BRAG’s guide to what’s happening in and around Fringe Festival Village Two, Leichhardt.

Fringe Arts At The Forum

Visual Art enthusiasts at ready, because Sydney Fringe Festival has just the thing for you. Among the many events tempting your brain’s left hemisphere is Fringe Arts At The Forum, the festival’s group visual arts show. Set amongst Leichhardt’s Italian Forum, the exhibition brings together the best of the festival’s art exhibits to unveil the diversity of Sydney’s visual arts scene.

Fringe Arts At The Forum “basically stands to show the diversity of the inner west art community,” says curator David Greenhalgh. “We want to show the wide range of practices out there.” Expect to see paintings made from cake icing (yes, cake icing) in a series called My Coloured World by Bridget Betzold. Another highlight is Yvonne Lam’s sound installation Maneki Neko, which features tiny robotic cats ringing bells to create a percussive work. Then there’s 101 Vagina Book – Exhibition by Philip Werner showcasing a series of messages, stories and poems that accompany black and white photographs of vaginas (vulvas, actually, if we want to get technical).

And there ain’t going to be any oils of The Royal Family. Fringe Arts At The Forum is all about breaking your expectations and exploring artistic possibilities. “There’s a misconception that art is a very narrow field … that it’s a painting, it’s a drawing, it’s hung on the wall. That’s not the case at all,” says Greenhalgh. It’s about celebrating and encouraging the artists who “push those boundaries, who don’t want to work within conventions and tradition.”

“Anyone who wants to see a diversity of style, and anyone who wants to see a pretty distinct reflection of what’s happening in Sydney at the moment in terms of art” ought to come along. And if you’re new to the art world, you needn’t bother practicing conceited mannerisms, because “that’s not what Sydney Fringe is about”. Says Greenhalgh: “We’re not about only drawing the art aficionados. The Fringe is for everyone. It’s for anyone who’s interested in seeing something outside of the unusual … it’s not your snobby art crowd.” Phew.

The best part? It’s all free. So there’s no excuse not to join in on the “celebration of the inner west’s creativity” with artists Bridget Betzold, Benjamin Carey, Andrew Ensor, Libby Hackett, Dorien Kay, Soyoun Kim, Yvonne Lam, Nara Peek-Silva, Katya Petetskaya, Jovana Terzic, Alana Tracy, Sophie Verrecchia, Lauren Webster and Philip Werner. Greenhalgh reckons it should be quite a fun little festival and who knows, maybe it’ll be you exhibiting weird and wonderful works next year.


What: Fringe Arts At The Forum

Where: Italian Forum, Leichhardt

When: September 11-29

Why Magic Is

There’s no denying y’all love a bit of magic in your life. Even if you won’t admit it, you know it’s true. Sydney-based magician Harry Milas is here to raise your eyebrows with some of the entertaining impro talent we’ve seen yet. He’ll be exploring a range of magic tricks in an intimate setting at the AV Union in Leichhardt. And for those hoping to unearth Milas’ secrets behind the tricks, you’d better look elsewhere. This guy’s not going to be giving anything away, folks.

Tell us about your first encounter with magic. A magician made the moon disappear at my birthday party when I was eight. No joke. I’ve still no idea how he did it. He just waved his hand in front of it and it wasn’t in the sky anymore. I own the book that contains the method for how it’s done but I’ve never read it. How could I possibly do that to my childhood?

What kind of tricks will you be performing? A wide variety! There are many genres within magic and I wanted to explore as many as I could without spreading myself too thin. There are some explorations on cheating with cards, some predictions and thought control, and some pretty strange old vaudeville geek acts.

How will audiences react to Why Magic Is? Rather than attempting to convince the sceptic that magic is real, I want to show them that not knowing the secret is a wonderful place to be. It’s been said that ignorance is bliss, and I think within the context of magic that is a good philosophy. The secrets of magic are strange, dirty and disappointing. Letting something impossible exist is a lovely thing to do.

What does your performance brings to the broader context of the Sydney Fringe Festival? Hopefully some variety! Magic is performed less and less these days, and I’d hope that it highlights the true diversity of the festival.

What: Why Magic Is

Where: AV Union, Leichhardt

When: September 6-7 and 13-15

BRAG magazine is the official street press partner of Sydney Fringe Festival 2013.

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