Australian Cities Get Creative For Singapore Design Week

Posted by Adelaide Festival Centre on Friday 1 March 2019

Two artists from Adelaide and Sydney are taking street art, soundscapes, storytelling and skateboarding to Singapore Design Week to represent the talent and potential of Australia’s UNESCO Creative Cities. 

Adelaide-based creative producer Jennifer Greer Holmes and Sydney-based writer, guide and storyteller Jane Walrut have been commissioned to create new works funded by the Australian Department of Communication and the Arts, Adelaide Festival Centre, Create NSW and DesignSingapore Council for Singapore Design Week from 4 – 17 March.

Jennifer Greer Holmes’ Move Along was inspired by similarities between the post-colonial cities of Adelaide and Singapore, exploring universal stories of love and loss, urban renewal and dispossession. Using the cultural district of Bras Basah.Bugis (BBB) as a backdrop, Holmes has designed a soundtrack for the streetscape. Her Singapore collaborators are Ferry and Ammar.

Jane Walrut’s The Community Thread draws on stories of the pre-war Singaporean artistic community to create an immersive literary walk using local street artists and digital designers. She has partnered Singaporean creatives from MeshMinds, theregularjo, Participate in Design and Darel Seow, to design an augmented reality walking tour celebrating the heritage of the BBB district.

Jane Walrut: “The Creative City Network is a fantastic vehicle for cross-discipline collaboration. Events like Singapore Design Week provide a setting for these fantastically left-field, open-ended conversations between people of such disparate professional backgrounds. I think there’s tremendous value for all the Creative Cities to explore these kind of cross-cultural collaborations, and to explore other venues where these projects can come to life. I know that I’ve come out of this experience full of new ideas and, simply, a better practitioner than I was before.” 

Both Walrut and Greer Holmes responded to a call for community design projects inspired by music, literature and film. They took part in a workshop and public forum during the 2018 Singapore Design Week – presenting ideas and meeting local creatives to develop their ideas for this year’s festival. 

Director, Office of Adelaide UNESCO City of Music, Rebecca Pearce: “We are thrilled with the development of these collaborative projects over the past 12 months, and excited to see them realised in Singapore bringing Australian creativity to Singapore Design Week and forming stronger bonds across our neighbouring cities.”

Now into its sixth edition, the annual Singapore Design Week (SDW) 2019 will run from 4 to 17 March 2019. One of Asia’s premier design festivals, SDW showcases Singapore’s thought leadership in design, connects design talents and businesses, and engages the community through activities that demonstrate the value of design.  

Executive Director, DesignSingapore Council, Mark Wee: “We look forward to welcoming our Australian partners from the UNESCO Creative Cities Network to Singapore Design Week and seeing the outcomes of the two collaborative projects that will tell the stories of our communities through inclusive design projects in our Singapore neighbourhoods.”

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network was created in 2004 to promote cooperation among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development. The network of 180 cities covers seven fields: Design, Literature, Music, Film, Crafts and Folk Arts, Media Arts and Gastronomy. 

Australia’s UNESCO Creative Cities are Adelaide City of Music, Sydney City of Film, Melbourne City of Literature and Geelong City of Design. Singapore is a UNESCO Creative City of Design.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government. The project was an initiative of Australia-Singapore Arts Group to encourage and develop links between Singapore and Australia. These initiatives build upon the relationship between Australia and Singapore that was formalised with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Arts and Culture in June 2015.

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