Metro Arts opens its doors at West Village with a colourful program of events
Since moving out of its previous home at 109 Edward Street in The City, we have been eagerly anticipating the reopening (and rebirth) of Metro Arts. The famed creative institution has found its new stomping ground within the West Village precinct, bringing West End its first live theatre in a quarter of a century. To usher in the contemporary era of the 40-year-old multi-arts organisation, Metro Arts has lifted the curtain on its vibrant 2020 program, which includes a variety of electrifying performances, thrilling productions, eye-catching installations and enchanting exhibitions. It all kicks off when the doors open to the public on Thursday September 3, with a jam-packed itinerary of exciting events from the Brisbane Festival program.
Metro Arts’ sparkling-new arts precinct in West Village features a bunch of state-of-the-art facilities. Headlined by the New Benner Theatre, the new-look Metro Arts boasts multiple exhibition galleries, two multipurpose studios and the Factory Lane outdoor precinct, which encompasses a foyer, box office, cafe and bar – perfect for pre-theatre tipples. It opens to the public this week, when Metro Arts’ 2020 program helps to launch Brisbane Festival with its huge roster of events and exhibitions. Brisbane Festival, West Village and Metro Arts is proud to present vibrant art installation Brainbow Magic by Japanese-Australian artist Hiromi Tango, which will shine a technicolour show across Metro Arts’ new gallery spaces throughout evenings in September. West Village’s lush gardens in The Common will also be transformed by Hiromi into an outdoor exhibition of bright rainbow arches as part of Rainbow Circles (Healing Circles). Another illuminating event lighting up the precinct will be Counterpilot’s multimedia social experiment Avoidable Perils, which will project colourful cartoon characters across the former Peters Ice Cream Factory building. Other Brisbane Festival productions include Michael Smith’s boot-scootin’ dance work Cowboy, poet Anisa Nanduala’s showcase How to Spell Love, short-form spoken word performance Future Ancestors and girl-gang Pink Matter’s one-of-a-kind dance work, The Type.
There’s much more filling the calendar for the rest of the year with Brisbane-based artist Robert Andrew opening his new exhibition A Connective Reveal – Community alongside Sally Golding’s light and sound-reactive installation Assembly Now (both running from September 3–27). Multi-talented theatre collective The Good Room will make tracks to New Benner Theatre from Wednesday October 21 to Sunday November 1 with Dirty Laundry, a cheeky display of anonymous sexual confessions from lockdown. Theatre team Polytoxic will also take over the New Benner Theatre with Apocalipstick, a series of cutting-edge and belly-busting performances from November 6–28, followed by theatre collective Robert The Cat’s performance of Flat Out Like a Lizard from December 2–12.
A number of exhibitions and installations will fill Metro Arts’ new galleries including Blak Curatorial Exchange, a six-week professional development program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, Quandamooka artist Elisa Jane Carmichael’s new textile exhibition Night Dancers, and New for Old, a group exhibition paying homage to the CRT television. Another one to check out is multi-channel video installation Dark Entries, which will showcase a series of audiovisual diary extracts as well as a collection of dazzling artworks from artist Rebecca Ross. Plus, to celebrate the reopening of Metro Arts, the arts collective will be launching a jam-packed book of memories and mementos, Metro Arts 40-Year History, on Tuesday September 1.
Want to dive back into the arts again? Peep the full 2020 program of free and ticketed events at the Metro Arts website. Be quick, there are limited tickets to each event!