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Features/Multi-arts

Carn the Arts!

21 September 2021

It’s all about the footy grand final this weekend… but local artists Jen Jamieson and Matt Aitken reckon that it can be about the arts too.

Imagine a future in which sports and the arts existed in a state of mutual support.

That’s the vision of local artist Jen Jamieson. Together with artist Matt Aitken, she’ll be co-hosting Mighty Raw, a Grand Final event that celebrates the art of footy and the sport of the arts.

The weekend’s festivities will kick off with the Mighty Raw Grand Final Artist Street Parade/Walking Tour, which will head off from City of Vincent Library at around 5pm, Friday 24 September.

“Look for us on Facebook, contact Matt and Jen and come and join in – you can join the parade at any time. We’re working on a map so folks can find us en route,” says Jamieson.

The fun will continue on Game Day, Saturday 25 September, from 4pm, at Rhubarb Records Vinyl Café in Leederville, where you’re invited to watch the game, commentate on the game, get on a soap box, learn some footy skills, re-walk the parade… plus there’ll be live music.

“Having our viewing party social at the Vinyl Café, with extremely limited capacity, is flipping the corporate box on its head with the thousand plus plus dollar tickets for VIPs,” continues Jamieson.

In Australia there are sports clubs galore … Imagine if artists were embedded in those sports clubs, that some of the actual infrastructure and facilities … hosted an artist or two…

“The café is a local and lovely venue that is passionate about the arts and is a small art venue and has live music events. We will have local musician Emlyn Johnson playing during the breaks during the game event.”

Mighty Raw began its life as a response to the pandemic, and central to the project is the idea that the arts and sports sectors can learn from one another.

“It was interesting, during the height of the initial period of COVID lockdowns last year there was so much destruction and inequity in in the arts, and very visibly different was how sports were able to maintain and continue and how there’s just so much embedded infrastructure in Australia to embrace and support and continue sport,” says Jamieson. “I love footy, but I also love the arts and there was just none of that same wraparound response to enabling artists.”

While this weekend’s Grand Final hasn’t overlooked the arts – the pre-match and half-time entertainment is a fantastic line-up of local music talent that includes Birds of Tokyo, Baker Boy, Eskimo Joe, John Butler, Abbe May, Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse, and more – Jamieson’s vision for the future is about providing ongoing support at a grass roots level.

“In Australia there are sports clubs galore,” she observes. “Lake Grace, for example, where [Fremantle Dockers captain] Nat Fyfe is from, has a great sports club on a beautiful oval. Imagine if artists were embedded in those sports clubs, that some of the actual infrastructure and facilities – the bricks, the walls, the doors, the windows – hosted an artist or two in a studio situation; maybe some of the larger clubs could even be residential. There could be showings in viewing spaces. The infrastructure is already there and that is my dream – to propose and pitch this vision to all of the councils and governments!”

For all the details about Mighty Raw Grand Final Eve (24 September) and Game Day (25 September), head to Facebook.

For tickets to the Game Day event at Rhubarb Records Vinyl Café in Leederville head to Eventbrite.

Pictured top are Matt Aitken and Jen Jamieson.

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Author —
Nina Levy

Nina Levy has worked for over a decade as an arts writer and critic. She co-founded Seesaw and has been co-editing the platform since it went live in August 2017. Nina was co-editor of Dance Australia magazine from 2016 to 2019. Nina loves the swings because they take her closer to the sky.

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