Award for best Regional Event 2019

Thursday, 22 October 2020

illuminart and partners win Best Regional Event for Travelling Light 2019

illuminart Stories in Light, an arts company based in regional SA and the Blue Mountains NSW, are proud winners of the National award for Best Regional Event, at the 2020 Australian Event Awards.

The winning Regional Event, produced and directed by illuminart, was Travelling Light, an epic month long tour of regional communities in South Australia, illuminating landmarks with projected art and stories created collaboratively with regional artists and local residents. The project was a final epic stage of illuminart’s self produced Port to Port project.

The spectacular Travelling Light displayed vibrant, colourful moving image and art on to Silos, Town Halls, two ships, a Lighthouse, wharf buildings and a museum, bringing a crowd together at each place to enjoy the free spectacle. The winter event was a huge hit, with each town managing their own event, building on the enthusiasm to involve local charities and businesses to leverage the event. For most towns, it was the first time such a large projected display had ever been seen, and tantalised the community with appreciation of local art and heritage, and inspirations from the wonder of light.

Travelling Light was the final stage of an epic five year project ‘Port to Port’ that worked with communities to develop digital art and storytelling through large scale projection and events throughout regional South Australia.  It brought together a host of regional councils, businesses and groups to partner and co-host the event, providing momentum and an extraordinary platform for local artists, schools, historians, citizen scientists, and creatives to explore the power of projection art across the state.

Travelling Light was the Best Regional Event winner among a shining group of national finalists, including LÉtape Australia by Tour de France 2019, Splendour in the Grass 2019, Mount Isa Mines Rodeo 2019 and the Groundwater Country Music Festival 2019.

The Port to Port project commenced in 2014, with the beginning of a regional network of artists and council groups interested in collaborating with illuminart on an ambitious statewide cross regional project. Country Arts SA and Arts SA provided funding for regional digital art training in 2014 and 2015, and in 2016 the illuminart team applied successfully for multi-year funding support and with the assistance of the Australia Council for the Arts, the project was able to grow to its full vision.

The project formed a network of regional creative people who were mentored and trained in developing local stories representing their region. These ‘Leading Lights’ gathered several times during the next three years to learn new skills, work on projects together in their own and other regional communities, and be involved in the presentation of projection art events.  Although the members of the group all lived many hundreds of kilometres apart, they collaborated remotely using conferencing tools and remote project management methods, to enable the group to create work collectively and maintain the connections.

As communities agreed to become partners and hosts to the project, the mentees worked with local artists, historians, schools, musicians and cultural groups to develop locally significant stories. There were a range of tall tales, natural riches and colourful themes, and often a sailing ship story due to the Port connections.  They collected hundreds of stories, and the best were chosen, to be crafted into animated art in mini-projects that involved the mentees in processes that provided professional development.

The final stage of the project, Travelling Light, involved working with the Leading Light mentees and the regional partners to develop a curated ‘tour’ of all of the stories, to share these artworks in a spectacular exhibition across SA.

In a unique odyssey, a vehicle specially equipped with high powered projectors sponsored by Epson Australia, toured and presented the stories in a specially curated projection event in 17 Soth Australian towns. The tour, known as Travelling Light, took all the stories around SA in 17 places, including Mount Gambier, Beachport, Victor Harbor, Onkaparinga, the Yorke Peninsula, Iron Triangle and West Coast of SA… touring over 2000 kilometres of coastline to share projection art storytelling with regional communities.  The Travelling Light event coincided with the South Australian Living Artists festival (SALA) from the 1st August 2019 and culminated in a final presentation on the 28th September 2019.

All the co-hosts promoted their local event, and collectively the momentum of the tour, and the experience of Travelling Light coming from town to town across South Australia, was an exciting project for the regional artists and communities involved.

The final stage of the project is to package the stories into an interactive digital display to be housed on the Falie Ketch at Port Adelaide, which celebrated its centenary in 2019. We are currently seeking support to install the interactive display and hope to launch it in 2021.

Big thanks to:
Australia Council for the Arts, Viterra, Flinders Ports, and our many project partners!