Walk the Radiant Path

Claire McArdle ... plans to spend grant money on Radiant Pavilion

By Khiara Elliott

The CBD will be turned into a walking trail complete with map next year, as contemporary jewellery and object festival Radiant Pavilion once again takes place at locations all around postcode 3000.

Early last month, the City of Melbourne announced that 67 artists would receive a share of $910,000 as a part of its annual arts program. Radiant Pavilion was among the successful applicants.

Taking place next August, the festival is what its co-founders Chloe Powell and Claire McArdle have labelled “a celebration of the many aspects of contemporary jewellery and object practice in Melbourne and around the world.”

Recipients of the grant are given up to $20,000 to fund their various projects, and Claire and Chloe plan to put their sum towards the planning of the festival.

“We’ll spend some on materials in the sense of putting together the map, but the money will mostly go towards the event as a whole and the organisation of all of that,” Ms McArdle said.

Drawing on the strong community that is Melbourne’s contemporary jewellery and object scene, Radiant Pavilion aims to create a new and large platform for artists to exhibit their work, as well as to encourage audiences to engage with this community that includes both local and international talent.

“There were a lot of people thinking about the fact that we could all do something together, and Chloe and I were the ones who organised it into a curated program,” she continued.

In its beginning, the festival (in which guests are provided with a map and can follow it to different exhibitions and events) was the only of its kind in the Asia Pacific region

Despite immense growth in contemporary jewellery and object exhibitions within the last few years, Radiant Pavilion still currently holds its distinctiveness in being the only festival in its field in Australia and New Zealand.

Although the program extends to areas as far as Bundoora and Brunswick, most of the exhibitions will be held around the CBD.

“It’s just the centre of everything. Although it does extend beyond the city in different directions, but I think it’s much easier for people if there’s a few shows in a certain area. I think it just helps the shows flow off one another and make sure that people really get a good glimpse,” Ms McArdle said.

“I think people just naturally congregate in the city. It’s a buzzing place in terms of artists. There’s so many workshops and studios here like the Nicholas Building and Workshop 3000.”

“The CBD is really responsive in its support for artists, and there’s a lot of things popping up in windows and shops that usually wouldn’t showcase contemporary jewellery and object,” added Ms Powell.

Radiant Pavilion runs from August 26 to September 3 next year. Although exact locations are yet to be determined, more information about the festival as well as previous artists and exhibitions can be found at www.radiantpavilion.com.au

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