May 28th, 2014

Mill+ creative director Carl Addy recently attended and talked at Semi Permanent festival in Sydney. He gives us his highlights and roundup of the trip…

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Sydney is Semi-Permanent's home town and its influence is obvious. It is the mecca for inspiration and apart from drawing a hefty crowd it also manages to pull heavy hitting talent like Tony Hawk, Mr Brainwash (Exit Through The Gift Shop), John Jay, Cheryl Dunn and the list goes on.

As always, half the pleasure of speaking at these events is getting to hang out with some of these prolific artists, making new friends and leaving feeling connected to a progressive culture of creativity.

I was lucky enough to open Day 2 to a full auditorium of bright faces. Next in line was Tara Mcpherson whose work I have long admired; in fact I own one of her Shonen Knife prints.

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I split my talk into two halves; I opened with a point of view piece called 'Strange Math' which discusses my personal fascination with the construction of storytelling. I showed a combination of personal and professional work alongside statements to illustrate the relationship between how we process personal information and how it colours our professional work.

The second half was a showcase of Mill+ work. I showed and discussed how we make what we make and why we make each piece, focusing on what motivates the creative decision process.

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There seemed to be a few outstanding themes this year. I was struck by a few comments and demonstrations of people who have galvanized themselves against a turbulent career path with steely purpose.

What I mean is, they are not waiting for approval or permission, in fact they expect a tough ride, but for them there is no option but to create and have a voice.

I found Mike Mills' (film maker/artist/designer) candid discussion about his work to be enlightening. Here is a man whose portfolio of work reads like a modern museum catalogue, yet he speaks with such openness and frailty, humorously canvassing the crown for film funding whilst anecdotally proving just how hard it is to Make (make with a capital!) at that level. It seems it definitely doesn’t get easier, but it sure does get awesomer (if that is a word...)

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There were so many good moments; our industry sure does attract the genius’, romantics and nutters

Andrew and Murray put on a dazzling festival, I would advise you all to check it out.

// Thank you Carl for that insight into Semi-Permanent 2014. See a full list of speakers and find out more about the festival here.