One of the most successful aspects of this Fringe has been the shop window art trail.
And some of the most popular works for strolling and rolling art lovers alike have been those created by Mandy Field, displayed at Stocks Gifts & Gallery (site 22 on the Reactivate Windows map).
We spoke with Mandy about her work – she’s showing 12 pieces in total – and her decision to contribute to the Fringe Festival.
How’ve you found the experience?
“I’d like to start with a shout-out to the Fringe team and of course to Sam and Julie at Stocks, who’ve been so welcoming of my art. It’s been a great experience.”
Could you share something about the range of your art?
“I work on all sorts of scales, most often I begin from a remnant material; timber; canvas; card; pieces of paper.
What’s it been like showing your work in this context?
“Again, I’d like to mention Sam and Julie. I think they do incredible windows already, so the works I’m presenting are of a type that Julie’s vision readily extended to; she so effectively wove my work through some of the beautiful ceramics they have here.
“In these pieces I’m using a lot of timber board as my foundation material. Julie was keen to allow each piece to have its place. They have mineral, earthy tones that work here.”
How do you approach the creation of your work?
“I’d describe my work as impressionistic. My work is textured, it responds to a relationship to body, to landscape and to the environment.
“My making practice has involved theatre, dance and visual arts, with continuity in the connecting threads; you begin with a moment, an idea, then you strip back, tear apart and be in that place – the animating heart of the piece.
“I work with the day and with the dirt, the wind and dust and I’m grateful every day to be here on Dja Dja Wurrung Country; these unceded lands, and feel full with the beauty, with the stories and sadness and history and echoes and ghosts – painting is a breath out.”
And your interest in the Fringe Festival?
“There’s been lots of effort that’s gone into engaging, reaching out and offering an open container to the creative community. Fringe has brought an ecology of artists to activate the civic spaces across Castlemaine.
“Given the background of COVID the idea using the streetscape in this way is really amazing.”
Reactivate, what does the Fringe theme mean to you?
“I like the theme because it’s what a Fringe can do: our town’s been quiet and business has been quiet, but there’s been passionate support for local business and more generally exploring how we can, together, move forward with collective care.
“We’ve had time to stop, to smile and say hello. That’s what got me, and so many others, through the pandemic. This work, and the place it appears in, marks that time.”
You can find out more about Mandy’s work at her website: www.mandyfield.com