Darebin set to stage FUSE Festival Spring 2023

FUSE Festival Darebin. Photo by Wild Hardt
FUSE Festival Darebin. Photo by Wild Hardt

FUSE Festival Spring 2023 is the much-loved contemporary, multi-arts festival presented by the City of Darebin that turns the community into a stage for local artists and entertainers to showcase their innovative and rich artistic skills. This Spring, from September 2-17, Darebin’s streets, parks, venues, theatres, galleries and other public spaces will all be transformed into locally unexpected zones of art, culture and creativity.

Since its inception, FUSE has reflected Darebin’s uniqueness while highlighting its strengths as a vibrant, inclusive, and forward-thinking city. With a strong and diverse program, FUSE believes that art is for everyone and encourages the community to experience the bold and unexpected events in their own neighbourhood.

Curated by Maylene Yinarr, Ganbu Gulin, (meaning “One Mob” in the Woi-Wurrung language), is an annual inclusive citizenship celebration where new citizens to Darebin are formally welcomed to their new home on Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung Country with a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony.

Ganbu Gulin: Lore will also feature a film screening of the documentary, ‘Ganbu Gulin’, live performances, workshops and more. Taking place at Darebin Arts Centre, the day also features a marketplace by The Mindful Mob Healing Markets. Performance highlights include sets by The Deans of Soul, Timmy Commerford and the Murrundaya Yepengna Dance Troupe. The event is free, and registrations are welcome here.

Each festival, the City of Darebin commissions works to be presented through the FUSE Fund initiative, which gives local artists an opportunity to explore new practices and engage with additional resources to improve, perfect, and diversify their art forms.

Through the FUSE Fund this spring, Reservoir Little Art Gallery is offering a unique opportunity for locals to showcase their art in the public gallery space. In a model like a community book exchange, visitors can take the artwork home or showcase their own work for free. Curated by local artist Nicole Robertson, the exhibition will begin with a series of 17 purchased artworks, which will be accompanied by the art donated from the community. Throughout the exhibition, the commissioned artists and their artwork will be shared across social media. This project aims to provide an accessible platform for Reservoir locals to enjoy and share artwork.

Robertson says, “I was inspired by the generosity of my neighbours. I think Reservoir is a bit special because there’s a real sense of community here even though we’re in this huge city suburb. I used to pass this one little library on my running route, and it occurred to me that I could set up something similar with artwork.” Corner Cheddar Road & Broadway Parklet, Reservoir. 3 – 17 September.

FUSE presents its inaugural FUSE Film program in partnership with Thornbury Picture House on Tuesday 12 September. Featuring Julia Madeleine Stella, a Darebin-based animator and

illustrator who has a deep passion for using animation to tell stories in unique and captivating ways that cannot be achieved through any other medium. In 2020, she released her first short film, Star Thief, a whimsical tale of the Moon and a giant fish who devours the night sky. It has since won multiple awards and screened in nine countries across the world.

The Fuse Film event also features short documentary films by graduate students from La Trobe University. These films were produced for the 2020 and 2021 FUSE Spring festivals, but due to COVID restrictions, they were only available online. In the 2020 season, the students were challenged to make films that explored how COVID-19, social isolation and financial pressures were affecting Darebin artists and their practices. Thornbury Picture House, 802 High Street, Thornbury.

Bundoora Homestead presents Us Mob, featuring important artworks of 12 Victorian Koori Elders, evoking a love for culture and Country. The Us Mob Elders Exhibition aims to celebrate the legacies and show the ongoing practice of students who attended the Indigenous Art Unit at RMIT University’s School of Art between 2005 and 2012. Artists include Aunty Bunta Patten, Aunty Frances Gallagher, Uncle Herb Patten, Aunty Gwen Garoni, Aunty Gwen Brooke, Uncle Kennedy Edwards, Aunty Lorraine Nelson, Ray Thomas and Uncle Talgium Edwards. Curated by Sharon West, Dr. Lyndon Ormond Parker and Simon Rose.

The Homestead will also have a Truth-Telling Space from Elders and Representatives of the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation in collaboration with Darebin Council. This space has been designed so audiences can learn about the ongoing cultural importance of past and current Traditional Owners and custodians. Bundoora Homestead, 7 Prospect Hill Drive, Bundoora.

FUSE Fund presents a 3-minute short film on Wild Conductors, offering insights into their creative development process. Visitors were invited to play in a jungle of sound where Wild Conductors created an interactive, touch-sensitive installation using plants and electronic instruments responding to the natural conductivity of the body. The film will be shown on the FUSE website and social media pages for the duration of the Spring Festival.

In partnership with the Darebin Arts Precincts Programming Team, FUSE presents an intergenerational performance Pony Cam, ‘All This Could Be Yours’ which investigates age, intimacy, apologies, guidance, and the dancing body. Pony Cam is an experimental performance collective made up of five artists from around Australia, facilitating this co-created performance work with local participants 55 and over.

The Darebin Arts Precincts Programming Team will also present the Mayor’s Writing Awards and the launch of Darebin’s annual and local publication D’Sribe. Tuesday 5 September, 1 pm & 6 pm at Darebin Arts Centre.

FUSE@Large open access program, where anyone presenting a creative event in Darebin can do so under the FUSE banner. Highlights include: ‘Escaping Gravity’ at Jolted Arts Space and ‘Papa M’ at the Northcote Social Club.

FUSE is Darebin City Council’s multi-arts festival, held in Autumn and Spring each year. It’s designed to accommodate a range of different access points for audiences and practitioners to highlight their rich, artistic talent.

FUSE Spring 2023 takes place from the 2 until 17 September. For more information, visit www.fusedarebin.com.au.

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