Registrations opened only days ago but creatives from near and far have been quick to register to secure a tree to yarn bomb for Warwick’s 2016 Jumpers and Jazz in July festival.
For twelve years the community has supported and participated in the wonderful and wacky festival that celebrates the cold winter on Queensland’s Southern Downs. Interest in registering to be part of the Tree Jumper exhibition for the thirteenth festival has surpassed previous years with the organisers, Warwick Art Gallery, managing constant enquiries since before Christmas.
Warwick Art Gallery director Karina Devine and her team officially opened registrations last week by commencing the massive task of mailing the tree jumper packages to gallery members, artists, groups, schools and businesses.
“The Tree Jumper exhibition keeps us busy most of the year but this initial registration mail out is probably our busiest,” said Karina, ”It takes weeks to prepare the packages that get posted to over five hundred potential participants. We also send information by email and make the forms available on the Jumpers and Jazz in July website.
Creating an artwork for one of the trees is a carefully planned labour of love for every participant. Tree Jumper artists are always keen to know the theme early so they can start designing their artwork and this year’s theme, Bohemian, has already proven to be a hit.
Renowned Australian textile artist, Prudence Mapstone, has commenced coordination of a bohemian style tree jumper that she hopes will feature a collection of bright and unusual pieces of freeform crochet posted to her by friends who live all over the world. She has even started a Facebook group for the project with members posting photos of their pieces before sending them to Prudence to join together.
“I think we can create something really spectacular for the Bohemian theme,” said Prudence, “Things are shaping up to be a truly international cooperative effort with the first three contributors to share photos of their crochet work from The Netherlands, Alaska and Canada.”
The tree jumper exhibition attracts entries from professional artists alongside groups and individuals who have a love of yarn arts and enjoy being part of this unique community event. Although most enter for the fun of being a part of the festival, Warwick Art Gallery offer three $500 prizes for the best entry in each of the three official categories; Open Artistic, Excellence in Knitting/Crochet and Bohemian theme. There is also a special category for schools to enter trees decorated in the school grounds with the theme String. An entry fee of $15 has been introduced this year to contribute to the rising costs of insurance and security. A survey sent to last year’s participants indicated that most did not object to a fee.
As a participant in 2015, Julie Harris was overwhelmed to be announced one of the winners for her stunning entry in the open section honouring fallen soldiers.
“In my heart I just felt overjoyed that so many people connected with the sentiment of my tree,” said Julie, “Jumpers and Jazz is the most wonderful exciting event in July anywhere in Australia, and brings endless joy to so many, builds strength, inspires creativity and self-belief that anything is possible – and certainly brings brightness to a dark and grey winter.”
Any past participants in the tree jumper exhibition should receive their registration form in the mail shortly. Otherwise you can find the form and information on the new Jumpers and Jazz in July website www.jumpersandjazz.com.
The tree jumper exhibition commences on Thursday 21th of July. The artworks remain on the trees until 4pm on Sunday the 31th of July, the last day of the festival. Winners of the awards will be announced at the Festival Launch Party on Thursday 21 July. Tickets go on sale for that event in May 2016.
For more information on Warwick’s 13th annual yarnbombing and jazz festival, visit www.jumpersandjazz.com
Warwick Art Gallery | 2016 Jumpers and Jazz in July Festival Headquarters