Joondalup Festival 2019
The Joondalup Festival soared to new heights in 2019 with the theme Explore the Galaxy inspiring visitors young and old to participate in the arts with oversized interactive art installations, circus, music, comedy, children’s shows and much more to activate the imagination.
The Festival program grew around two large scale installations, Museum of the Moon and Gaia (earth) which came to Joondalup courtesy of acclaimed international artist Luke Jerram (Bristol, United Kingdom). Seven metres in diameter each, the artworks bookmarked either end of the site with Museum of the Moon located among the trees in Central Park South and Gaia attracting visitors to the Northern end of the site on Boas Avenue.
Both installations were impressive in scale with Museum of the Moon featuring 120dpi detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface and Gaia, featuring 120dpi detailed NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface. Both internally lit the spheres came to life at night and complimented the other installations on the Festival site.
In response to the Festival theme local artist Sean Van Der Poel created Nebula, a galaxy of 70,000 acrylic crystals that appeared to float over Central Park twinkling in the sunlight and transforming into a spectacular rainbow of twinkling light into the evening.
Melbourne based artists Ariena completed the large-scale installations onsite with 8-metre tall inflatable spaceman emerging from the grounds of Central Park to reach up to the stars. Spare Parts Puppet Theatre created ancient galactic snails, Galileo and Celeste who roamed the event site encouraging audiences to enjoy their own personal puppeteering experience within the shell of the snails.
The Perth Observatory and Binocentral presented Solar and Star Gazing, taking attendees on a grand tour of the Southern Hemisphere’s sky with a wide range of targets including the sun, nebulas, planets and enormous star clusters. The Festival also partnered with the West Australian Museum who provided a meteorite exhibition and activity for children.
Festival-goers took in local, national and international performances including circus, music, comedy, children’s shows and live music. Josh Richards – one of 100 astronaut candidates short-listed for a one-way mission to Mars in 2031 had audiences mesmerised (and in stitches with laughter) with his stories about the challenges of life in space.
The Festival’s community participation projects continued to bring together community with the Twilight Lantern Parade a spectacular success with more than 1,600 participants creating lanterns in response to the theme A Space Dream. The Community Choral Project encouraged more than 200 singers to share their stories through song exploring the theme Resonating Stories Shining Songs.
Acclaimed Perth choreographer Bernie Bernard brought together students from Powerhouse Dance Company and the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) to close the finale with dance spectacular Odessey to appropriately complete the Festival’s exploration of the Galaxy.