Fitzroy is once again bursting with colour thanks to the annual Gertrude Street Projection Festival.
The ten day festival transforms ordinary buildings and alleyways into living works of art.
Together, artists and community members collaborate to bring innovative pieces to public spaces, solidifying community ties while promoting new and unique methods of expression.
Perched behind shop windows, artists use projectors to light up footpaths, laneways and shopfronts in fluorescent images and patterns.
Among the most anticipated sites are The Gertrude Hotel and the Atherton Towers, which due to their sheer size, are the backdrop to the festivals best and most creative works.
The event will continue until Sunday the 24th of July, running every night from 6 pm until midnight and reaching 38 sites across the Fitzroy hub.
The GSPF has been a great success for the Yarra precinct with the event attracting thousands of visitors since its conception in 2007.
Sponsoring Manager, Jonathan Homsey, who is a featured artist in this year’s festival, believes the project is of significant importance to the Yarra community.
“The ultimate purpose of the festival is to bring people together and showcase projected media art.” Says Homsey.
“In a world where we could survive singularly, it is so beautiful to [be] reminded [of] the resonance and magic of people, nature and the energy that it creates as we huddle up to bask in the projections.”
In the interest of community cohesion, the GSPF caters to more than just those seeking colourful creations. While local restaurants add their own flavour to the line up, live street performances and workshops add movement, music and interaction to the space.
“It can be seen through this year’s events, a mixture of performances, workshops, installations, live bands and even some yoga,” Says Homsey.
The natural diversity of the Yarra ensures a kaleidoscope of ages, cultures and identities make up the GSPF audience.
It is these differences that make their common admiration of each and every artist, performer and contributor, a success.
“People give a variety of reactions, a rainbow of oohs and aahs, [they’re] enamoured by the projections. My personal favourite is seeing the reactions of the children,” Says Homsey.
For Homsey, knowing that the GSPF has become an iconic part of Fitzroy’s culture makes it all worthwhile.
“[It’s now] a part of Fitzroy’s calendar. From the commuters going home to the tourists who come in from regional Victoria… Gertrude Street Projection Festival is an annual conversation piece and way for the community to bond.”
The festival is a free event and runs every night until the 24th of July. More information can be found at: http://gspf.com.au/
*Feature Image courtesy of GSPF. Artist Kate Geck poses in front of her creation ‘Apeiron’: Photograph by Bernie Phelan
By Jamal Ben Haddou