Splendour's 10th birthday party

TO celebrate the 10th birthday of the Splendour in the Grass festival, Splendid artists Lauren Brincat and Misc Grigor inflated and tethered 10,000 black balloons to a telephone pole in the Woodfordia festival site only to shoot them down with bow and arrows during three six hour performances held from 12 to 6pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The aim of the durational performance piece titled Where The Party Is was to play on the utopia and joyous feelings witnessed at music festivals through creating this giant party emblem of 10,000 balloons.

Splendid producer Carli Leimbach said the idea was that of artists Ms Brincat and Ms Grigor and it was all about engaging young audiences in mass.

By creating this symbol of celebration and shooting it down, audiences witnessed the artists growing tired as well as the joy and exuberance as it was built and destroyed.

Splendid - a locally run organisation that is in partnership with Splendour in the Grass and leading national and regional art agencies - is a platform for artists to create and execute new ideas while offering festival audiences new creative experiences.

"Splendid allows artists to try out new ideas. It encourages them to work outside a gallery space," Ms Leimbach said.

Before they can perform or erect their art before Splendour in the Grass audiences, Splendid artists must participate in an Arts Lab workshop where they exchange and unfold ideas, collaborate with peers, work with practitioners and attend the festival to get a feel for the site and connect with the audience.

"When artists first join Splendid they are put through a lab for the first time. It is all about getting to know the event and learning about the audiences," Ms Leimbach said.

Participating 2010 Splendid artists attended Splendour in the Grass on the weekend to familiarise themselves with the event before submitting their proposals for new work to be included in the Splendour in the Grass 2011 arts program.

Other work of Splendid artists on display at this year's Splendour in the Grass festival was the 14m high by 7m wide inflatable sculpture of artist Carl Scrase's hand doing a ‘V symbol’ and Best Time Ever, a 23m timber staircase sculpture that could be seen from a distance yet up close it revealed a clock face.

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