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A festival for the senses at The Big Anxiety.

December 21, 2018 - Posted by Aesthetic

To remain at the cutting edge of experiential our team seeks experiences to feed their creativity, and consider the strategic motivations behind each event. Often events or brand activations catch the eye for a moment, perhaps illicit a smile and a social selfie but in an age of short-lived attention, a fleeting interaction is not enough to create lasting impact. Memorable experiences are crafted when companies dig deeper to create moments of reflection for their audience, ignite a spark of passion, or connect on an emotional level.

As we looked back on 2018 to consider the events that will inspire us in the year ahead, the award winning Big Anxiety Festival in Sydney immediately springs to mind. A collaboration between the UNSW and Black Dog Institute, the festival aimed to raise awareness of mental health. At Aesthetic we’re passionate about events that benefit society, and the Big Anxiety Festival encouraged people to engage deeply with the topic of mental health over three weeks of immersive art and performance. In addition, researchers at Black Dog Institute measured the impact of the festival on participant’s wellbeing.

Below we’ve shared some of our favourite photos from the festival, which captures just some of the sensory experiences from 60 unique events across Sydney.

Snoösphere

Inspired by Snoezelen – a Dutch therapeutic space that eases anxiety through light, fragrance, sound, and tactile objects.

Snoosphere
Snoosphere | Photo: The Big Anxiety

Snoosphere
Snoosphere | Photo: The Big Anxiety

Mobile Mood Lab

Inside a converted ambulance, light and sound are influenced by the participant’s heart rate and breathing. Participants aim to reduce their heart rate purely through breath and imagination.

Mobile Mood Lab
Mobile Mood Lab | Photo: The Big Anxiety

Inside the Mobile Mood Lab
Mobile Mood Lab | Photo: The Big Anxiety

Parragirls Past, Present

An immersive experience that presents the visions of former residents of the Parramatta Girls Home. A former state-controlled child welfare institution, where children were subjected to punishment and abuse.

Catch the Tiger

A game inspired by a traditional Chinese puzzle and George Hart’s mathematical study of orderly tangles. The game tests how participants react to anxiety and environmental changes.

Parragirls Past, Present
Parragirls Past, Present | Photo: The Big Anxiety

Katsumi Watanabe stands in-front of the 'Catch the Tiger' puzzle
Katsumi Watanabe  |  Photo: The Big Anxiety

Grace Under Pressure

Interviews with medical professionals including students, interns and senior staff informed this piece of theatre that tells the stories of health professionals. A spotlight was shone on the bullying and harassment that festers behind the scenes of this outwardly caring profession, interspersed with truly hilarious moments.

Grace Under Pressure
Grace Under Pressure

Grace Under Pressure Cast
Grace Under Pressure | Photo: Heidrun Löhr

Apocalypse Anonymous

An exhibition inspired by the end of civilisation, doomsday preppers, and the threats humans pose to the planet.

Eco-Anxiety – Holding a Deep Breath

In a visually arresting exhibition, artists from Australia and Japan explored anxiety induced by the environmental issues facing earth.

Apocalypse Anonymous
Doomsday Island | Artists: T. Baker & L. Kronemyer

Eco-Anxiety: Holding a Deep Breath
Insanity Magnet #4, 2009  |  Artist: Hiromi Tango