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Canberra Obscura: Metropolis – art, exploration and the unexpected

Helena Game

Despite getting our fair share of clear, sunny days, winter can start to feel pretty bleak in Canberra.

That’s why, this Friday night, Ainslie and Gorman Centre’s Canberra Obscura: Metropolis is here to make everything feel a little cosier, a little more interesting, and a lot more fun. Following on from a successful event in 2016, Canberra Obscura: Metropolis will combine art, music and creative experimentation for an evening of entertainment and exploration.

Creatives of all kinds will feature on the night, expressing their ideas around the event’s theme of ‘heaviness’. A group of visual artists, musicians, dancers and a poet will also combine to deliver an improvisation experiment for all to experience, as part of the Australian Dance Party’s CO-LAB group, Which Weigh.

Local writer Rosanna Stevens will show off her storytelling and comedy, and burlesque star Penelope Asterisk will use her body in all sorts of dazzling ways.

Musical acts will include local Band Moaning Lisa, Dj Coolio Desgracias, and former Cracked Actor frontman Sebastian Field.

Dead DJ Joke performing at Canberra Obscura in 2016. Photo by Andrew Sikorski

Dead DJ Joke performing at Canberra Obscura in 2016. Photo by Andrew Sikorski

Ainslie and Gorman Creative Producer Adelaide Rief, says the theme was drawn from her thoughts on the ‘heaviness’ of current going’s on in the world.

“We’re living in heavy times: intensely pressurised political arenas, an excessive abundance of things we don’t need, the burden of coal we’re unnecessarily digging out of the ground. And for me, the idea of a metropolis, a bustling, gritty, dirty place that lies heavily on the landscape was an image that encapsulated a lot of these ideas.”

“At the same time, a Metropolis is also an exciting place of diversity, electricity and light – which allows us to think about heaviness as a counterbalance – a force that recalibrates a position. In these heavy times, how can we be pragmatically hopeful and find some lightness?”

Asked what she hopes guests take from the evening, Adelaide says it’s going to be a journey.

“There’s food and drink on hand to fill you and quench your thirst on the way through – and a myriad of perspectives and perceptions from dancers, musicians, visual artists, projectionists, comedians and writers. Hopefully, you’ll want to think and reflect a bit, on our times and the power of art to shift perspectives – but save a bit of energy for the dancefloor too!”

With a jam-packed program of entertainment, food coming from Mr Papa and Canberra Magic Kitchen, beer by PACT, and cocktails created especially for the event from Mint Garden Bar, Canberra Obscura: Metropolis has all the ingredients for a great winter’s night out. And you never know, you might just get some new perspectives too.

the essentials

What: Canberra Obscura: Metropolis, a night of art and entertainment.
When: Friday 28 July from 7pm
Where: Ainslie Arts Centre, Elouera Street, Braddon
Tickets: $15 for early bird, $20 for pre-sale, and $25 on the door.
Visit for more information

Feature image: Andrew Sikorski


Helena Game

Helena is a wannabe journalist studying Communications and Journalism at the University of Canberra. Canberra born and bred, she is hopelessly in love with writing, stories and travel. She recently wrote her way around Japan for a creative writing study tour, and spent another two weeks in the Middle East on a journalism exchange, both of which have left her with a proper case of the post-travel blues. While she plots her next adventure, Helena is hoping to gain as much industry experience as humanly possible, and somehow finish her degree at the same time. More about the Author