Artwork for Meredith for the last several years has been created by the sublime mind of Clemens Habicht. Meredith has had an animal as its mascot since 1991. For about fifteen years the animal was created by the amazing Kate ‘Noota’ Van Nooten. The animal must be native to the Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre – it must live at the site. There have been butterflies (1992, 1998), a wedge-tailed eagle (2006) and a number of ‘water’ animals (duck and turtle) – but they seemed to only create very wet (rainy) festivals, so we stopped doing that.
Clem’s animals are hand-made using cut out paper and card, and incorporate a second element that might not be obvious on first look – in 2009 he made powerful owls with speaker eyes and gum trees for wings; for the 20th anniversary he made a flock of lorikeets with people from the festival making up their anatomy, for the 21st he made a monarch butterfly grub (pupae) with dozens of legs dancing. 2012 was a mob of roos with a number of scenes from the festival itself incorporated into them. For Meredith23, Clem brought to life a flock of galahs, several in flight, and a couple on the perch. They are taken from actual photos of people at the actual festival. How bout that. All of them incorporate scenes from the festival, including the Pink Flamingo, The Meredith Eye, The Arch of Love and so on. It’s amazing how much character he gets into the little creatures.
This year we have the raggedly regal nomadic emu, some of whom hang out by themselves, some in pairs and some as a flock. Emus are worth reading about, there’s some info here. A slight departure this year, whilst the technique of card and paper ‘masking’ remains the same, Clem has focussed on the individual stances and body shapes of the emus, rather than incorporating aspects of the festival into their make-up. They walk the line between looking ungainly and like ballet dancers. Niiiice. Clem.