A Next Wave wrap up: Perhaps we’ll see how little we see

by Jane

So I went to Melbourne for nine days.

I saw much more art than I ever expected too. I wrote much less that I planned. Scribbles in notebooks don’t count. I did go on the radio, though.

I saw thirteen Next Wave visual art and/or sound exhibitions/works over twenty-two different locations; seven with some kind of performance element. I saw eighteen Next Wave performance/dance/theatre works. The lines between types of works are almost all blurred, and I’ve no doubt you would count differently than me.

I saw two visual art exhibitions and two theatre works which weren’t connected to Next Wave – I could have chosen from dozens more. I only found the time to listen to two of the five audio plays from the Living Cities Tours. I don’t think you could say I even scraped the surface of the Emerging Writers Festival.

I went to Breakfast Club nine times for nine days. Some days I was more present than others. I spent four nights dancing to DJs at Wake Up. I went to one official feminist dinner and one official feminist breakfast. I went to Bone Library four times, and then found myself shackled with fear of responsibility and couldn’t take one home. I went to one closing night party, two after parties, and then got straight on a plane back home.

I acted in a TV cop show; I had my first manicure; I paddled a boat across the Yarra, I hugged one stranger, and I had my photograph taken with another; I got married in what is still revealing itself to be one of the most emotionally complex works I have ever been a part of; I went into space twice; I wore headphones a lot.

I saw work which I am still struggling to unpack, to understand, to find the vocabulary for, to explain. I saw how little I see.

I met and re-met some of the most inspiring staff, interns, volunteers, artists, residents, and audience members. I really did feel embedded in the culture. I hope you all stay in touch.

Given the choice between seeing work and writing about work, I chose the former. Back home, it’s time to choose the latter. I’ll be writing about the festival for RealTime, so the balance between writing for the publication and writing for the blog will take some time to reveal itself to me as I begin to type. Expect much more from me, though.

Thanks to everyone involved.

It was truly remarkable.

I am overjoyed.