What a night… We were overwhelmed with love, support and an amazing crowd of people who came to celebrate the launch of our third printed edition! The night was filled with inspiration, laughter, dedication, positivity and a few tear jerking moments, as we embarked on the mission to bring our Creativity for Social Change issue to life.
Our effortlessly fabulous MC Josephine Parsons, kicked off the night introducing our first performance from Hannah Robinson, a Sydney based songstress, whose songs encapsulate her love of the moon, and the ocean, and the connection she finds between her life stories and surroundings. She provided a powerful and warm welcome to the night with her indie-folk ballads, striking everyone as they filled the room, and setting the standard for what was so come.
Brightening up the corner of the warehouse was a big favourite from the night, a one-of-a-kind workshop hosted by Danling Xiao aka Mundane Matters. Providing salvaged fruit and vegetables, and encouraging everyone to get super creative and playful with our food before we stuff it in our gob. The results? Mindblowing mini sculptures, spanning carrot necklaces, potato furniture and a sweet potato/asparagus tribute to Charmander. These intricate creations were almost too beautiful to eat, and were a great reminder of the small creative outlets you can have to encourage positivity and great ideas. You can find out even more about how the project initiated in our interview with the wonderful Danling.
Guests were also treated to the talented Nena Salobir, who ran intimate two-way portrait sessions as part of her ongoing project Self Portrait in Society. Between two ferns, Nena’s signature portrait style immortalised the faces of many people throughout the night, while they drew her with incredible and diverse results. You can see the results of the project through @selfportraitinsociety (and keep up to date for future exhibition details!)
The industry speakers were kicked off with Tida Tippapart, an amazing creative producer and design educator working at the intersection of design, art and social justice. She works with young designers and artists to up skill their creative toolkits for social good, and her projects seek to evoke playfulness, conversation and above all humour to solving global issues. She shared her experience of the power of community and rebellion in order to revolutionise and innovate with design.
Next up was Murray Bunton, director of Agency, a social business taking on projects that further human development, advance human rights, and work towards a more sustainable, just and equal world. He has been on a mission to bring social good into the digital age, and shared not only some remarkable campaigns developed for great causes, but also reminding us of our responsibilities and opportunities as creatives to make our skills count.
This launch we wanted to feature an even bigger range of creatives, and we were honoured to have Australian Poetry Slam National Champion, Philip Wilcox, perform some breathtaking pieces that captured an entire warehouse of eyes and ears. Returning from touring his first book through China, and reflecting on a range of international experiences, Philip touched upon Australian culture, privilege and landscape.
Our second musical act were Snail, made up of 3 incredible ladies armed with a ukulele, guitar, and violin strings, knitted with three part harmonin’. Their barbershop plus bluegrass (barbergrass) vibes, filled the air with sweetness, and mixed with some first class beatboxing to take it all to a new level.
Another first for a Kaleido event, we were excited to have a live dance performance by amazing choreographer Feras Shaheen. Combining his love for dance and design in a projection infused performance called ‘Tangled.’ Through movement and interaction with design, he encouraged society to take a step back from social media to reassess what is considered ‘normal’ as projected in the mainstream media.
Our third speaker was one half of Women in the Arts, Isabelle Hore-Thorburn. Her experiences working in New York, Chaing Mai and Sydney prompted a look into exclusion and inclusion within the artworld. Joining forces with Katie Winten, they developed an online platform, turned event series, to celebrate women in the arts and encourage debate and discussion. Taking feedback from the participants, the next edition will involve a panel of indigenous females in the arts.
Finishing the night off was the multi-award winning filmmaker and director of Bus Stop Films and Taste Creative, Genevieve Clay-Smith. She introduced the term ‘inclusive filmmaking’ and helped us understand the importance of adopting these values into everyday life and business. It was inspiring to discover that even the NSW Young Australian of the Year (2015) has had some ups and downs in her career, but reminded everyone what perseverance, hard work and dedication can achieve. We were so lucky to be treated to a screening of one of the spectacular Bus Stop Films, ‘The Interview’. It had everyone laughing, and tearing up, and showcased the outstanding talent emerging from her inclusive filmmaking workshops, while truly highlighting the power of inclusion and diversity in our creative industries.
Kaleido’s values have always encouraged support within our creative community, so we were excited to have Alice Amsel back again to curate art market for the evening, celebrating awesome local talents. We had a huge range of pins, prints, books, zines, and so much more from local artists, and if you happened to make a purchase on the night, thank you, because 15% of all profits from the stall and from Kaleido back issues were donated to Oxfam Australia! We were able to donate $120 towards 2 of their current appeals – providing hygiene kits to prevent malnutrition and disease, and business training for women to help maintain plantations that support their communities.
After inducing many brain explosions and inspiration bombs, we set upon the remaining time to make connections with the passionate and diverse crowd of people. Fuelled by the delicious beer and cider from legends and friends Young Henry’s and fed treats by sustainable and ethical plant based My Little Panda Kitchen, it was an opportunity everyone undertook to expand their networks and see how their passions and skills aligned with others.
These launches exist because of the love and support from special humans and businesses, including the gorgeous COMMUNE warehouse which was home to the inspiring evening. We were able to give this awesome venue a proper send off, as the doors close to this space, but new doors open to a very exciting new COMMUNE space in Waterloo.
Western Digital were supporting the creative submissions for this issue, and awarded the winner of our Catalyst competition with a 3Tb WD MyPassport Ultra, so they can keep creating and storing all of their amazing creative work. The winner Alex Grilanc, who also painted the stunning Kaleido mural for the night, is a talented Sydney artist who has always had social change at the heart of his work. Here is the incredible final piece!
Also a big shout out to Nic Smith, who won our sign-up competition on the night, with an awesome Kingston Mobilelite Wireless G3 so he can sync, transfer and store all of his files (super handy when you are a talented photographer!)
The gorgeous greenery on the night was supplied by PlantMe nursery, who also donated 15% of sales to Oxfam and the rest towards Kaleido to continue to support creativity for social and environmental change.
This night was made possible with the work from a superstar team, and of course all of the enthusiastic and creative audience who made the night as special as possible.