Arts & culture

Kristian Baggerson: Gold Coast Light Installation Artist

Kobi Facto | August 24, 2021

Inspired by ritual and ceremonial theatre, Kristian Baggerson has forged a career as a Light Installation Artist. His large-scale works involve thousands of candles and eager community participants.

Kristian says that the act of co-creating a beautiful piece of art can be a transformational experience for individuals and the community.

“For me, it’s really about concentrating on the experience of those people involved” said Kristian.

“I went on a long journey of engaging with large festivals and learning about logistics. I figured, if I wanted to do really big stuff it was important to know how to deal in big situations”.

“I started by working on community events and large-scale not-for-profit events that have lots of volunteers. I did that for about 15 years to deeply learn complex logistics. Now, I’m able to apply that to my light installations,” Kristian explained.

As with any good journey, there have been obstacles.

“There was one project I did and it got really windy. I actually reached a point where I said, ‘It’s not going to happen. We’re not going to light it’.

“There were about 60 people there and they turned around and said ‘No! We are going to light this’. It was an incredible experience. I’d actually just about given up, and it was me that was making it.

“It just really reinforced to me the importance of the co-creating experience. It’s amazing when people attach to something that’s good – they want to see it through”.

Having been a creative practitioner on the Gold Coast for almost two decades, Kristian has seen the city’s arts and cultural landscape transform.

“It didn’t used to be a great place for creatives to have a full year’s worth of work. Then, the Commonwealth Games came and we’ve had some obvious growth in arts festivals, a great new art gallery and so forth. I really think a fertile ground was created,” said Kristian.

“Now, I’m speaking to younger event organisers who are really taking the city’s cultural offering to new places. They’re feeling confident that the people of the city will support them by coming to events. It’s become a place that will support start-ups and have-a-go arts enterprises as well, which I think is really exciting”.

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.

Kristian Baggerson

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