Townsville’s winter is a busy time for all sorts of open air events because the weather is so reliably beautiful. The fact that tourist numbers are up, as Southerners escape their own not-so-nice winter weather, doesn’t hurt either. Strand Ephemera, occurring in odd-numbered years since 2001, is one of the highlights. (I posted articles on the 2011 and 2013 events but missed out on 2015.)
This year’s event closed last Sunday. The ‘People’s Choice’ winner was also my own favourite because it ticked so many boxes – appropriate to the site and to the notion of ‘ephemera’, saying something important (i.e., ‘don’t trash our oceans’) without letting the message overwhelm the art, collaborative and local. Here it is:
The sails were even more dramatic at night, illuminated against the dark backdrop of Cleveland Bay. (Marion Gaemers also contributed to this wonderful ghost-net croc a few years ago.)
Vandalism, sadly, has been an increasing problem for the artists, forcing them to make robust art such as the steampunk billy-carts, to put it out of reach like Alison McDonald’s ‘Making Waves’, or to guard it. More positively, artists have increasingly been responding to the fact that many visitors come after dark and building illumination into their works; ‘Cloud’, with its the 6000 lightbulbs, was perhaps the most successful of these although I only saw it after it was closed for the night.
Viewing the gallery below in the lightbox (just click on any image) will provide some additional information about the artworks as well as showing larger images.
There were 31 artworks in all, but I haven’t the time to show them all here; my apologies to the artists I have neglected.