Since arriving in PEI, I have been impressed with the abundance of arts and culture in PEI. Tonight I participated in the ART in the OPEN Festival. This festival takes place over a period of 8 hours in the parks of Charlottetown with music, art installation, projections, lights, parade. A fascinating spectacle and is entirely free. Walking through old Charlottetown installations were everywhere, starting with the parade of the Crows, we do have at all times a large crow population. Victoria Park had a lot of installations, from the floating pop tents in the river, all illuminated like Chinese lanterns. Or the dancing cows in Connaught Square, architecture in the Park, the Gauntlet a game of 3 riddles with monsters like the Sphinx in attendance in the forest of Victoria Park, this was surreal surrounded by the thick forest with only small ground lights to light the path, eerie sounds, projections and what surprised me the most was the night sky above full of stars and the outline of our galaxy the Milky Way, so strange to see that in the City. The cannons at the battery instead of firing cannon balls had been decorated to give the impression they fired a cornucopia of fruits and vegetables. Then there was United States of Anamensis a fixed multimedia electroacoustic sound installation with 8 projections.
Seen in the day light and then how I saw them at night around 09:30pm
In the forest we had to walk in the dark past Dead Man’s Pond which in Charlottetown is the stuff of legend and myth. Every kid will tell you not to go there at night, it seems no one knows how deep is the pond. We also had to walk past Fanningbank which was all lite up like a great white palace that it is surrounded by its stately gardens. Then in the great green area of Victoria Park was at least 20 camp fires speaking to the myth of the ancient to keep the darkness at bay with fire. There was a lot more to see, I found it enchanting. The whole show had to be put up in one day and then dismantled before 4am so that in the morning it had vanished like by magic. I had never walked in the city and in the area of Victoria Park at night, it looks so very different with the great body of salt water and the night sky.
It was great fun and again spoke to the strenght of volunteer work in PEI in organizing such events. The number of artists and the enormous amount of talent.
Art in the Open asks that we discover the artworks in unexpected places and in unexpected ways. The public participates by discovering the artworks and by exploring their surroundings. A Free contemporary art event.