Glorious Denmark magic at Brave New Works

Glorious Denmark magic at Brave New Works

Regional Arts WA

This story was submitted by a member of the : Denmark Arts. We love sharing stories from the sector. If you want to find out how to submit your own stories, take a look at the Submit Your Story page. We can’t wait to hear from you!

The dust has settled on Brave New Works Community Arts Festival and the faux Denmark Hollywood sign has been stored in the shed, ready to be reborn next year.

Spanning 18–22 January in the optimistic summer sun, this was the 29th edition of Brave New Works and featured dance, theatre, music, sound and immersive installations, workshops and multi-artform surprises. There were 179 creative presenters, 90 community participants, 29 volunteers and approximately 3050 lives touched by glorious Denmark magic.

Image: The People’s Choice Award winner in the Bravest New Work category, Birth Story (Nicola Eddington). Photo by Nic Duncan.

The theme organically became Brave New You which quickly became an excuse for a whole lotta fun. There was a bit of something for everyone and the intergenerational, interworld mingling of young and old, hippies and everyone else, was next level sublime.

In a non-competitive way, there was a big ballot box to determine which of the 37 works were just that little bit deserving of special acknowledgement. The awards –random pieces of junk from the tipshop, spray painted shiny gold– were destined for the great mantle pieces, fruit bowls and the tops of fridges of the People’s Choices.

Kate’s Whimsical Wuthering Bush (Lena Grayson) won Most Memorable work – a true community collaboration that fed on the global Kate Bush frenzy and recreated in a very Denmark way Wuthering Heights… it also stopped traffic and has become local legend.

Image: Winner of the Peoples’ Category, Most Memorable work, Kate’s Whimsical Wuthering Bush (Lena Grayson). Photo by Nic Duncan.

Birth Story (Myla Rose) landed the people’s choice for Bravest Work – Developed over a series of workshops with local women, it explored the stories that bodies hold of birth. Birth Story was widely commended for its beauty, potency and power.

The Freshest Work was awarded to Clown Town, a silly and joyous performance that drew inspiration from the 2011 cult classic documentary about Denmark, Bloody Hippies. It was created by new kids on the block, Denmark Youth Theatre, and seriously showcased the powerhouse talent of the young folk who call this place home.

Image: The Peoples Choice Freshest Work category winner, Clown Town (Denmark Youth Theatre). Photo by Nic Duncan.

Fun and entertaining (and not at all competitive) awards aside, the best thing about Brave New Works is the energy and spontaneous collaboration – witnessing creative connections being made and strengthened, like new neural pathways in the collective consciousness of this unique community. Brave New Works was a platform that allowed people to shine, to delight and to be themselves.

Thank you to all of the presenters, volunteers, participants and the community of Denmark who embraced Brave New Works, some for the first time, some returning after a hiatus, and even more others who never stopped. The vibe is nicely summed up by the words of an unknown punter: ‘No judgement, so much love.’

Image: Paul Llewellyn, Raymond Ashton, Aunty Jack and Nelson Blake gather around the fire. Photo by Nic Duncan.

Brave New Works is a regional Western Australian festival that could not happen anywhere else in the whole world.

Brave New Works was made possible by annual (and ongoing) support from the Shire of Denmark, Lotterywest, the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund, The Department of Local Government Sport and Cultural Industries (through the Regional Arts and Culture Investment Program) and an internship funded through the State Government’s Regional Arts and Culture Investment Program (RACIP), thanks Western Australia!

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