Caren Florance with Melinda Smith, Owen Bullock & Shane Strange



Performative site-specific text happening

Sponsored by Allcott Hire Canberra

Images courtesy the artist


Canberra based artist Caren Florance has a Doctorate in Poet Wrangling. Her posse for this event includes: ANU law graduate Melinda Smith, winner of the 2014 Prime Minister’s Literary Award and author of 7 volumes of excellent poetry; Owen Bullock, Haiku master and lover of everything colourful; and Shane Strange, prose poet nonpareil and the proprietor of Australia’s hottest independent poetry press, Recent Work Press. Together, they are irrepressible.


Signs of Life uses one artist, three award-winning poets and a Variable Message Board (VMB) to share responsive, bespoke poetry with a lakeside audience. You can’t get more site-specific than this! Each Saturday morning the VMB will move to a new festival destination and at 10:30am, one of the poets will give a live poetry reading to launch their VMB performance. Each poet will provide a response to the specific site of their VBM placement, involving the site itself, natural or architectural features that can be viewed from the site or the history of the site. On the last weekend the VMB will be placed outside the contour 556 gallery and will play a ‘best of’ for the festival end. This engaging ephemeral work will draw attention to the poetics of place and evoke an experience of immediacy via an object that is designed to draw attention to itself. 

Sponsored by Allcott Hire, Canberra

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