THE highly-anticipated release of the Woodford Folk Festival poster is a highlight of the lead-up to the annual event.
The posters are always bright and colourful but also have a special message for festival revellers and serve as a visual statement of the intentions, ideas and hopes for the festival ahead.
This year is no exception, with the poster unveiled by festival organisers featuring a vivid display of cosmic corals, rusting relics and naughty nudibranchs representing our connection to the environment.
The poster incorporates tantalising visual references which inform some of the key narrative elements of the Woodford Folk Festival program, culminating in the theatrics of the closing ceremony's spectacular Fire Event.
This year's theme builds on the over-arching concept of "interconnectedness”.
Designed exclusively by Woodfordia Inc's artist-in-residence, Gavin Ryan, this is the second instalment in a triptych started with the release of last year's festival poster highlighting our connection to each other.
The 2017/18 Woodford Folk Festival poster is a powerful illustration of the relationship we have with nature, represented by the life surrounding a coral ecosystem.
The focus on underwater imagery was a natural fit for Ryan, a former marine life illustrator who has previously worked for the Australian Institute of Marine Science, JCU, the CSIRO and Australia Post. Some of his hundreds of stamp designs are still in production today.
Much like the seascape which inspired it, there are many layers of intricate details hidden within the 2017/18 Woodford Folk Festival poster, the result of more than four months work for the artist.
Ryan says the process allowed him to reflect on his own connection with nature.
"It reminded me very much of an idyllic time I spent living on Magnetic Island and sailing the Great Barrier Reef, painting pictures of fish and coral,” he said.
"Different species, even classes of animals will pick up on the same patterns, the same repeating motifs even though they're not closely related. There are similarities in form, colour and pattern.
"The entire reef is made up of tiny pieces that all interact and depend on each other for their survival; they all fit together like a jigsaw.
"It's a perfect metaphor for the themes we are talking about for the festival. We are all connected.”
Managing the health and survival of the Great Barrier Reef has emerged as one of the peak environmental issues of our time.
This year, the Woodford Folk Festival will host a series of presentations and forums on the state of the reef.
For the first time in the history of the festival, the 2017/18 Woodford Folk Festival speaker's program will be released before the full program is revealed in it's entirety on October 14.
Now in its 33rd year, the Woodford Folk Festival is Australia's largest outdoor festival held during the last six days of every year, between December 27 and January 1.
The huge festival site plays host to more than 400 performers, artists and speakers from 17 different countries performing across 35 venues.
Early-bird tickets at discount rates are on sale now at www.woodfordfolkfestival.com.
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