WHEN Julie Andrews helped created the first Enlighten Festival in 2016, she wasn’t sure it would return.
But two years later Enlighten is hosting its second event – this time over three nights.
“(In 2016) we had very small grant made available to use art to encourage inclusion,” she said.
“We thought the cheapest, most accessible thing was lighting and projection.
“At the end of the 2016 event I wrote about how I thought Enlighten was embraced by the city and hoped it would return.”
Enlighten is a locally-driven festival that aims to create opportunities for local artists and engage diverse communities.
It is being held until August 31 ahead of White Night Bendigo on September 1.
White Night's illumination festival began in Paris in 2002 before arriving in Melbourne in 2013. It has since expanded to include regional Victorian cities.
“White Night was an obvious success. People wanted to see it take over Melbourne, wanted to see the art and have fun,” she said.
“(Enlighten and White Night) are quite different things but putting them together is good because it brings people that maybe know a little about art and are attracted to the spectacular to see what local artists are doing,”
“White Night is a bit of travelling show – that's how it has to operate – but the idea of picking up on our grass roots and seeing our incredibly talented local artists getting to showcase their work in our city is amazing.
“At Enlighten, people can see meaningful work that shares their local identity first hand.”
Ms Andrews collaborated with video producers Caleb Maxwell and Bailey Cook as well as Tim Edensor from Manchester Metropolitan University to create Beyond the Horizon – a projection that will feature on Bendigo’s library windows.
“Caleb and Bailey are really wonderful and professional young people who have helped come up with something that is really fantastic,” she said.
The video projection was filmed earlier this year using 80 locals at Bendigo Creek near Lake Weeroona.
“It's about connecting with all our multicultural communities as best we could and encouraging people to support inclusion,” Ms Andrews said.
“On very cold day about 80 people came down to be part of the work. Everyone in the work is from the region and hopefully they'll come and see themselves in the work.”
Ms Andrews will also work with Dr Edensor on a paper about how light affects communities.
“Tim writes about art and illumination and looks at how light can change the feeling of a city and community,” Ms Andrews said.
“I'm interested in how including people in art process makes it accessible and inclusive. People can enjoy these works without knowing a lot about art and what underpins it.”
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