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AVANT GARDEN

Deb Beaumont says “as a child I remember peering into fishponds in a park and being delighted by the huge goldfish with their reflective skin catching the light as they moved. My work is a response to this memory and to artworks by MC Escher, who greatly appreciated the rhythm and patterns of nature.” Newspaper plates, green newspaper wrap, steel mesh, bore water. 600 cm diameter x 55 h

The most severe drought in over one hundred years has certainly had an effect on Toowoomba’s iconic Carnival of Flowers, celebrated annually sine 1950. The reduced availability of water means many of the city’s public garden beds are empty during Carnival of Flowers. As a response to the water crisis and in keeping with the spirit of the Carnival, Arts Council Toowoomba hatched a plan to fill some of the empty garden beds in prominent Council parks and gardens around the city with ephemeral public artworks designed and constructed by local artists.The project is appropriately named AVANT GARDEN. Based on the model of Arts Queensland’s Art Built-in, artists are first invited to attend a free workshop which is compulsory if they intend to submit an Expression of Interest. From the EOIs, the selection panel chooses artists to be invited to prepare Concept Designs. The Concept Designs are presented in due course and from them, the panel selects the artists to proceed to Design Development & Fabrication stage.

The artworks are to be ephemeral, non-permanent, low carbon and have low environmental impact. Artists are asked to consider the use of local, recycled and low cost materials.

The project has the full support of Toowoomba Regional Council through generous in-kind support, without which the project could not happen.

Each year we have also received significant financial assistance from various funding bodies:

2007 – Australian Government’s regional arts program, the Regional Art Fund, which gives artists and communities throughout regional, rural and remote Australia better access to opportunities to practice and experience the arts;

2008 – Art Queensland’s art+place, the Queensland Government’s Public Art Fund.

2008 – Toowoomba Regional Arts Development Fund, a Queensland Government and Toowoomba Regional Council partnership to support local arts and culture.

In addition, the project attracts many corporate sponsors. See individual project pages for more information.

For further information on Arts Council Toowoomba or the AVANT GARDEN project, contact the Project Manager: info@actmba.com

See Forlawn by Sally Charlton, 2008