That's a Wrap!
What a Festival
These last four weeks we’ve been joined together by acts of celebration, community, art and pure joy.
As they say ‘the show must go on’ so with much dedication and an extraordinary amount of work from our wonderful team and artists we did just that – we rescheduled the entire Festival to ensure these brilliant experiences were seen and heard.
From the very beginning this Festival has fundamentally been about our artists, and you, our audience. Our many Western Australian artists have spent weeks, months, years and even decades honing their skills to bring us wondrous works of imagination, history and dreaming.
Tim Minchin at Kings Park
We might think we know this place, but inside each of those stories I've found a renewed sense of not only this place and what it offers, but also my love for it and the people who live here.
Similarly, in these moments it's felt like something bigger, that we aren’t just Western Australians, but we’re connected to all humanity.
Many of the marvellous works in this Festival not only responded to our history here in Western Australia, they also held a global connection. Emerging from the disparate perspectives within our community, they speak with a singular Western Australian voice, amplified by the wonderful response from audiences. We’re certain that many of them will have a life beyond the Festival and reach wider communities.
Our 2021 theme of Bilya was celebrated in many ways. Some of these were very visible – like our deeply felt Day of Ideas or the majesty of Bilya Beneath as part of Projections at City of Lights. Others were intimate encounters like Galup at Lake Monger or Witness Stand where small audiences experienced the immense history of this place as told by Noongar custodians.
Witness Stand at Wadjemup (Rottnest Island)
Our hope is that now, you see the river in a different way as we acknowledge its importance to the Noongar custodians as well as it being a source of beauty, reflection and ever-flowing stories.
Backed by the amazing and resolute support of our partners, donors and audiences, we were privileged to be able to provide opportunities for Western Australian artists to dream big.
The cumulative effect of this is to recognise that as an arts community we are collegiate, diverse, filled with rich imagination and galvanised by a wider public awareness of what artists can offer our community.
The artists and you, our audience are the reason we do what we do. It’s been a joy to be able to bring their work to you, we owe a great big thank you for sharing this Festival with us.
After a little rest, we now set course for Festival 2022 with our theme Wardan (ocean) glimmering with promise. The mouth of the river now gives everything it has to the sea. Our hearts are full and our hopes are high, buoyed by the wonderful reception our artists and their stories have had this year.
Banner image by Jessica Wyld
Tim Minchin photo by Corey James
Witness Stand photo by Cam Campbell