It was with a great deal of excitement that I headed out in the rain and unusually cool weather (Brisbane’s coldest December day in 126 years or something?!?!), to catch the free “Pecha Kucha Night #25” event being held tonight at the always awesome Brisbane Powerhouse.
A regular attendee at the “Pecha Kucha” events in Vancouver over the past few years, I’ve become a bit of a fan of the concept and was understandably pumped to check out what kind of creativity is bubbling under the surface in ol’ BrisVegas!
“So what is Pecha Kucha?” I hear you ask? Well let me explain…
Now held periodically in over 450 cities worldwide, Pecha Kucha is essentially an opportunity for speakers from all sorts of creative industries and indeed other walks of life, to engage an audience with something they are passionate about via 20 slides, with each slide appearing for a mere 20 seconds (20×20 concept). Put another way, speakers have 400 seconds (6min 40sec) to entertain, inform, captivate and inspire.
While there were a number of excellent speakers participating in tonight’s event, I just want to touch on a few of the speakers who I personally found to be quite interesting with what they are dabbling in now, or have been in recent times.
I’m doing this for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I believe these creative types deserve some recognition, no matter how big or small, for their efforts.
Secondly, I know my regular Vancouver “PKN” date, @kat_drex, is probably interested to know what kind of content was on show this evening, so this is as much for her as it is for anyone else. Missed you tonight Kat!
MADE IN THE NOW – Jean Tucker
Having been a fan of the “Made in the Now (MITN)” crew for a good few months, it was great to see a familiar, Brisbane-based concept take the stage early on in the evening. An online t-shirt design and printing business with a difference, MITN release a single, unique design every 24 hours in “response to a news story happening at that moment” somewhere in the world.
The shirts are designed daily by local, talented designers, and are only printed upon receipt of orders, thereby eliminating waste of material and the use of cheap labour. Nice one! I love the concept and have been really impressed by some of the new designs that have emerged of late (every day at 2pm Brisbane (AEST) time).
ARKHEFIELD – Andrew Gutteridge
Have you ever wondered exactly what’s going on down there at the very east corner of Brisbane’s South Bank Parklands where the old replica Queenslander style houses from “Expo88” days used to stand? I have, and tonight, as luck would have it, I found out.
With a series of impressive sunset shots of the development cycling on the big screen behind him, Andrew explained the idea behind the precinct design, from the joining of South Bank’s arbour and promenade walkways to create an ideal meeting place “The Kiss”, the creation of a River Green and beach allowing the public to get their feet wet in the Brisbane River, (affectionately nicknamed by the firm as “Cuddle Cove”), and the stunning series of amphitheatre-like restaurant spaces highlighted by “a progression of abstracted vernacular roofs”.
All that in just over 6 minutes – impressive!
All told, “River Quay” looks like it’ll become quite the place to see and be seen when it is completed in the next few weeks. For more information and images, check out the information page on the Arkhefield website.
PHOTODANE.COM – Dane Beesley
The set up for this one is easy, and of particular interest to me. Top Brisbane live music photographer Dane Beesley has a new book out now titled “Splitting the Seconds: A Photographer’s Journal”:
Splitting the Seconds is Dane Beesley’s account of ten years behind the camera, behind the scenes of Australian rock. With cheeky and endearing cartoon sketches and hasty diary scribbles, take a peek at the sweaty, boozy life of the rock photographer as he moves from gig to portrait to band shoot, from Nick Cave to Evan Dando to the The Dandy Wharhols. Dirty and beautiful, Splitting the Seconds bottles a decade in Australian rock.
For his 20 slides of fame, Dane took us through some of his favourite shots from his career as a cover and feature photographer for publications such as “Timeoff”, “Rolling Stone” and “Scene”, working with artists such as “You Am I”, “Little Birdy” and “Nick Cave”.
Take a look at Dane’s portfolio of work on his website which you can find at www.photodane.com.
I MAKE. YOU WEAR IT. – Rachel Burke
Here I was thinking that my photography “project365” was a tough challenge requiring a heck of a lot (more than I ever first imagined) of motivation and discipline to accomplish… and then tonight along comes the pint-sized fashion dynamo Rachel Burke.
Rachel’s 365 mission? To design and create a dress, a wearable piece of art, from scratch every single day for an entire year (April 29th 2011 till April 29th 2012) with the ultimate goal of raising $10,000 along the way for the Starlight Children’s Foundation, a charity that “has brightened the lives of seriously ill and hospitalised children, and their families, throughout Australia.”
Rachel shared with us on the big screen some of her amazing designs and creations thus far, and invited us all to follow her daily journey via her online website/creative journal at www.imakeyouwearit.com.
For the record, I kicked in $50 towards Rachel’s more-than-worthy charity this evening and encourage any of you who find some inspiration in her challenge to do the same. You can make a secure donation via her “Everyday Hero” sponsorship page here.
ASHCAN – Zachary Smith-Cameron
Rounding off the night of creative thinkers, doers and speakers was a team of passionate comic book animators, led by Zachary Smith-Cameron, who have set out on a quest to connect and showcase a wealth of talented “Queensland-based comic artists and writers, giving them the opportunity to have their work published for free in a print medium.”
It’s always great to see a brilliant, admirable, simple idea come together and produce something that benefits many, and that’s exactly what has happened with “Ashcan Comics”.
Right now, Ashcan is published every 4-6 months, but Zachary and his colleagues suggested that with increasing exposure, the quantity and quality of illustrators and writers submitting work is such that more regular publications and a push into other Australian states are strategies being considered.
More information on this fantastic Brisbane start-up can be found on the Ashcan website – www.ashcan.com.au.
If Pecha Kucha is something you’ve neither encountered, nor heard of before, I strongly urge you to check out the official website to see if an event is being held in your local area in 2012, and if so, get along and check it out. I amost guarantee you’ll be pleasantly surprised, if not blown away, by some of the creative projects going on in your own “back yard”.
For more information on Brisbane events, visit www.pechakuchabrisbane.org.