Arting at Confest

After two years away, I’ve been greatly looking forward to this Easter Confest. This was the first outdoor alternative festival I’ve ever been to and at this stage seems to be the one with the most longevity not only for myself but also for most Australians (having started in 1976).

I can’t quite remember which year I went to Confest first – it was probably a new year’s confest at either side of 1996/97. I didn’t have a good time – I didn’t know anyone, hardly spoke to a single person the whole time and was pretty much freaked out by the whole experience.

Looking back over blog entries, the first one that mentions Confest was from May 2005 and from the language it seems that I would have been to at least two if not three by then – enough at least to have fallen in love with it. So it’s likely that I returned to Confest between 2002/2003 – it was certainly before I started going to Rainbow Serpent.

This year, a friend had come early and found us a great site by the river and we’d blocked out a huge amount of space. Besides the occasional bike around the festival, I spent much of my time there making increasingly larger sculptures out of river mud. It became a bit of a thing and other people joined in creating small sculptures that we lined up on a fallen tree. I also built a two and a half meter tall wooden shrine.

I’m planning now with a few others to start a sculpture art and lights village next year where we build wooden and mud sculptures over the days, hoist some of them up into the trees and light most of them for the night. Confest itself looks like it is heading into that direction – there seemed to be more spontaneous art  that there had been before.



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