As an aspirational concept, Placemaking is a multi-faceted approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces. The Placemaking process capitalises on a local community’s assets, inspiration, and potential, and results in the creation of authentic, vibrant and resilient places that are valued by their communities and admired by visitors.
In practice, councils and corporations can fall into the trap of building expensive facilities to make “A Place” without considering how they will be activated to engage with the community (the old “we have no money left in the budget for the artists”) resulting in these spaces actually become dead zones the opposite of what they were built for.
Flowstate at the Arbour on Tribune Street Southbank is a great example of successful Placemaking, because Brisbane’s new open air pavilion and creative space has anchored its purpose for being, at the core of its design and intention rather than as an after thought. One of Flowstate’s purposes is to program some of Queensland’s world leading performances resulting in a truly exciting new “Place” for audiences to view companies such as Circa (06-25 March) Dead Puppets Society roving installation Meagafauan (04-08 April) Little Match Productions all ages contemporary opera The Owl and The Pussycat (11-15 April) moonlit musical trek Song to the Earth by Corrina Banshee (16-19May) and These Frozen Moments by the inimitable The Good Room (21 Nov- 02 Dec).
POPSART Interview with Circa’s Darcy Grant and Kimberly O’Brien
Last night I experienced Flowstate at the opening night of Circa’s Aura a work described as “A physical love letter to Brisbane.” The performance itself is very intimate, feeling like you could reach out and touch the performers as they execute their signature extreme physicality and poetic acrobatics up and down the runway like stage. Director Darcy Grant is debuting his directorial work for Circa here, a company he was a previous acrobat with.
Grant said the work is about “This place Brisbane, there are no walls so the venue is in dialogue with the city so really that’s what the show ended up being about.” He went onto describe how the open space is connected by Binaural headphones that sound designer Daryl Wallis has built an amazing soundscape that you would typically find in a city; voices dissolve into a cascading symphony of buses, trains, bikes, footfalls and car horns. “From this we (the company) have sculpted a circus show around what it means to live in a city as a person.”
The experience is incredibly immersive and refreshing to be out of a theatre in an outdoor space in which the incidental action of cars driving by, shadowy groups of people walking through the thick foliage of the park, the rain itself becoming a divine element within the set, I even heard people playing a drinking game somewhere out in the dark, (or was that in the sound scape) all build on the narrative and themes of the work.
Flowstate is a revitalized location in the heart of South Bank. Following a national search, Stukel Stone, an award-winning interdisciplinary practice with a legacy of delivering conceptually driven architecture and performance design were engaged to transform the site. The Pavilion space itself with its re-configurable velvety topology; lighting and sound rig, dressing rooms and theatrical drapery; is a purpose-built space sitting softly in the lush Parklands at the ready for artists and the community in which to collaborate and connect.
Alongside the purpose built Pavilion, is the magnetic installation Jem a core element in uniting the community through shared experience. When approached, Jem emits a symphonic and visual experience that responds to peoples’ proximity, defining a new typology of sculpture that combines art, science, design and technology.
The events are free to attend and more info here: FLOWSTATE
More POPSART HERE.
Headline Image: Jem by ENESS