Another door opens for Ballarat tourism

A large-scale, interactive, maze-like installation will be installed in the Armstrong Street South space between the Ballarat Town Hall and Myer after the current Winter Festival ice rink is dismantled.

Art installation 1000 Doors – Door Within A Door was created by artists Christian Wagstaff and Keith Courtney, who were the masterminds behind the highly successful House of Mirrors, now located at MONA in Hobart, Tasmania.

The Ballarat installation will open on Wednesday, 4 August and close on Sunday, 12 September. Cost is $10 and free for children under five and adults over 75.

The $100,000 funding for 1000 Doors has been received through Regional Development Victoria’s Regional Recovery Program. Ballarat Regional Tourism received the funding, in partnership with the City of Ballarat.

Within 1000 Doors, a seemingly endless series of doors, screens, portals and gateways give way to the many in-between spaces humanity has invented to fill the void – passageways, parlours, vestibules and holding pens – each haunted by the lingering traces of past inhabitants.

1000 Doors is a haunting, claustrophobic maze of memories. Visitors are invited to enter and to become more than spectators. Inside this enigmatic structure, as if it were a secret vault in a parallel world, they may follow their basic human impulse; to explore with curiosity and a sense of wonderment, and cross into the unknown.

Will you feel like a time-traveller waltzing across eras as you pass through each door? Or one of the very ghosts these doors seem to summon? Every entrance into this house of possibility will begin at the same door, but no two visitors will leave the same as they entered.

According to the artists Christian Wagstaff and Keith Courtney: “A door is a beginning and an end, a promise and a warning. What waits on the other side is limited only by the imagination and decided only by an action. Step across the threshold of you”.

“We are so thrilled to be presenting 1000 Doors in the heart of Ballarat. Particularly when countless doors were originally sourced here”, Christian and Keith said.

“It’s like these doors have been on this extraordinary journey and led us back here to Ballarat.

“1000 Doors is like the cool kid at (the) party, and its long line-up easily reflects this popularity. A totally unique experience that will frighten some, intrigue others, and is sure to be an eye-opening night out for everyone.”

1000 Doors was sold out at the Melbourne International Arts Festival, the Brisbane Festival, and the Adelaide Fringe Festival.

Ballarat electronic sound designers, musical performers, spoken word artists, performance poets, hip hop artists, rappers and composers are also being asked to create and produce an intriguing composition from sound and music to be played within the installation.

If you’d like to find out more, please visit www.creativeballarat.com.au/opportunities.

City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Daniel Moloney said it was fantastic to be able to bring such an exciting art installation to the town that would attract both locals and visitors alike.

“1000 Doors is no doubt going to have people flocking to experience what will be a truly sensory experience and I particularly love the fact it will help activate the CBD just after the ice rink moves out so we will still have plenty of people moving around our city centre,” Cr Moloney said.

Ballarat Regional Tourism Chair Paul Martino said the State Government’s support will play an integral role in the industry getting back on its feet.

“Ballarat Regional Tourism is delighted to have received this funding which, in partnership with the City of Ballarat, has enabled us to make this winter activation a reality. The 1000 Doors activation will drive an increased awareness of experiences in the Ballarat region, encouraging local artist engagement and capitalising on new, innovative technologies and artistic mediums that are accessible and inclusive to a diverse audience,” Mr Martino said.

“In line with the City of Ballarat’s Visitor Economy Strategy, we are looking to extend our visitor base by tapping into families coming from metropolitan Melbourne who are curious and enthusiastic, seeking out enriching experiences, as well as young singles and couples who come often for short weekend breaks or daytrips around an event or festival.

“With current travel restrictions in place, many Victorians are looking for places closer to home to travel. 1000 Doors is a vehicle through which we can partner with industry, to further increase visitation and spend. We feel industry will welcome this activation during a period which is traditionally a trough for the Ballarat tourism industry.”

Tickets for 1000 Doors go on sale shortly. Head to www.visitballarat.com.au/1000-doors-ballarat

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