Launch review: The Interesting People

Where are all the interesting people? If you get the feeling that there are cohorts of people doing cooler, more arty things than you hidden in the folds of Sydney; with more, funding, more cred and more success… On the surface, Creative Sydney seems to offer you a chance to meet people like these.

So, does it? How interesting is Creative Sydney?

Well, the launch was interesting. We had our picture taken in glorious solid stereo by the Stereo Portrait Project (our two portraits) Many, many more portraits can be seen via their Twitter stream and soon on Flickr, they told us. Stereo portraits do look better with hands stretched out in front, we discovered afterwards.

(Put on your red and green glasses now.)

Hayley and Lisa from New Planes run a service bringing tables full of zines to big crowds. Like the Creative Sydney opening. Their table spread on opening night was lit with little dormant, yellow hand-pumped torches. They bring the zines along to events like this one to broaden the number of people coming in contact with local zines, which, without events like this, would be very small. Hayley was one of our favourite people to meet of the evening. It’s hard to apply adjectives like quiet and shy to her, as she is so animated and eager to talk. Nevertheless it leaps in there. It’s the mix that makes her such an interesting person to talk to. Diane bought two zines. Reviews may follow.

We gave the toilets a B. The evening as a whole, we seem to have given a 7.vxo#. Which becomes obvious here in this photo from the officialish photo booth

Diane and Zacha at the sticker booth.

Diane and Zacha at the sticker booth. Click the image for the more official photo by Prue Lewington.

The stickers were by Yiying Lu (who designed what later became the Twitter fail whale).

Musically, it was a hard crowd to play to. So many people, so much talk to be talked. George Byrne and Brendan Maclean had trouble quietening them down, despite their musical skills. It took Fantine Pritoula, backed up by Katalyst, to shut everyone up. She has an amazing voice: a deep, sonorous, lung-shaking voice. You can listen to her at myspace, but my tinny computer speakers can’t spit out an iota of the voice we heard on stage.

We had a chance to talk to her when she came off the stage. Mainly as Diane stopped her to tell her we thought she was cool. All the time we were talking to her, she was being approached by people telling her how much they’d liked her up on stage. She told us she found the Sydney music scene to be equally accepting, having moved to Sydney, from Perth, for about a year ago now. When we were finished talking, she was snatched away by the festival’s videographers.

So. There were speeches. Two wonderful photo booths to have a go at, and a zine scene. But there wasn’t enough to break the ice, in our opinion. A lot of the most creative people are really shy. So how do we get the people more on the margin of the scene to network? There’s a definite openness to talk to others at Creative Sydney. Very much a conference vibe. But there are also people along the margins. And while I know that the festival welcomes them with open arms, I feel that more needs to be done on the night to include them.

Hayley (who seems to be in her twenties) referred to her generation of the Sydney arts scene as a bit younger, as opposed to the older ‘grown-ups’. (A feeling it’s easy to sympathise with.) I think that the launch could have done with more to bring all the ‘kids’ together. What? I’m not sure.

So, were there interesting people? Definitely. And we think we met some of them, too. But I want more. From a broader, quieter creative Sydney.

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