Dear Angels, I want to live in a world of happiness and friendship.
A Colony of five angels collected atop the Spire of the Victorian Arts Centre in response to the thoughts, hopes and dreams of those who want to live in a more just world. Over ten days of the Next Wave Festival in May 2002, these angels lived, danced and asked the questions that would inspire Melbourne to listen to its own heart. Trustees of a collective voice, these five unique celestial beings manifested in human form for a single purpose. To colonise Melbourne with the power of its own voice... a voice of tolerance, understanding and hope.
How was the space first identified and who was contacted to secure it?
Colony was a commission from and partnership between Next Wave Festival and Y Space. Next Wave Creative Producer Steven Richardson approached Y Space with the idea of Angels colonising the Arts Centre Spire for the Next Wave Festival in 2002. Y Space worked on and delivered the creative content of the initial concept.
What was required to secure the space?
Next Wave festival became the Key Producing Partner with Y Space in the brokering of a further partnership with The Victorian Arts Centre to use their spire and contribute funding suport to the project.
What needed to be provided by you as hirer or user of the space?
Specialised Public Liability Insurance for such a perceived extreme event. Extensive investigation, development and implementation of a very specific OHS polic. This continued to evolve as the project unfolded. It concerned all parties.
What were the costs?
$250 000 and considerable infrastrucural and producing support of the Next Wave Festival.
What were the resources available to you?
For Y Space, as a small project based regional arts company, the key producing partnership and infrastrucure provided by The Next Wave Festival was not only key to the success of such a project but was the reason it could ever happen.
The producing partnership with a major organisation such as Next Wave lent its reputation and considerable resources to the project which in turn freed Y Space (with it's very limited resources) to do the art.
While Next Wave concentrated most of it's resources on the city festival, Y Space developed Colony on the Natimuk Silos as part of the Natimuk Frinj Festival (Mar 02) . This allowed the creative content and aerial performance to be trialled outside of Melbourne and in the backyard of the Y Space company within it's own community. It was then developed further and adapted to the spire structure in a 5 week lead up to the Next Wave festival in May 02.
Who helped you to fit it out?
Vertigo industrial high access company did the installation of the nest site and performace net. Riggerous installed and operated the performance rigging.
What were/are the obstacles?
Initial and ongoing access to the site.
What were/are the risks?
Huge OHS concerns re: safety of performers working/living at height and in the elements. (May in Melbourne) All performers who had been chosen for their climbing experience had to complete an industrial Twin Rope access course through Vertigo before accessing the Spire.There were also OHS concerns for safety of public with people living and working above them.Had to also manage the potential damage to the structure and expensive lighting rig that lives on the structure.