University of Western Australia: Tide flows out for Perth Festival’s 2022 Wardan celebration

Perth Festival’s three-week performance program has wound up, farewelling our 2022 summer celebration of culture and community on the shores of the Indian Ocean.

As most of our artists and crews pack up and autumn returns, continuing Festival events include Lotterywest Films, this month’s theatre season of City of Gold, an extensive series of free Visual Arts exhibitions and our new Touring WA program to regional areas.

Steeped in Indigenous culture and the 2022 theme of Wardan (ocean), the Festival began with the joyous world premiere of the musical Panawathi Girl and closed with Noongar Wonderland lighting up Perry Lakes with song, culture, art and an inclusive sense of belonging.

Some 650 artists across 100 Festival events revealed countless moments of beauty, joy and provocation. They included Mary Stuart’s towering theatrical majesty, the awesome luminous world of Patch’s Lighthouse, Tim Winton, Helen Garner and many other brilliant authors at Writers Weekend, Kim Crotty’s heart-warming The Smallest Stage, Ta-ku’s walk-through music box Songs to Experience and the salty serenade of Sounds of Sunset at South Mole.

We are so grateful to our audiences, artists, partners and donors whose resilience and commitment have made the Festival possible in the face of the serious challenges thrown our way. Together, we have navigated a pandemic for the second year, running to safely share the bonds of culture and community.

Festival Artistic Director Iain Grandage said: “It has been a privilege to be able to put on this Festival in these times – to witness the joy of our artists who have been thrilled by such enthusiasm from our audiences. We understand how tough it has been for so many people in so many ways and we hope this has been a Festival to offer comfort and joy through the shared stories of this place. We now turn our gaze skyward to the dreams of Festival 2023 and its theme Djinda (stars).”

Perth Festival is Australia’s longest-running cultural festival, founded by The University of Western Australia and supported through the State Government through Principal Partner Lotterywest.

Lotterywest Films continues until April 3 at UWA Somerville, where triple-Oscar nominee Flee is screening this week only. Ongoing exhibitions around the galleries include Isaac Julien at John Curtin Gallery, Undertow at Fremantle Arts Centre, Sonia Kurarra at Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery and Amrita Hepi’s Monumental at Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts.

This year, we have taken the Festival on the road with our inaugural Touring WA program to Bunbury, Albany and Karratha, supported by Minderoo Foundation.

The one-man hit comedy Jali tours to Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre on 8-9 March and at the Red Earth Arts Precinct in Karratha on 17 March.

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