your last chance. After Sunday, it’s all over red rover.  

Want to make the most of your projection-based fun? These are the four things you shouldn’t miss at this year’s GSPF.

Describing Light Audio Tour

A neat little idea from the festival organizers this year. Describing Light is a free audio tour, available to anyone at any time. All you have to do is download the Soundcloud playlist, narrated by the excellent Will McRostie, and follow along as you walk down Gertrude St. It’s designed to bring the festival alive for those who are blind or vision impaired, but there’s info there for everyone. Useful for those of us who see modern art and nod thoughtfully but actually have no idea what the hell’s going on.

A Congregation Of Light

The official description of Congregation Of Light is a “participatory light painting and musical soundscape”. We’re not 100% sure what that means, but it sounds like a bloody cool way to spend a Saturday night. From what we can gather, you follow around the ‘Projector Bike’ (a mobile projection station) as it rumbles along Gertrude St, broadcasting interactive animations that you can actually participate in. It’s all thanks to some nifty new technology called Tagtool. The program changes each night, and Saturday’s adventure kicks off in Turnley’s Carpark at 6pm.

Artbox Catwalk FYS – Future Fashions

This one’s for the fashionistas out there. Artbox is a one-off “fashion extravaganza”, kicking off at 7:30pm on Friday night, designed and choreographed by young designers from the Fashion & Textiles program at BLOCK Studios. It’s designed to explore themes like sustainability, technology and space, and there’ll be live performances by Gengee to back up the set. Look out for pieces from established brands Gun Shy and Get Yourself Dressed too. The whole thing is 100% free, but get there early to grab a good spot by the catwalk.


A 360° virtual reality dance film set in the Brunswick Velodrome? Umm...yes please? Bodysurf is all thanks to 360 Artist Development, an initiative of Ausdance Victoria. It’s a festival first. You’ll be set up with a VR headset and a chair. After that you can sit back and absorb the beauty of dance as performed by Hilary Goldsmith, Rosie Leverton, Siobhan McKenna and Arabella Frahn-Starkie. Bodysurf is running on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights from 6pm – 8pm, and it won’t cost you a penny. How’s that for value?

Need more weekend plans? How about a freakin' mimosa festival at Welcome To Thornbury? Now we're talking. 

Image credit: Theresa Harrison

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