Mar 26, 2018
It’s an early Sunday evening in March, and people are slowly starting to trickle through the open door of Naïm restaurant in Paddington, QLD. Bonnie Hislop arrives, armed with boxes of her original pieces to show. Sellma Soul steps in, looking glamorous as ever while channelling Jackie O. Hailey Calvert and Jason are setting up their amps and tuning instruments in the back room, ready to provide our soundtrack for the evening. Owlet Art has her Posca pens at the ready, poised to draw some of her Owlet character portraits for some lucky guests. It’s a mashup of creativity tonight, and with a tray full of bubbles by the front door, people are ready to celebrate.
To enter the launch party, guests walked through the bright lights of the projected launched site on the wall. After stepping through the light, and into the world of Test Kitchen, creativity ran rampant. One by one, guests would wander up to the table consisting of all types of mark-making materials, and they had a go at some Peekfree Doodling and Beat the Clock drawing prompts. The activity table was full of laughter, and as guests found themselves inspired by each other’s image from across the table, more than a few portraits were gifted to their creative counterparts over the course of the evening.
As the party warmed up, two figures seemed to come out of nowhere. They appeared as blank canvases who had been splashed with bright colours, lit with fairy lights and on a mission to spread love and creativity through movement. Megan Janet White from Theatre of Thunder and her assistant, Jessica Lam, slowly paced through the party and the room couldn’t help but stare. What were they doing? Why were they doing it? The questions hardly needed answers (as art rarely does), because the performance was compelling, confusing, beautiful and strange all wrapped up in one.
From there, it was a chasm of bubbly, laughter, conversation and gratitude. Theatre of Thunder invited guests to draw upon their bodies and costumes, and in return they would paint and draw on consenting guest’s skin, as a temporary tattoo and souvenir from their experience.
After a few hours, the guests trickled out as organically as they came, leaving behind a laughing baby on her mum’s lap (she had slept through the whole party) and some glitter portraits scattered on the activity table. It was the perfect way to celebrate what we have started, and gave the TK team even more energy to keep it rolling.
To see the whole gallery of photos from the party, head to the album our Facebook Page.
Photography by Merilyn Smith.