International arts event being hosted at Byron Bay tomorrow

HANDCRAFTED: Jewellery designers Adelaide Friday and Aaron James of Pirates Dreaming, Byron Bay will showcase their work as a part of the RAW art festival.
HANDCRAFTED: Jewellery designers Adelaide Friday and Aaron James of Pirates Dreaming, Byron Bay will showcase their work as a part of the RAW art festival. Patrick Gorbunovs

PROOF Byron Bay is increasingly viewed as an epicentre for the arts in Australia, tomorrow night an internationally founded arts event, RAW: Natural Born Artists, will be hosted in the town.

The Byron Bay RAW event will be held at The Beach Hotel and is the second of its kind in Australia, following a debut in Brisbane, and is a chance for the 30 hand-picked local artists to showcase their talents to an international audience.

Cutting out the middle-man, RAW events are independent of galleries and agents with no commissions paid on artists' sales said Byron Bay RAW Showcase director, Abbie Gibson.

"The only thing we ask of the artists is that they invite 20 people to the show," she said, guaranteeing each event starts with a minimum audience of 600 people.

RAW started in the US and has spread to over 80 cities worldwide with events showcasing independent artists in fashion, music, visual art, film, photography, performing art, hair and makeup.

"It's an incredible opportunity for artists to move forward in their careers," Ms Gibson said.

As well as the multi-faceted arts events, artists are promoted online on RAWart and offered opportunities to network internationally, an aspect Byron Bay jewellery designers, Adelaide Friday and Aaron James of Pirates Dreaming, find exciting.

The couple's business, making handcrafted wearable art pieces from recycled silver, has grown in three years and alongside local markets and festivals they are branching out to overseas markets through online sales.

"Around 60-70% of our online sales are international, mostly to America at the moment," Ms Friday said

"We didn't know anything about RAW before being invited, but we travelled to the Brisbane event and watched what's happening online and have been amazed," she said.

"It's an international platform for us and potentially may allow us to travel overseas and show our work to a broader audience," she said.

"Each city has a guest in each showcase - we would love to show in New York."

Artists featured at the Byron Bay event include street artists; burlesque performers; musicians, fashion designers, filmmakers and more with installations, pop-up galleries and fire twirling.

"We'll create a dynamic urban environment - it will be a creative explosion," director Annie Gibson said.

Topics:  arts byron bay

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