Wondering what is on offer this year during Create2308? Nadene Budden gives a brief rundown of the events and an exclusive look at the processes behind some of this year’s projects.
If you were roaming the paths of Callaghan campus about this time last year, you may have seen one or two seemingly random horse-like sculptures covered in different patterns (also known as Hippocampi). Believe it or not, those sculptures were actually part of UON’s annual Create2308 – a festival celebrating student creativity and art.
Located all around Callaghan campus from Monday September 5 through to Friday September 9, all the installations, exhibits and activities are free to interact with and see.
The Earth Sciences building will boast Inspiring Slices, a display that lets visitors look at microscope images of Earth patterns inside rocks illuminated by light boxes. Sounds of Silence will use motion-triggered installations to play sounds of the unexpected across campus and the bush setting of Callaghan will also be turned into a lush, Soft Forest of pool noodles.
Torchlight Tales is an interactive performance piece organised by BusCom student Ethan Andrews. Participants are given an evening tour of Callaghan campus while being told true stories that have happened on campus. “I heard of an improv troupe doing a similar thing, but at midnight, when I studied abroad in the US,” Andrews said. Hay bales and torches complete the campfire storytelling atmosphere as participants walk to each pop-up stage where five performers tell five true stories right where they happened.
“I think being around a bonfire just makes storytelling feel a little cooler. There’s just something about it,” Andrews said. For those worried about getting even more spooked than they usually do while on campus at night, fear not! “The scariest stories are ones where we nearly fail courses. We all have those,” Andrews said. The stories told are unique, from vendettas with tutors to the famous yet mysterious possums of UON.
Torchlight Tales will be held at 6pm on Tuesday with the tour beginning from the Great Hall. A daytime session is also set to be held later in the week for the easily spooked.
Traditionally New will bridge the gap between Sydney Campus and Callaghan as older members of the community create portraits of international students, forming a bond between each pair while international students battle homesickness.
Or be a part of the art in @The End Project in the Brennan Room and use Instagram to ponder ‘what is real life?’. Fancy a jam session with some fellow students? There will be two Jam Tents complete with musical instruments, hammocks and some comfy chairs near the water fountain on Shortland side and at U Shop on Hunter side where students can relax and listen to others jam it out or get involved themselves.
Wings without Wind, an installation by Fine Arts student Aaron James McGarry, highlights several endangered birds from the Hunter region with huge replicas of their wings attached to poles and trees throughout Callaghan campus. “It started with the Regent Honey Eater about two years ago…it was critically endangered and I thought ‘I’d never herd of this bird, it’s not getting enough traction’,” McGarry said.
The installation has a uniquely local twist, taking further inspiration from the Black-necked Stork, the Bush Stone-curlew, the Little Tern and the Australian Painted Snipe – all endangered species from the Hunter region. “I took images of these birds’ wings and turned them into stencils…then I’ve been spray painting and constructing for the last few weeks,” McGarry said.
This whole process has given the very traditional natural history illustrations he started with an updated, street art look, and the added feature of ‘missing’ posters below the different species’ wings includes a link to provide more information about each bird.
“It was a big undertaking to do but I hope it was worthwhile to spread word about these birds.”
McGarry cites Cessnock Council’s recent decision to conserve the natural habitats of native birds over the construction of a steel fabrication facility as an example of the positive impact environmentalist action can have.
Look out for Wings without Wind across campus throughout the week and don’t forget to tear off a tab from a poster for more information on these local threatened species.
Other projects you can catch all around campus this week include the elusive Hippocampi, each sculpture decorated by different faculties, a pop-up library outside the Global Office and a human-sized game of chess in Auchmuty Courtyard that is actually playable. Get swallowed by the Hunter building with Hunting Nom Noms, watch trees dance around the East Residence Tower in Nightlight and feel the floors give way with the optical illusions of Lineal Vortex. So while on break between classes don’t be afraid to wander around campus and check out this year’s Create2308 festival! Who knows, you may just discover a hidden busking performer.
Feature Image: Maddie Moulton.