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Friday, 2 November 2018

Weirdness is wonderful: Whyalla pop-up projection

There are always such fascinating stories to be found, if you can take the time to talk to people who have been around long enough to collect memories and memorabilia. When Whyalla invited illuminart to partner on a Port to Port project, it led to uncovering an eclectic mix of true yet incredible tales from the town’s past.  

The project team, led by creative producer Verity Brookes and Arts & Cultural Facilitator for Whyalla City Council, Deb Hughes, brought together senior people and historians from the Whyalla community to talk to researcher / animator Susanne Wegener, one of the Leading Lights on illuminart’s Port to Port project. Sue’s research was devised into stories by animator Michael Rostig, who led local primary school children to illustrate the stories in art workshops at the schools. In subsequent workshops, Michael and secondary students developed the sequences into animated short films. 

The production features stories such as:

  • Mr. Cowled Lands (about Cowled’s Landing)
  • Minesweeping Mania! (about the mines laid in SA waters during WW2)
  • Captain Pilberg
  • A Leap to Lowly (about a young lad’s horse ride to Point Lowly Lighthouse at night, as his mum was sick)
  • Rule Britannia! (about a singer’s collapse due to toxic make-up)
  • Trouble at Sea (about a burning ketch)
  • Going to the Party (about the dance to open the original institute)
  • The Ugliest Man (about the Ugly Man competition)

The stories were presented in a single night’s pop up projection on to the Middleback theatre, supported by Mosaic AV. 

More than 100 people attended the event, with the students’ work being very well received by the audience. Audience members were amazed to discover that all the stories were true!

Where to from here? The stories from the Whyalla Weirdness collection will form part of the Port to Port touring show and will be seen in many other places in SA during 2019, including a return visit to Whyalla!

Thanks to the Whyalla Weirdness Crew: Clinton Camac (MosaicAV), Michael Rostig (Artist), Ryan Sutherland (Country Arts SA, Middleback Theatre), Sue Wegener (Illuminart)


This project supported by

Country Arts SA Logo  Australia Council for the Arts Logo