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Your Guide to CREATE 2020

With plenty of amazing things to see and do this week, Keighley Bradford explores what you can expect from the CREATE2020 Program.

If you’re back on campus, then you’ve probably noticed that UON is looking a little different this week. That’s because from Monday 31st August until Friday 11th September, UON is hosting its annual CREATE Festival! The art showcase features work by students and staff, happens across Callaghan, NUspace and Ourimbah campuses, and includes both daytime and nighttime installations.

UON assures us the festival is COVID safe, with all interactive installations manned by staff or held online. No registration is required to partake in CREATE – just download the program, plan your trip (or, hey, wander around campus if you prefer) and visit the artworks.

Now, as they say, on with the show!

This year’s program is looking inspirational, and I myself (an online student) am excited to hit campus to check things out. Included as part of the 2020 program is UON’s annual sketch comedy show by Uni Revue with the 2020 show titled Takeaway Only. The cast and production team have prepared an online show, with a short sketch made available each day over the festival period. On Saturday 12th September, a special live screening will be hosted.

The installation I am most looking forward to is ‘UONumbra’. This creative installation is best viewed at night, with the exhibitions happening daily from 6pm to 10pm. (Anybody else getting some VIVID vibes from that description?)

As per tradition, ‘The Parade of Hippocampi’ is also back at this year’s festival. The colourful, mythical creatures will roam around campus, changing locations and even campuses throughout the two week festival period.

If you want to get creative at CREATE, and are feeling up to a challenge, why not get involved with the ‘Distanced Design’ installation. Create your own t-shirt design using markers, brushes and paint pistols! The only catch is, you have to design your tee from 1.5 meters away. The interactive installation is happening at the CommBank Lawn from 11am-2pm on Wednesday 2nd and Thursday 3rd.

Also, an installation we all know and loved last year will be returning, this year installed at the  Shortland/Hunter Pathway from Monday 7th September. ‘Crochet Workshop’ includes beginners’ workshops hosted by artist Louisa Magrics; a must do for those who’d like to learn her artform. These workshops are happening online on Monday 31st August (3pm – 4pm), and at NUspace Wednesday 2nd September (12.30pm – 2.30pm, Ground Floor).

Meanwhile, ‘Spotlight’ is a pop-up interactive piece happening across all campuses in secret locations. The work was inspired by nighttime play memories and features nine inset-inspired pins that will be available for students to collect and keep.

UON Library has repurposed some books set to be destroyed for their project. ‘Re-Create’ features natural illustrations to create a feature wall aspect, and is an interactive installation happening at all campuses (including UON’s Sydney campus) from Monday 31st until Friday 4th, 11am to 2pm. You can take a sneak peek at Recreate’ here

Now, ‘Art Harvest’ is a collection of original artworks submitted by UON staff and students, curated by Ange Budden from the Student Comms Team. The lucky-dip styled installation encourages the UON community to get involved by picking up and keeping one of the artwork prints (which are masked as a surprise in an envelope). There are only 20 prints of each design, with the artists details on the back for you to connect and engage with their work. If you’re wanting to engage with this exhibition, visit the Maths Grass, Callaghan (Wednesday 2nd), Hunter Building (Thursday 3rd), NUspace (Friday 4th), or The QUAD, Ourimbah (Monday 7th).

Another intriguing installation is ‘Fragments of Conversation’. The Hunter Building exhibit explores the conversation of two friends separated geographically due to COVID-19. The collaborative project by UON’s Dr Chloe Killen and her friend, Kevina-Jo Smith, involves incomplete creative projects, discussions over a cuppa, and miscellaneous conversations. Read Phoebe Metcalfe’s in-depth sneak peek of this exhibition here.

Novocastrian 2050: Ecosystem Reboot is apart of Ars Electronica Garden Newcastle. The installation is also part of the inaugural BIOMES art-science exhibition happening here in Newcastle on 9th – 13th September. The work is a collaboration between UON’s Facility of Science, Faculty of Education and Arts, and FASTlab team. It features two Creative Question Challenge performances that will happen at the Brennan Room, Callaghan at 11am on Friday 4th September and Monday 11th September. 

There are a couple of installations at this year’s festival designed to challenge your mind and perceptions. ‘Opening Remarks’ is one of these happening at various locations around each campus, featuring a door in unlikely places with the catchphrase “Will you step through the door?”. Another is ‘Chalk it Up’, an upcycled collection of furniture pieces using chalk paint to reflect upon the experience of ‘repurposing’ themselves, something many international students face. And, bringing some greenery to the city, ‘Sensory Garden’ aims to contrast on NUspace’s metal structures with the establishment of a temporary oasis.

The UON Community is really getting involved in CREATE this year, with many installations being curated and supported by UON organisations and facilities. ‘Snapshot’ is a photographic exhibition from UON FEBE. ‘Coisa Brasileira – Brazilian Mannerisms’ is presented by international students exploring cultural differences in food, language, and everyday habits. And, ‘Lucky Lanterns’ is a collaborative piece by the School of Architecture and Built Environment, the English Language Centre, the Priority Research Centre Geotechnical Science & Engineering, and the Faculty of Health and Medicine. 

The Yak Media Herd also got involved with our ‘Yak Mount’ installation. Our team made a paper mache yak head, recycling some of our old mag issues in the process. You can check out our groovy mascot in the Shortland Student Hub any day during CREATE – and don’t forget, if you get a Yak selfie, tag us with #yaksnap and @yakmedia to be featured on our Instagram!

To get involved in the festival fun, download the program here and share your interactive experiences using #createuon and #create2020! And where possible, give a shout out to your peers by tagging them in their amazing artwork! 


Feature Image: Daisy Peachman, Yak Media Designer

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