GALLERY: Festival adds polish to city's hidden gems

THE narrowest thoroughfares of Warrnambool’s CBD were transformed into walkways of wonder for Saturday’s Laneway Festival.

A few hundred people took the chance to explore the city’s laneways, with the sounds of four-piece Foxhow’s rambling folk music floating through Ozone Walk.

The F Project event, supported by Warrnambool City Council, Warrnambool Art Gallery and RMIT, was the third Laneway Festival day held this year.

In a two-hour treasure hunt, people were encouraged to move around the CBD through various laneways to collect different objects, including postcards, screen-printed dolls, confessional telephones and items emerging from pipes, cracks and niches.

F Project president Emma Charlton said the installations from digital artist Tim Umney and textiles artist Karen Richards had created a magical environment for people to encounter throughout the CBD.

“The whole aim was to get people engaging in the laneways in a way they wouldn’t normally, not just looking at them as thoroughfares but to take time to look at the nooks and crannies,” Ms Charlton said.

“It was good to see lots of families and get lots of photos of kids playing in the laneway. 

“It was quite magical.

“Around 100 groups of people moved through eight different laneways with things in them — some of them people could take away, some you just experienced.

“There were 60 dolls made for the art treasure hunt and within half an hour they were all gone.

“They’ve been taken home and now will become part of other people’s stories.”

She said the F Project was thrilled with the success of each Laneway Festival event this year.

“We’re blown away by capacity of artists in the community to come up with innovative and fresh ideas for things they think should be happening in our laneways,” she said.

“It’s playful. What else do you want to do on a Saturday but something that’s playful and fun?”

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