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Gavin Webber: Art is not confined to the indoors

Maggie Gray | August 2, 2021

Based on the Gold Coast with roots in Berlin, Helpmann award-winning dance theatre company, The Farm, is comprised of choreographers, independent dancers, and designers.

Headed up by Artistic Director, Gavin Webber, The Farm’s work is bold, sometimes brash, and always insightful, and over the last eight years has delighted, challenged, and captivated audiences on a national and international scale.

The Farm

The Farm do things differently, and their philosophy is simple – bring art to the people, don’t wait for people to come to the art.

“We started with the idea that we wouldn’t try and go into a venue and expect the audience to come with us. We kind of went, “Okay, we’ll go to them,” explains Gavin.

After years of residing in Germany surrounded by some of the world’s most creative brains, Gavin and wife Kate, made the bold move to relocate to the Gold Coast.

“There were a lot of people in the arts who were like, “Why are you moving to the Gold Coast?” And now they’re all going, “Oh, got a job there? I’d love to come to the Gold Coast,” says Gavin.

“So there’s been a big shift in people’s thinking.

“There is such an incredible landscape here that I had no idea of, really. I didn’t understand there was all that incredible rainforest backing onto the beach.

“So it was really a lifestyle choice first, and then very quickly when we came here, I think we realised we’d arrived at a very interesting time for the arts.

“I think that we wouldn’t have been able to establish ourselves and have the achievements we’ve had, if we’d moved to Melbourne or Sydney when we first came back to Australia”.

This year, Gavin and the team are delivering yet another instalment at the Gold Coast’s contemporary arts festival BLEACH* – this time in the form of a short film. The work aptly titled ‘A Perpetual State of WTF’ is about confronting climate change and the future of the earth, from a child’s perspective.

“Becoming parents had this kind of double whammy effect on us. We were really engaging with climate change and understanding our impact on the environment, but we were also asking what it is that we are leaving our kids?” Gavin says.

“We’re not didactic in what we do, we’re more emotionally driven. I think people can connect to that with us, which I think they’ll do with this film, as well.”

For more information on The Farm visit BLEACH* Festival’s website.

Recent COVID-19 developments across South-East Queensland have forced the cancellation of BLEACH* for August 2021, with the festival set to return in 2022. Stay up to date with festival news by visiting the BLEACH* website