A murder mystery complete with spooky sounds and ghost slime, a fairy garden with UV lights, and digital art installations inside a shipping container? Well that’s something you don’t see every day.
The Mackay Festival of Arts has hired five Royal Wolf 20-foot general purpose containers to create stunning – and spooky – interactive art shows to feature at this year’s event.
The festival, which runs until 6 August and is supported and funded by Festivals Australia, will see artists hosting exhibitions in Wonder Rooms, created inside the Royal Wolf containers, at five locations across Mackay - Bluewater Quay, Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens, Sarina, Marian and Slade Point.
Each Wonder Room will feature various concepts from five incredible artists, including Kate Brunner’s Jungle Garden, Mackay State High School Creative Arts Academy’s Train Murder Mystery and Lalune Croker and Cheb Jeffery’s Smoke and Mirrors – It’s all an Illusion, you look fine…
“The containers have provided us with some really cool opportunities,” says Sarah Porter, Festival & Events Coordinator at Mackay Entertainment & Convention Centre.
“We’ve been able to drop them anywhere that had the space, so it’s allowed us to tap into places where we may not have had the infrastructure previously to deliver an event like this.”
“They’re a significant size, so they’ll be noticed in the community and draw people in. We’re adding eye-catching banners on the containers to advertise that these are the Wonder Rooms, and that’s something we wouldn’t have been able to do with a pre-existing structure.”
Visitors will be able to enter the containers and immerse themselves in the exhibitions, as well as speak to the artists who will be on site.
“The idea behind this program is to create selfie museums – to encourage people to build an itinerary and move around our region and capture some really cool selfies in the shipping containers,” says Sarah.
“The big driver was to showcase local artists within our region and allow both community and intra-state travellers to come, be part of the creative arts scene and have a bit of fun with it.”
Royal Wolf delivered the containers to the Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens Amphitheatre, where the artists fitted them out with their work, then picked up the containers and delivered them to the five locations around Mackay.
“We handled all the freight – the containers were picked up from our depot in Townsville and transported to the Gardens before we then delivered them to the various locations around Mackay,” says Michael Meyer, Royal Wolf Regional Sales Manager, Townsville.
“When the festival is finished, our team will pick them up and transport them back so the artists can remove their exhibition before landing back at one of our depots.”
The security of the containers means artists can leave their exhibitions in the knowledge that they are safe and secure.
“Shipping containers are a secure, waterproof space that provides an immediate location for whatever you need, whether you’re turning them into Wonder Rooms, an office, using them for storage for an event or anything else you need,” says Michael.
“The great thing about the Mackay Festival of Arts is they’ve created basically an instant art museum and because of the high level of security of our containers, the artists can leave their work with full confidence.”
Sarah says Royal Wolf has been very supportive throughout a hectic time for organisers.
“We have a lot of moving components across a lot of different events and having the reliability of Royal Wolf at the other end of the phone, who just took care of things, it’s been smooth sailing from the very beginning,” says Sarah.
“We could hand information to them and keep moving because we knew they’d keep on track and deliver on deadlines. Royal Wolf has been exceptional. The whole process has been seamless.”