Karratha’s Red Earth Arts Festival thrills local creative community
The Pilbara arts community enjoyed a feast of delights from jazz and dance concerts to puppet shows and circus feats at this years Red Earth Arts Festival.
Held at the Red Earth Arts Precinct from March 17-20, the event featured more than 100 artists taking part in more than 30 events over the three days.
Highlights included a performance of Jali by acclaimed comedian Oliver Twist, community puppet-making and masterclasses with artist Karen Hethey from Juluwarlu Group Aboriginal Corporation.
The visual arts also were highlighted with the Bloom exhibition.
The exhibit showcased emerging artists Sage Casey, Indee Iris, Simona Krstic, Ryan Naga and Sofi Twaddle.
Twaddle said it was a nerve-racking experience.
“This is my first time really doing something with my art or putting it in really somewhere big,” she said.
Iris said having an opportunity for local artists to showcase their work on such a big stage was important.
“Since I’ve been here, which is about 13 years, there’s never really been an opportunity just like this where you have regular artists who come together,” she said.
“You obviously have Cossack and things like that. But nothing like this before and it’s really important.”
Music was also showcased with a variety of performers from local artists such as 16-year-old Hayley Thompson to Perth jazz royalty Libby Hammer all the way to the exotic, psychedelic brand of dance music created by Queensland band Tijuana Cartel.
Hammer, who also held jazz workshops as part of the festival, said it was an exciting moment being able to get out of Perth and convene with the other artists.
“There’s something exciting about bringing what we do in town to the Outback and just seeing how those two things interact,” she said.
Hammer said they performed jazz standards that you would hear at the Ellington in Perth.
Tijuana Cartel were the capstone music event, performing songs on March 19 from their latest album Acid Pony.
Vocalist and guitarist Paul George said the last time the band performed in the town was 2013.
“Obviously with the pandemic it’s just been hard to get into the state full stop,” he said.
“We’ve got friends over here that we’ve missed and we do have a decent following Western Australia, so it’s definitely good to get back to reconnect with our audience.
“What I like about regional towns is that everybody seems to really like to party and get up and dance. . . I’m not sure why but it does make it fun.”
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