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Artist Anna Trundle Talks Art, Not Apart

Molly McLaughlin

Art, Not Apart is an immersive arts festival that will transform the NewActon and Westside Acton Park precincts into a hub of creativity for Saturday 19 March.

This year, there will be exhibitions, performance art, four music stages, installations, strange interventions, street food, cafes and, of course, an after party.

Anna Trundle is an illustrator, paper crafter and designer from Canberra and a passionate advocate of the Canberra arts community. She participated as an artist in Art, Not Apart for the previous three years, exhibiting her paper craft and hosting interactive workshops. Now she has made the transition into the organisational team for this year’s festival as the Westside Coordinator and curatorial assistant.

“Participating in the festival was great, it was such an awesome opportunity,” Anna says. “It pushed me to create some larger scale pieces and forced me to consider my artistic practice. The festival also gave me more confidence in my work.”

Photograph by Martin Ollman

Anna Trundle. Photograph by Martin Ollman.

For Art, Not Apart 2016 Anna has been working on making sure all the artists are supported and encouraged to create their best work. Anna and her team have also coordinated a large-scale installation called Extinction, created in the shipping containers at Westside.

“Over at Westside things get a little crazy and fun,” explains Anna. “Extinction is an installation that will be made up of a passage that leads up to a platform with has a tank of water underneath it. You will have to physically immerse yourself into the water, getting deeper and deeper until you have to swim under a barrier towards a beautiful light source coming from a second chamber. It’s going to be very intense experience.”

Art, Not Apart kicks off with an exhibition at the Nishi Gallery entitled Patterns of Now on the 18 March that Anna has co-curated. The theme of Patterns of Now will also inform the art happening throughout the festival. Highlights of the program so far include a collaborative paste up gallery and over 200 stallholders at the suitcase rummage, along with food provided by local favourites Mandalay Bus and April’s Caravan.

Emeritus Professor David Williams AM, previous Director of ANU School of Art, is serving as Art Not Apart’s visual arts creator, bringing seasoned Canberra arts scene knowledge to the colourful panel of curators and will be Anna’s co-curator for the Patterns of Now exhibition.

David Williams. Photograph by Martin Ollman.

David Williams. Photograph by Martin Ollman.

The line up for Art Not Apart had clearly been limited only by the team’s imagination, which will create an immersive, surprising atmosphere for visitors on the day.

“There’s an acrobatic act that is going to be suspended from the pillars of Westside and there will be a life drawing session from the Nishi Art Collective with the models posing in mid-air,” says Anna. “Art, Not Apart will turn the idea of traditional fine art practice literally upside down.”

After 7pm Westside will be turned into F_ck Art, Lets Party which will run from 7pm to 11pm, with great views of Skyfire at 9pm from upstairs at The Aviary Bar.

“F_ck Art, Let’s Party is a dance party with a whole range of music,” Anna says. “Last year, Too Many DJs were a really successful act and we’ve got that happening again this year. There will be 40 DJs playing six-minute sets and they have to mix into each other’s sets non-stop. It’s lots of energy and lots of fun.”

Anna says there is a strong female artist presence across the festival, especially in the music program, and she is looking forward to bringing hundreds of artists to a diverse audience.

“We just want to open people’s eyes to the amount of creative drive there is in Canberra,” Anna says. “This festival will show that there are all of these people working to keep this city alive and vibrant. Art, Not Apart is about showcasing what Canberra is, as a little slice of the Australian arts culture.”

The full Art, Not Apart program will be released in the near future, but in the meantime check out their website here.

Feature image of Anna Trundle and David Williams in Nishi Gallery taken by Martin Ollman. Displayed in the background is current exhibition VOYAGE by Tommy Balogh. 


Molly McLaughlin

Molly McLaughlin was less than thrilled to move to Canberra a couple of years ago to study Arts and Economics at ANU, but she can confirm the city has grown on her since then. Along with writing for HerCanberra, she spends her time reading, eating noodles and planning her next adventure. More about the Author