29 December 2020

Lindy Hume takes the reins at Four Winds as festival embraces new direction

| Genevieve Jacobs
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Lindy Hume

Lindy Hume has been announced as the Artistic Director of the Four Winds Festival. Photo: Supplied.

Internationally acclaimed festival director Lindy Hume will head up the next two Four Winds Festivals at Bermagui, with a focus on creatively energised, locally embedded performance drawn from her deep attachment to the place she has called home for the past 15 years.

The role of Creative Director is a new leadership position and the COVID-safe Easter 2021 event also signals a change in strategic direction for the festival.

Hume is the Artistic Director for Tasmania’s Ten Days on the Island and has also filled the role for West Australian Opera, Victoria State Opera and OzOpera and most recently Opera Queensland 2012-2017. She has created more than 50 major opera productions across Australasia and directed multiple European productions.

But Hume, who lives in Tathra, says she leapt at the chance to collaborate with the strong local creative community along with nationally and globally renowned Australian artists in the Barragga Bay setting.

“When this came up it was really a kind of wonderful opportunity to find a centrepoint for my interest in festivals and regional arts,” she says.

Hume identifies festivals like Four Winds as something special, an opportunity to bring together all the creative energy of the arts with a deep local sense of identity and citizenship. That, she thinks, can be a force for good in both individual lives and that of the community.

“The arts reflect something of the best of people, that lifts us into different realms,” she says. “When I started looking into this 15 years ago I couldn’t put it down. There seemed to be something unique and interesting in all kinds of places, ideas that are distinctive to their own place and community.

“Regional festivals often take place at the coalface. They give you the chance to look up and beyond the proscenium arch, beyond the theatre and into the communities you are serving.”

The Four Winds festival

The Four Winds festival will push ahead for Easter 2021. Photo: Supplied.

That’s particularly the case in small communities where, as Hume says, you see the audience down at Bunnings. It’s made her focus as a director on how to link the world of high art with a more community and socially engaged set of principles.

That in turn will lead to some new directions as the Far South Coast community comes out of a very difficult year. Hume says there is no point in pretending, artistically, that the bushfires and pandemic didn’t happen. The festival must reflect the reality of people’s lives.

The word pulsing through Four Winds 2021 will be re-connect, and not just with music but with each other, nature and the extraordinary site.

There will be a strong local emphasis in the program at multiple levels and Hume says she is fortunate to have a particularly strong local creative community around her as well as the bedrock of Yuin culture. The scope and reach of the festival is expanding beyond chamber music to embrace contemporary music, dance and theatre.

“Nobody stays in their boxes any more,” Hume says of the decision to include multiple musical genres. “We can connect in all kinds of different ways. Everybody is global now, everyone is a global artist influenced by currencies from around the world.”

She’s making the point that her role encompasses more than musical choices. The festival needs to be experiential, celebrating the Four Winds site and how it feels to spend a day or more there.

“The fact that this is not the easiest time to organise a festival makes it all the more vital that we do,” Hume says. “The Four Winds team and I look forward to creating and sharing the most beautiful, brilliant and life-affirming celebration of art and artistry that we possibly can, and to once more gathering under the spotted gums in glorious Barragga Bay, at Easter 2021.”

The Four Winds program will be announced in the New Year.

Original Article published by Genevieve Jacobs on The RiotACT.

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