Melbourne artist Russell Goodman spent two years completing his futuristic vision: an epic sculpture of aluminium, steel, neon and motors that whir to life as you walk past. Finished in 1988 and titled ‘Daytona Dreamer’, it was presented at ACCA and the Ivan Dougherty Gallery in Sydney.
Returning from Sydney to his flat in St Kilda, however, Goodman was stabbed multiple times and died at the Alfred Hospital. He was 27 years old. Now, 24 years later, the artist’s brother Chris Goodman has restored the ‘Daytona Dreamer’. No longer collecting dust, it will be exhibited in the window of the vintage decor store Industria during July’s Gertrude Street Projection Festival. Industria is a cavernous space that’s home to scientific tools like beakers and test tubes, vintage wooden ladders and beautifully restored furniture – it’s a fitting pairing of art and space.
The event’s co-founder, Kym Ortenburg, is honoured to have Goodman’s work on display as a piece that’s broadened the festival’s scope from traditional methods of projection. “It’s quite an extraordinary piece,” she says. “When someone walks past it, or walks through the projection light, it comes to life. It’s like something out of a child’s fantasy.”
The festival, a fixture in Fitzroy’s calendar, illuminates every possible surface and window display with animation, video and laser art in surprising ways. Including sculpture in the festival has been part of the event’s growth over the years. “This festival has started to take on its own life,” Ortenburg says. “There are a few projections that you can touch and it moves and morphs – we also have a Capoeira performance that incorporates projections. There’s been a natural evolution to how people can use projection with different mediums, not just straight projection.”
Part of this is due to Gertrude Street’s richly diverse community. One example of the festival reaching out to Fitzroy’s community is by way of accessibility, demonstrated on the corner of Brunswick and Gertrude Streets: ‘Nebula’, a fold-down caravan-like studio is designed especially for disabled artists.
Catch the 86 or 112 tram this July and see Fitzroy up in lights.