Post by Amy Middleton.
What can be achieved in the name of the unknown?
If you were to have asked me to describe ‘Hillscene’ six months ago, I would have responded simply, clearly and concisely by quoting the first line on the Hillscene website… “Hillscene, is a Maga’zine’ about all the interesting people and things happening in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges”. Asked the same question today, I may give you a cheeky smile and giggle excitedly.
There is a joyful tension that exists when you know something great is about to happen, but you are not exactly sure how to explain it. The fortunate folk who have read the Autumn Issue would have had a little introduction to HillsceneLIVE, a quarterly performance and live art event that will take the form of a mini festival. The head honcho behind the HillsceneLive concept is Gareth Hart. A Melbourne based independent artist with strong interests in Choreography, Theatre and Photography.
To describe Gareth as anything other than an artist would be limiting. His creative practice is wide-ranging as it is thoughtful and personal. Gareth holds a Masters of Choreography from the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne and his resume is littered with creative accomplishments. Beyond the impressive resume, he presents a compassionate character, with a gritty confidence. Gareth describes himself as having a “natural inkling to be offbeat” and he seems to find a deep comfort in the ambiguity of the creative process. He seems to revel in the unknown, in abstract concepts that can’t be defined easily. Over the past 8 years, Gareth has moved away from traditional choreography and finds that improvising movement allows him to be more responsive to the creative experience of performing. “I think it’s not so much that I want people to be confused, but I like for them to leave a performance different to when they arrived. This means that an audience is actually engaging with your work, and perhaps on some level getting a sense of the complexity of this strange thing I like to call ‘dance’.”
Whilst HillsceneLIVE can’t be explained in a single phrase, there is no doubt in my mind that something wonderful is about to bloom. I sense Gareth approaches his creative practice with strong self-awareness. His insights are well integrated, most likely hard-won at the hands of many who might have doubted him along the way, and whom he has proven wrong. It’s difficult to escape a sense of questioning around what HillsceneLIVE may or may not become, but I get the sense that this unknowing is exactly what is intended.
Photos by Gareth Hart.