Opinion Poles - Port Douglas Carnivale Beach Day 2014

by Sam Matthews
(Daintree. Queensland)

This is an invitation to artists and creative people in the Douglas area to create an “Opinion Pole” and bring it along to Carnivale Beach Day where as a group, we will “plant” them in the beach sand.

As individual pieces, brought together, they will represent the diversity of this area and enable viewers to glimpse the complexities of our local community – our interaction with each other and the environment we live in.

They will highlight how coming together and embracing and celebrating our differences (opinions, back-grounds, ideas, culture) can create something vibrant and exciting that can be shared and enjoyed by all.

“Opinion Poles” are to be pole-like in construction (taller than they are wide). They can have protrusions but overall the pole can be a maximum width of 600mm at any given point. (ie/ a 600mm open ended box could be drawn down over the piece with no protrusions blocking it’s progress.)

Each artist is responsible for the transport of their own “pole” to and from the beach. You (and if required your helpers) will need to carry the piece to the beach from your transport and then manually dig a hole in the sand to install the piece - these conditions therefore place limitations on the height and weight of the piece. No machinery will be allowed on the beach – each pole must be “man-handled” into its position. You must bring your own shovel / tools / person-power to dig the hole required.

The “Opinion Pole” once installed must be stable – approx 1/3 of the pole must be buried in the sand or a base plate can be buried in the sand that the pole is connected to. Your pole must not be able to blow over if it is windy, or fall over if leant on.

Examples of “pole” construction could be : a length of pvc pipe, a log, a branch, a piece of driftwood, a pole with items individually threaded over it to form a column, etc, etc.

Examples of “pole” decoration could be : paint, mosaics, fabric, carving, recycled/found items, etc, etc.

Themes / Topics – anything and everything. Your “pole” is a reflection of you and is your opportunity to express an opinion, tell a story, etc. It could be about something you like or dislike, an observation about life, or be about a subject or cause dear to your heart.

Your inspiration could be as simple as “blue is the best colour” or “marine life of the Coral Sea” or more thoughtful such as “my mum, my hero” or “life at 2 degrees warmer” or it could be “a celebration of your life in the tropics of far north Queensland”.

There will be a roped off area on Four Mile Beach with numbered positions within the area at random. Artists are to meet at a designated marshal area on the day and will be allocated a position. Artists will have approximatey 1 hour to install their pieces. There will be enough space (approx 1.5 metres) between each piece so that viewers can walk amongst the “Opinion Poles” to view from all sides.

Each artist must supply a brief accompanying “message” or “story” to go with their piece. It should be on a piece of paper no bigger than A4 and needs to be laminated. You can use a tent peg or similar to anchor the “message” on the sand at the base of your pole.

If you are interested in / intend to create an “Opinion Pole ” please contact me for more information, to discuss your ideas or to advise of your intention to be involved in this project. I will need a pretty good idea of the number of “Opinion Poles” that will be there on the day by early in May so that we can work out how large an area will be required and the positioning of the “poles” within it.

Sam Matthews
Ph : 0419 717 092
P.O. Box 1347 Mossman

Objectives / Criteria of “Opionion Poles” – introducing “art” into The Port Douglas Carnivale Beach Day Event

To encourage involvement of as many different artists / creative people in the event as possible so that it is a true representation of creativity in the Douglas area.

That the monetary cost of involvement is minimal/affordable for each individual / group.

The potential/desirability for art to be an integral part of the Beach Day on an ongoing basis and for this “art” to become an annual event with growth in participation numbers accordingly.

The need for an underlying theme / idea that unifies – but allows individual pieces to be later displayed / used / sold by the artist who created the piece.

That the event provides a catalyst for community involvement – photos, conversation and interaction between the artists and with the wider community attending the event on the day.

Incorporates a wide range of skills / mediums so that it is inclusive to a wide range of artists and interpretations.

That the art display / event has impact as a “whole” when viewed from a distance – but that individual pieces can “shine” when viewed up close.

That the art display / event can have “many” individual pieces but as a whole doesn’t take up too much room on the beach – lots of local people attend the beach day and there are a range of other activities that take place.

That the art is easily transportable, and quick to erect and pack down, because of time, space, access limitations.

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