Big West Festival is a community-based, contemporary arts festival presenting multicultural and multi-artform events in venues, cultural sites and suburban streets of Melbourne’s western suburbs.
The theme for the 2015 Festival was ‘Open House - The Inner and Outer World of the House’. One of the Festival's key events was the building of a shell of a house, designed as a prototype for a model of affordable, social housing, particularly for single women-headed households. As well as offering a sustainable solution for social housing, the project aimed to raise awareness of increasing homelessness, particularly of women, in the western suburbs.
The design brief was to create an uplifting and celebratory festival identity that subverted notions around the placement of art in daily life. The Big West Festival pointedly takes art off its pedestal: performances spill out from venue to street to parking lot; local traders rub shoulders with artists; the prosaic is transformed into the imaginative. And all set against the backdrop of a rapidly transforming, utterly original and always surprising landscape of the west.
Reflecting on our own personal experiences in Footscray, Atticus created a design that aimed to embody this charming and often schizophrenic landscape. Our concept for the festival was an illustration of community members exploring the many chambers, colours, and textures of Footscray. Beautiful, kooky, ugly, blinding, and poetic.