Local Launceston artist Gillian Marsden on Junction Arts Festival

August 14 2012

​Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Gillian Marsden, a multi-faceted artist and musician, and we got chatting about life, Junction Arts Festival (JAF), and how this year her involvement with JAF is no accident. This will not be Gillian’s first year participating in or contributing to Junction Arts Festival, and it sounds as though it will not be her last. Gillian was dragged out of hibernation by her aunt the first year JAF ran in conjunction with the Regional Arts Australian National Conference and that led to a gig playing with The Tasmanian Leather Orchestra. Last year Gillian “accidently” managed to get herself a job coordinating Crocheted Chocolate and So You Think You Can Interpretive Dance? Gillian had a blast with this project, and when questioned if intoxicated is a word she would have used to describe the participants, “surprisingly, no” is her response, however she did admit she had suggested perhaps a “dutch courage tent” may have been required.

This year Gillian is back to her roots with her musical involvement, playing with BohoSnail and also in Bach Suite No.1 for Cellists and the Rest of Us, by Karlin Love. Whilst these projects are exciting, there is also a great level of excitement created by another project Gillian will be involved in: en route. Gillian has been charged with the task of taking over the reigns from artists, one step at a time like this, while they are in London preparing the work for the 2012 Cultural Olympid! Gillian noted there is an element of pressure taking over this work, yet it is very exciting. She said: “(There are) moments where I am like oh my god, this is like woooah…(It’s the) responsibility of it I guess, because you know that it is the baby of the artist themselves.” Gillian states her part will involve performing a role not unlike an airhostess. She said: “(I’m) going ok this is the gear that you will need, this is your first direction, this is your safety note, and kind of creating that little bubble, this is the beginning of your experience…and then you go ‘bye’! And send them on their way!”. Gillian strongly believes en route is for everyone – tourists and locals alike. She said: “Everyone gets something… it’s your experience, each person has a unique experience - very personal”.

In terms of Junction Arts Festival itself, Gillian believes people are still getting their heads around what JAF is and how it works. Gillian said: “People were a little bit vague about it, even last year, at the last minute people were like ‘It’s happening again? Ok let’s go!” A suitable description for JAF according to Gillian, is “acupuncture for the city, energising, healing but illogical”. Gillian’s tip to get the most out of your festival experience: “Whenever in doubt just go down to Civic square, day or night and there will be something happening or someone to point you in the right direction, and I that’s all you need to know about this Festival”.