Brisbane in Design was all over New Farm and Lost Movements was all over one shed in West End yesterday and into the [freezing] night [May 26]. I went to both. Art and design are proliferating in Brisbane with little sign of being affected by recent depressing decisions by the new Queensland Government’s very ordinary but symbolic funding cuts to the Premier’s Literary Awards. Brisbane in Design was well organised and highly visible market driven festival about the latest design products for inside the new apartment /house. Up market consumers were the target and James Street was the obvious choice. Lost Movements was a well organised gig in a loaned shed by three young passionate men [with no money] from the Brisbane music and visual arts scence taking a page out of Andy Warhol’s Factory vibe that so many since have desired to replicate. The stand outs for me at Brisbane in Design were the amazing Norman Johnstone and Christina Waterson and Chair Biz’s day long car park art installation competition with 10 artists [ selected by Chair Biz and Jugglers Nic Plowman]. Norman Johnstone and Christian Waterson are staying on the wave of creativity with never ending productions of geometrically beautiful sculptural works and utilitarian furniture. Christina’s works from rubber, plastic, wood and paper are beautiful. Their work overlaps with Norman as the creative and innovative plastics manufacturer whose stainless steel tooling devices were the most appealing to me. Norman is a generous and effusive and lateral thinking passionate creative man. He contacted me to find a graffiti artist to paint his shipping container for installation in the Brisbane in Design site in James Street! He had the artist – QUT Arts Student, John Ryder -painting graffiti on a wall in James Street during the day! He could get away with it! My kind of business man! At West End graffiti was part of the gig and inside the body painting, the stencil paste ups [Barek] the live music and other works gave me a memory throw back to the first days of the Jugglers experiment in 1998. Being at the shed in West End was like being around some kind of conception of another baby with all kinds of probabilities and potentialities. It is a very vulnerable thing. Will passion and vision get it somewhere, and given its nature, there is no end plan. Brisbane in Design and the like will grow and grow. The boundaries and the creativity are well defined enough and the money is never ending, even propped up by Arts Queensland. Consumerism at this end of the retail market is alive and well. Lost Movements has the potetial, like Jugglers Art Space, to inspire and birth a whole new wave of creativity and freedom along with Michael Candy’s Which Meat and other new artist run collectives in Brisbane. Both models of creative endeavour and the making and selling of art in community have their place in our post post modern fragile world. But there is something deeply exciting and primal about what Lost Movements is attempting. The question for me is: What can sustain them and will a short sharp blast be enough to birth long living creative collectives?
Art as experiment