HUNDREDS of artists from around the globe have provided a glimpse into their global pandemic experience as entries in an Mount Gambier video art festival soar.
The biennial International Limestone Coast Video Art Festival has already received more than 1500 entries, eclipsing the inaugural tally in 2018 of 120 entries.
This year’s competition is themed around the current COVID-19 crisis as artists express and respond visually to what they have felt, seen and experienced during the pandemic.
The Mount Gambier-based festival is facilitated by The Riddoch Art Gallery and Main Corner Complex and secured a $25,000 Federal Government Regional Arts Fund grant for the second time this to support the event, expected to cost $50,000 in total.
Gallery director Dr Melentie Pandilovski said the event was still in its early stages and had room to grow.
“I think the City of Mount Gambier has really decided to nurture all sorts of our art involvement, including our media art,” Dr Pandilovski said.
“This is certainly the most important initiative we have had in the field of new media arts.
“It is ongoing and it has been recognised … this is only the second event.”
Dr Pandilovski said the festival’s original plans had been altered slightly this year, which worked in favour of participants.
Artwork will be screened inside the gallery as well outside on the walls of surrounding buildings to make it easily accessible to the public.
“We are also ready for total virtual participation for the exhibition, conference and workshops if needed,” he said.
First trying his hand with video art in 1987, Dr Pandilovski said he had watched the format grow in popularity over the past 20 years.
“We have had huge problems in the past all the way through the 20th century in being able to present video artworks, especially while internet and technology was developing,” he said.
“Virtual reality existed, but it was certainly not at this level.
“Back then, boards and directors would not even consider video art as a legitimate art form.”
Dr Pandilovski said nowadays, people were watching art at the touch of a finger with videos easily accessible through social media and viewing platforms.
“We all watch movies, documentary films and short films, those are more known forms, but video art as a form has its own language,” he said.
“There are now quite a few video arts festivals around the world, so I do think it is becoming a stronger artistic platform.”
The grand winner of the competition will be awarded $3000, with the best Limestone Coast based creation and best Limestone Coast young up and coming artist each awarded $1500.
A professional mentorship will also be awarded through University of South Australia, Submissions for local artists have been extended until August 16, with each artist to submit only one creation with subject, contents and themes of the work relating to COVID-19.
The entrant must also hold copyright of the submitted work, which can be a maximum of eight minutes.
Submissions of video installations will not be accepted alongside works completed before January 1 of this year.
The festival will start on November 6 and run until December 6 at the Riddoch Art Gallery and Main Corner Complex.