Sugar Mountain – more artists announced

Published:  December 8, 2011
Sugar Mountain – more artists announced

Amidst all of the summer music festival announcements is Melbourne’s Sugar Mountain which arrives with music plus a visual arts line-up.

The festival is a relative newcomer to the Melbourne scene, and is scheduled for a few days over January 2012, with the main event on Saturday 14 January at The Forum Theatre.

Curated by artist and festival director, Pete Keen, the visual arts selection includes a collection of local and international artists. The new additions are Chaco Kato, Keith Deverell, Lucy Benson and Matsuri Yamana. See below: (images and excerpts taken from Sugar Mountain’s website):

Chaco Kato (Japan/Australia) responds to the reality of our place and time in her artwork, and is currently exploring a period of over-consumerism that has created enormous debts for future societies. Most of Kato’s works are made using natural materials, which highlights her representations of natural elements such as growth and waste. Kato’s artwork explores childhood, dreams, ecology, politics and organic cycles – birth, growth, death, decay and rebirth. Kato’s art practice explores ways of separating elements from the world and restructuring them in a way that portrays the simultaneous fragility and strength of life. The childlike drawings and awkward lines in Kato’s works may be, she explains, a manifestation of her desire to evoke her own childhood.

Chaco Kato

Keith Deverell (Australia) is a Melbourne-based artist who works with economic visual and aural languages to create ultra slow portraits of people using video, sound, photography, film, found objects and installation. Deverell focuses on the seemingly ordinary and mundane, drawing attention to the depth of the spaces in-between. At Sugar Mountain 2012, Keith Deverell will turn his lens on Australia’s most idiosyncratic musicians by creating ultra slow and huge portraits of their unique gestures and stage antics, lending a new perspective to the art of musicianship. Deverell’s work is a celebration of the unknown and a deconstruction of the overblown notion of fame.


Keith Deverell

Lucy Benson (Australia) is a Melbourne visual artist based in Berlin who works with live media technologies, light and performance. Her work explores notions of identity, representation and perception. In Benson’s work, sophisticated technologies are softened and tamed into intimate storytelling conduits, focused on human experience and emotion. Benson’s performances made with a collage of media and interactive tools tend towards the subliminal and sublime, and her installations and performances have featured at renowned cultural events such as Transmediale, Unsound Festival, Mapping Festival and Shift Electronic Arts. At Sugar Mountain 2012, Lucy Benson will provide visual projections specifically tailored for the performances of musicians Julianna Barwick and This Thing Presents, as well as adding a further visual element to the exciting collaborative performance between visual artist Ben Barretto and musician Sun Araw.


Lucy Benson

Matsuri Yamana (Japan/Australia) has created huge-scale interactive installations. Born in Tokyo but now living in Melbourne, Yamana is interested in the relationships between the artist, viewer, and work in a participatory sense. Yamana’s artwork creates a social environment in which people come together in a shared activity, and viewers can bring their own experiences into her artwork. Yamana is interested in the moment when viewers slip into their private imaginations or own memories through the physical immersion of her work. At Sugar Mountain 2012,  Matsuri Yamana will contribute two of her imaginative, interactive installations,  which will be hidden amongst the many upper nooks of The Forum Theatre, awaiting your exploration.


Matsuri Yamana

Vincent Moon (France) Real name Mathieu Sura – is known the world over for his revolutionary music videos. Moon has worked with a number of impressive musicians including Arcade Fire, Clogs, Sylvain Chauveau, Barzin, The National, Sufjan Stevens, Beirut, Grizzly Bear and Mogwai, and along with collaborator Chryde is responsible for the Take Away Shows project, a series of outdoor documentaries consisting of improvised video sessions with musicians from around the world. Moon is currently working on a new project, Petites Planetes, a compilation of audiovisual recordings from his travels. Moon also deals with visionary notions about images, society and new technologies on his blog (

Vincent Moon

Maya Hayuk (USA) is obsessed with symmetry and nourishing colour, played out in what might be views from the Hubble Telescope, airbrushed nail art, Ukrainian Easter eggs, chandeliers, mandalas, rorschach tests and/or holograms. At Sugar Mountain 2012, Hayuk will join forces with Kyle Ranson to transform the inside foyer of the Forum Theatre. Together they will collaborate to create a grand and explosively colourful entrance to the Festival.

Maya Hayuk

Kyle Ranson (USA) began to draw and paint in early childhood. In 1994 Ranson moved to San Francisco and became a part of the underground punk scene, and has slowly become a pillar of the San Francisco art world. Kyle has created large-scale installations, exhibited his works in New York, London, Barcelona and Brussels, and has had several solo shows in San Francisco. At Sugar Mountain 2012, Ranson will join forces with Maya Hayuk to transform the inside foyer of the Forum Theatre. Together they will collaborate to create a grand and explosively colourful entrance to the Festival.

Kyle Ranson

Ben Barretto (Perth) adds performance and sound to art-historical ideas of painting, drawing and sculpture. Baretto uses lo-fi technology, DIY building equipment and vibrant, commodity colour to update process-based action painting. At Sugar Mountain 2012, Barretto will share the stage with US musician Sun Araw. Barretto will construct a large scale ‘assisted paintings’ installation – a crudely constructed, large wooden frame through which paint will be poured. After passing over several materials, the paint will ultimately reach a canvas where it will be blended with fabric being rotated by mirror ball motors. The structure will be lit in direct response to the sound being performed by Sun Araw. This will add another element of colour to the work and unify these two processes on the one stage, providing a truly rare moment where art and music meet to create something very special, and definitely very strange.

Ben Barretto

Kit Webster (Melbourne) has gained wide recognition for his enigmatic audiovisual installations. Ranging from site-specific projections to digital sculptures, his works utilise precision programming and visualisation techniques to create captivating and immersive environments that challenge our sensory perceptions. Kit Webster returns to Sugar Mountain in 2012. Webster will deliver his signature, site-specific digital projection stylings to the Festival main stage, this time with added depth and awe. Webster will use sculptures to create an exciting, ever-changing, immersive environment.

Kit Webster

Dylan Martorell (Melbourne) has been exhibiting and performing for over ten years. Central to his multidisciplinary practice is an intense interest in the full spectrum of music and sound sources, ranging from field recordings to ritualised performances. At Sugar Mountain 2012, Martorell will transform one of the many upper nooks of the Forum Theatre. He will turn the room into an interactive, neo-tribal audio/visual sensation, with an animatronic backing band to surprise karaoke participants (provided by musicians on the Festival’s musical lineup, and others).

Dylan Martorell

To check out the music line-up or to buy tickets, head here.

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