The curious, the creative and the unexpected will converge at Ramp Festival

Crossroads 1, 2018, Photographic inkjet print, a work by contemporary mixed media artist Jen Bowmast features at Ramp Festival

Crossroads 1, 2018, Photographic inkjet print, a work by contemporary mixed media artist Jen Bowmast, who is at Ramp Festival this year.

Live psychic reading, knitting and Waikato’s first feature sci fi film contribute to a diverse and exciting programme of events and workshops during Ramp Festival of Music, Media Arts & Design at Wintec.

Organised by Wintec School of Media Arts, Ramp Festival is free and open to everyone from 23-26 July and it truly is a smorgasbord for the curious and the creative.

Diversity is rife in this year’s festival line-up. Perhaps the most unexpected addition to the line-up of workshops and talks by designers, artists, art practitioners, educators and musicians are the live psychic readings contemporary New Zealand artist Jen Bowmast will be receiving during the festival in Ramp Gallery’s window space.

Ramp Gallery Director Wendy Richdale says the first readings follow the opening event for Bowmast’s exhibition in Ramp Gallery, Sacred Sites on day one of the festival. You get the feeling that should be the first point of contact.

“Jen often begins her research process by engaging with psychic mediums, and these readings she receives are then adopted into her art practice.  As well as receiving live readings through the week, on the last day of the festival, there’s also an opportunity for people to join Jen at a practical workshop and get involved by making art.”
Horomona Horo and Jeremy Mayall mix taonga pūoro with electronic texturesHoromona Horo (left) and Jeremy Mayall mix taonga pūoro with electronic textures.

Ramp Festival director Megan Lyon says, “this year’s Ramp Festival programme is deliberately diverse, yet connected by creativity to form a platform for dynamic discussion, generate new ideas and create opportunities to put these into practice.”

Musicians Horomona Horo and Jeremy Mayall will open the festival with a performance, stories about their collaborative process and a discussion on how their music has taken them around the world, along with

Shepherd is a New Zealand science fiction feature film featuring a soundtrack by Jeremy Mayall which was pieced together from brainstorms and linking, rather than conventional scriptwriting. Another Wintec tutor Jason Long was sound designer for the film.  It is former Wintec student and tutor, Julia Reynold’s first feature film and this labour of love represents 10 years of “blood sweat and tears” for the passionate filmmaker.  Ramp Festival goers can watch the film and there’s also a workshop with Julia where participants can explore mood in moving image with the New Zealand film-maker.

Ramp Festival is the new name for the well-known Spark Festival at Wintec.

Head of Wintec School of Media Arts, Sam Cunnane has seen the value of the annual festival in its 21-year tenure and says it may have a new name this year, but it will continue to spark creativity through its high calibre content.

“The Ramp name is connected physically and creatively at Wintec through Ramp Gallery, Ramp Talks and now Ramp Festival. We’ve got a great programme this year and I’m really thankful to the many highly talented creative people who will converge on Wintec to inspire our students and our community.”

Ramp Festival is based at Wintec’s campus in the heart of Hamilton’s CBD, with a number of satellite events and exhibitions nearby including Hear me Roar, an exhibition at Weasel Gallery on Victoria Street. The exhibiting artist Arielle Walker and curator Maddie Gifford host a knitting workshop, Watch Me Knit at Wintec in a bid to celebrate the tradition of knitting as an art form.

Explore Ramp Festival programme, read speaker bios and register for free events here.

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