Agiant bamboo structure is one of many projects in the pipeline for the Nati Frinj Biennale.
The festival, from November 1 to 3, is a celebration of Natimuk’s cultural offerings and invited artists.
Event director Hannah French said the 2019 festival would feature a program that was ‘quite extraordinary’.
She said a bespoke bamboo theatre, roughly measuring 45-metres long, 30-metres wide and 16-metres high, would be a centrepiece project acting as the home for theatre, aerial and play engagements.
“The bamboo structure, ‘Styckx Theatre’, is the biggest project for the festival and will host a community aerial and dance performance called ‘Playground’,” she said.
“It is an original design of the late Simon Barley who founded Bambuco.
“His bamboo structures appeared at festivals in countries around the world, and this is definitely honouring his work and legacy.
“It also coincides with the launch of Auspicious Arts’ archive of the company’s
work. As part of this, there will be an exhibition of Simon’s maquettes on display.”
Ms French said the festival would be the launching platform for several other regional projects, including Arapiles Historical Society’s Climbing Museum.
Society member and avid rock climber Keith Lockwood said the museum, which had been ‘talked about for a while’, would showcase more than half a century of history.
He said the museum would become part of the society’s historical precinct in Main Street, Natimuk.
“It was 1963 when climbers started coming to Arapiles, so we have quite a bit of history in just this one place to showcase,” he said.
“This is something that has been talked about for a while and was originally going to be just a minor display, but that didn’t eventuate.
“Now it depends on when restoration works can be completed, but we aim to open during the Frinj. We have had a lot of favourable responses and donated equipment from here to Perth.”
Ms French said the festival would also include intimate performances from Wimmera Women’s Circus, an exhibition by botanical printmaker Janet Peterson, and the premiere of a new composition by Australian composer Ray Howell titled Bee-sharp Honeybee.
“The Natimuk Silos will be used as a surface for animation and a live hive projection, accompanied by a 12-piece string orchestra,” she said.
“They’ll perform a new piece based on the rhythm patterns of honeybees.”
Ms French said the festival was a celebration of a culturally engaged community, which offered more than just economic development.
“Obviously the festival supports local businesses, but it is also an opportunity for other festivals to look at what Natimuk is doing and think beyond the ideas of traditional theatres,” she said.
“This is because Nati Frinj is about using those different spaces in creative ways.
“The festival’s philosophy is based on a celebration of the cultural capacity and creative people of Natimuk.
“It is a festival by and for the people of Natimuk.”