ANU students had a prime opportunity to explore the city’s art world on Saturday afternoon with Art, Not Apart – Canberra’s quirky multidisciplinary art festival – held in the NewActon precinct.

Art, Not Apart sprawled through NewActon just on the edge of campus, with live music, performance art, visual art exhibitions, installations, film and projection pieces filling every nook and cranny of the precinct.

The annual festival is right on ANU’s doorstep and is a fantastic introduction to Canberra’s rich cultural life.

Overpriced beverages aside, Art, Not Apart was bustling with students and other members of the public keen to immerse themselves in the weird and wonderful environment.

When Woroni talked to students who attended, one happy visitor said, “it’s a really mind-blowing experience, and it’s really great to have something like this that appeals to so many people and is pretty accessible, especially from ANU.” Others agreed, noting that free entry and convenient location make the festival a winner for students.

“It’s so weird and wacky and cool, plus it’s free and super accessible for students. The drinks were kind of expensive, but otherwise, it was very student-friendly.”

Overpriced beverages aside, Art, Not Apart was bustling with students and other members of the public keen to immerse themselves in the weird and wonderful environment.

The festival showcases the work of both established and emerging artists, and under the 2019 theme ‘Soul and Mortar’, NewActon was transformed into a one-day dynamic art space. Thought-provoking, topical films and moving image works were displayed throughout the festival, melding art with activism to inspire and educate.

Edinburgh Avenue was transformed into The Artery, an exhibition space featuring more than 100 metres of street art on show for festival attendees and commuters alike.

Canberra’s iconic ANCA Art Bus also made an appearance, and the Kendall Lane apartments became a temporary exhibition space. Additionally, for those with a proclivity for more traditional gallery exhibitions, the sun-soaked Nishi Gallery played host to the ‘Soul and Mortar’ exhibition, which will run until April 6.

Four funky music performance areas were scattered throughout the precinct, including the Soul Defender – a shimmery pink military truck spouting bubbles and confetti that functioned as a stage for soul performers.

The classic Art, Not Apart suitcase rummage wound its way throughout the festival site, with suitcases bursting with handmade and second-hand goods, allowing attendees to take a piece of the festival home with them.

As long as Art, Not Apart continues to be accessible and engaging, it is likely to remain a must-see experience for ANU students.