Look out: radical harvest ahead

December 22nd, 2023Look out: radical harvest ahead

Using a motorbike to “paint” with doesn’t just produce a fairly unique work of art in the landscape.
Artists Ryan Kennedy (aka RFK) and Tony Sawrey take a break during the creation of an artwork with a difference, part of the Radical Fieldz project happening at Glenlyon. Image: Eve Lamb

Using a motorbike to “paint” with doesn’t just produce a fairly unique work of art in the landscape.

It also produces a pretty decent physical workout. Just ask local artist Tony Sawrey (also known in his other guise as a writer for The Local).

Tony is among a group of several artists currently planning or creating work as part of the six-month-long arts project that is Radical Fieldz.

It’s the brainchild of Glenlyon artist Ryan Kennedy (aka RFK).

The project started in October and involves a series of arts events taking place every month at Glenlyon through to March 16 when they culminate in a day-long outdoor event.

This will take place on a yet-to-be publicly disclosed private estate and will feature a range of unique works including installation and performance pieces.

Tony’s motorbike “painting” will be among them and he was happily working on his creation when The Local caught up with him on site recently.

“I do a lot of artwork, painting and installations, in outdoor environments but it’s the first time I’ve used a motorbike,” he said.

“In this case we’ve laid out a roughly 90 by 80 meter wide design. We’re thinking come April we might put in rye grass (in the soil cut up by the bike’s tyre tread) which will strike pretty quick.

“And we’re hoping that will be growing by the time the final event happens – the final harvest,” Tony said.

“I’ve got to do ongoing work with this, just running the pattern until we can turn up some of the dirt.

“I’ve wanted to do something like this for years, but it really takes that collaboration with someone like Ryan which is why the Radical Fieldz program is so interesting and different.

“There’s a lot of collaboration involved. It’s transforming something which has a prosaic use and creates something else out of it.”

Ryan, or RFK as he is also known, will also have site-specific work included as part of the final culminating event on March 16 as will not only other artists, but also a few less likely suspects.

These include a local ornithology group and a local fitness group who are getting involved in various interesting ways.

“I’m working with several community groups to reframe how they work in the community through the lens of art,” RFK says.

“We’ve got Daylesford CrossFit joining us and we’re literally doing a tractor pull. We’ll be working in teams. It will be a choreographed piece, basically an exercise to drag the tractor across the field.

“We’re also working with FLOCK which is the Friendly Little Ornithology Club, and Castlemaine Zen will be doing a meditative walk to really set the tone of awareness and intention for the day of the event.”

In the lead up to the day-long March harvest event, there’s an ongoing series of events featuring artists attending the monthly Glenlyon market that happens each third Saturday of the month.

This is followed in the afternoon, after the market, with a different co-creative arts event at the Glenlyon community dam.

“We are doing a community sound composition at our next event on December 16,” RFK says.

“We’ve got a sax quartet, a cellist, an eastern European band, some friends with fascinating horns and engines to rev and we’re going to be exploring sound.

“We’ve also been given a grant and we’re going to do some work on a big painting event on Saturday, January 20 from 2-6pm with the Glenlyon Progress Association.

“We’re going to be working on a mural out the front of the Glenlyon Shire Hall.

“It will be like an abstract map of the town highlighting what the town’s about, referencing landmarks around the town.

“I just felt like there was room for a constant and creative space within the community and that’s something I wanted Radical Fieldz to offer.

“I feel like the more we empower the community to be creative the more interest they have in our own work as artists.”

With the location of the March 16 culminating harvest event to be revealed closer to the occasion, RFK can divulge a bit more of what may be expected on the day.

“Expect something you probably haven’t seen before,” he says.

“We’re on Facebook and Instagram and I am encouraging local artists and community groups that want to get creative to get in touch with us. “The program is unique and we’ve got a lot of creative individuals around there.”

Words and Image: Eve Lamb

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