Almost 5000 people float in for green art festival
  • Tuesday 04 June 2013

It was an inspiring weekend for almost 5000 people who found themselves at one of Australia’s premier green art festivals, Sunshine Coast Council’s 2013 Floating Land.

Community Programs Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said the number of participants and spectators to the region in the first days of the 10-day long festival are sure to once again make a significant contribution to the region.

“The smorgasbord of workshops and cultural events kicked off last Friday morning with the Balance-Unbalance International Conference at The J in Noosa, where panelists used art as a catalyst to explore intersections between nature, science, technology and society,” Cr McKay said.

“This was followed by the Judith Wright Tribute Evening at the Apollonian Hotel, which paid homage to the famous poet and her works.”

Crowds swelled on Saturday as artists set up their installations and workshops at various satellite locations around the Coast before gathering at Boreen Point for the ‘Wunya’ or Welcome Ceremony, featuring local Gubbi Gubbi Dancers and the Attakkalari Dance Company from Bangalore in India.

“The Opening Ceremony is always one of the festival’s most popular events and we were delighted to see so many families and enthusiasts converge at Boreen Point for the celebrations,” Cr McKay said.

“This year we estimate around 1000 people attended the ceremony with many keen to see the various installations in their infancy to fully appreciate how they develop over the remainder of the festival.”

“The feedback we’ve received so far is that people are delighted by the variety of things to see and do, whether it’s learning traditional methods of weaving, building canoes, enjoying dance performances or listening to poetry and music.”

Division 12 Councillor Tony Wellington said with six days still to go, there’s still a lot to see and do at the festival.

“On Wednesday and Saturday this week, there will be Dusk Installation Walks starting at the Floating Land Info Hub. From here a guide will provide insight into each of the displays along the water’s edge of Lake Cootharaba,” Cr Wellington said.

“As night falls, the foreshore will come alive with a series of light, sound and projection-based installations.

“These site-specific installations have been created by some of the 300-plus local, national and international artists participating in Floating Land. Works align with this year’s theme, ‘Nature’s Dialogue’.”

“The walks are a great opportunity to talk to the contributing artists about their work and to learn more about what they represent. The most popular of these walks are expected to occur this weekend when the installations are complete and the installations can be enjoyed in their entirety.

“Another highlight this week will be a series of cultural workshops with the Leweton Cultural Group from the remote islands of Vanuatu.

“They will perform the Na Mao and Neland dances as well as songs in traditional costumes made from flowers, leaves, coconuts and Pandanus. There will also be traditional weaving, cooking, percussion and storytelling workshops.

“The Leweton Cultural Group will also feature in the Floating Land Farewell ‘The Calling’ on Saturday 8 June from 4pm to 6pm. This event will be staged on the foreshore, opposite the Lake Cootharaba Sailing Club.”

Visit Floating Land website to view the full festival program and find out more about the activities taking place at the festival’s home at Boreen Point and other satellite locations around the Sunshine Coast.