Sweet sweet candy… that was the theme of this month’s art event at the Fringe Bar in Brisbane, and what a colourful event it was! Bright pink hair, licorice allsort headpieces, and handmade candy-coated Petti skirts all set the fashion stakes for the night. Meanwhile art adorned the walls and performers swayed and jolted around, putting on intricate, creative and challenging performances for Brisbane locals.
Hosted by Petri Dish and Candy Shop TV, the Sweet Art events promote creative talent across Brisbane and are a great opportunity for locals to appreciate the creative arts scene. This is the second event hosted at the Fringe Bar and it saw the return of favourites such as Opalesque and Eunoia, as well as the regular craft stalls and artwork in the upstairs area.
Seeing familiar creative faces at the Fringe Bar is starting to become a bit of a pattern for me too. You’ll remember from my last Art Antics review that it was at the Fringe Bar that I came across Poppy from Eunoia, whom I’d met at my cousin’s festival in Uki last year. It seems my cousin has great taste in musicians, as I suddenly realised that I knew another face at the Sweet Arts gig…the enigmatic Hughie from Fat Picnic!
I first met Hughie last year at a little festival named ‘Full Spectrum’, where he was playing with Jekks & The Priests of Heka. Having seen him play in multiple bands I can definitely say with confidence that Hughie is a great performer, and the entire band was loved by the crowd. A great blend of reggae, hard-hitting funk, roots and hip hop, the six piece band from Brisbane are an absolute delight to watch. Their unique covers of classic songs such as ‘Gangsters Paradise’ (Coolio) and ‘Clint Eastwood’ (Gorillaz) got the crowd grooving and provided the perfect vibe for the night. Candy Shop TV recently did an interview with the guys from Fat Picnic, which I’d highly recommend reading if you haven’t yet done so.
Box of Birds were another pleasant surprise for the evening. Dressed in green hooded bodysuits, the two women surprised the audience with an eerie and fascinating performance done entirely within the constraint of two tapes, which were fastened to metal cylinders and set parallel from each other. Using the tapes to manipulate each other’s movements, the two women bend, dip and dance; using a combination of synchronised movement and elevation. It is an intriguing visual element made even more interesting by the tiny space within which they perform. The way in which they explore limitation is powerful, and to watch them perform is to be challenged by the concept of freedom; exploring the notion of pushing boundaries.
Upstairs in the Fringe Bar local party-goers had fun messing around in the Candy Shop TV photo booth and perusing the various rooms filled with handmade crafts, clothing and art books. There were also a series of ‘Live Drawing’ sessions for those with an arty streak, held in a cosy open side room. It was here that I met the fascinating burlesque performer Eva Vivacia, who was our model for the night.
When I spoke with Eva she was excitable, having just received news that she was to star as an extra in a burlesque film. And what was that film I asked?
“It’s a Zombie Hitler movie”, she exclaimed excitedly.
Well…that’s definitely not your everyday role! I think to myself.
Discussing her stage name, Eva explained that the inspiration came from childhood memories.
“Eva is my mothers’ name”, she explained. “And Vivacia is from my favourite childhood story.
“It’s the tale of an old beautiful ship…she is beautiful and strong…” Here Eva pauses, her voice taking on a cheeky and cautionary air. “But – if she’s not treated right, she can capsize and destroy her entire crew.”
Given her sexy yet strong and gracious persona, it is little wonder that tales of strength and beauty are the inspiration behind her work.
Dressed in a handmade candy themed outfit consisting of a beaded icecream corset, strawberry underwear, garters adorned with cherries and baby pink peep-toe heels, Eva is the perfect collaboration of sweet and sexy. Posing for us on a brown leather lounge framed by hundreds of red threads hanging from behind, she is intriguing even in silence. One moment lying in perfect stillness, frozen it would seem, Eva will surprise you by suddenly opening her eyes and giving a cheeky wink! Always lovely and gracious, she takes the time to chat after each session, eagerly looking to see what we have drawn for her.
All in all, Sweet Arts 2 was another spectacular success! If you haven’t been yet make sure you keep an eye out for the next event! You can stay in the loop by following these pages:
Special thanks to all the artists, performers, event organisers, media crew and of course, the Fringe Bar staff, for making the night such a success.