Every year, FBi brings together the finest creative talents Sydney has to offer and gives them a well-deserved SMAC on the back. That’s right, the 2012 Sydney Music Art & Culture (SMAC) Awards have just been announced in a live broadcast, direct from the ceremony at Carriageworks.
Hosted by local writer and comic Nick Coyle, the awards also featured live performances from Palms, Kirin J Callinan and the Preatures.
The SMAC Awards recognise the hard working and talented people who have contributed something special to Sydney’s creative culture: be it music, theatre, visual art, film or food. A huge congratulations goes to all the winners for 2012!
And the winners are…
Best Visual Artist: Benja Harney
We all thought our origami crane folding skills were pretty damn snazzy before Benja Harvey’s paper creations shat all over them. With anything but elementary skill, Harvey engineers the humble medium of paper to charming new heights. From exhibition to shop-front, magazine covers to packaging, his array of paper-folding applications prove him to be as versatile as the medium he models with. From installing giant flowers in the QVB to fashioning a set for Romance Was Born and leather pop-up book for Petit H in Paris, he has continued to grow in cutting-edge concept and scissor skills throughout the year. Harvey’s work acknowledges and extends the world of paper craft into the realm of modern art, maintaining its innocent, vibrant and youthful character.
Best Arts Event: MCA Artbar
Once a month the MCA hands over the reigns to a range of Sydney creatives and collectives for ArtBar – an artist curated Friday night transformation featuring art, music, design and performance. With nights curated by the likes of Shaun Gladwell, Eddie Sharp, Nell and Jess Olivieri, there’s always something unexpected on offer. Previous incarnations have included live music, performance lectures, dance lessons, djs, drinks, raffle tickets made out of bone, zombie makeup tutorials, nude performance art, and a live goat. This really is ‘art but not as you know it’.
Best Collective (presented by Pedestrian): 107 Projects
It’s heartening to see creative projects blossom before your very eyes. In the heart of Redfern sits 107 Projects, a place that has enveloped its community since it opened earlier this year. 107 is the shared vision of seven creative practitioners: Jess Cook, Jamie Gerlach, Chris Hancock, Michelle McCosker, Alasdair Nicol, Kali Reid and Matthew Venables. The non-profit association works around the clock hosting a wide spectrum of music, performance, spoken word poetry and visual arts. A prime place for creative practitioners to perform, exhibit, develop new works, hone their skills, engage in workshops and continue to grow professionally.
Best Live Music Act: Hermitude
Hermitude have been carving out a niche in Sydney’s burgeoning hip-hop scene for the best part of ten years. Known equally for their innovative approach to production as they are for their rambunctious live performances, the duo shed their cult status earlier this year with the release of their fourth LP, HyperParadise. The record spawned two massive singles and confirmed to the world what fans have known for years: Hermitude are standout Sydney songwriters and live music guns-for-hire. Always fun, always cranked to 11, always sweaty; ‘Hermitude’ and ‘live’ are two words that belong together.
Best Major Festival (presented by The Brag): Vivid Live
This year is the first time Sydney has seen an in-house team manage the extravagant collection of creativity and wonder that is Vivid LIVE. Sydney Opera House’s Head of Contemporary Music Fergus Linehan put together a programme containing everything from the hulking display of electronic art that is Amon Tobin’s live show, to a Karen-O-led ‘psycho opera’. Local venues and labels also hosted their own personally curated late-night parties as is tradition. All of this featured alongside some grandiose pop-tinged performances in Florence & The Machine’s and Janelle Monae’s orchestra-augmented music.
Best Music Event: Outside In
The inaugural OutsideIn festival was the lovechild of artist management/touring company Astral People and record label Yes Please. Together they came up with an expertly curated line-up of experimental and electronic musicians: international artists Shigeto, Africa Hitech and Melo-x found their way onto the bill alongside local heroes Oliver Tank, Flume, Collarbones and Fishing. With exquisite visuals and a perfectly chilled vibe, the Factory Theatre in Marrickville became any electronic music fan’s Mecca – impressing even the most discerning listener… and even that Thom Yorke guy.
Best On Screen: Kris Moyes for ‘Way to War’ (Kirin J. Callinan)
Best On Stage: Zoe Coombs Marr for ‘Gone Off’
To our great relief, Zoe Coombs Marr did not throw up green slime on our persons during Gone Off (Serial Space). She did, however, deliver an utterly sidesplitting performance. Master of the awkward art, she elaborates upon her own post break-up insanity and some rather surreal events in the Aussie outback. Impressing audiences at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival with her charming self-deprecation, Zoe’s manic monologue shone with honest eccentricity.
Best Song (presented by APRA): ‘Hyperparadise (Flume Remix)’ by Hermitude
Next Big Thing (PRESENTED BY JAGERMEISTER): Giselle
When Flight Facilities released their track Crave You featuring the killer vocals of the mysterious, mononymous Giselle, we couldn’t stop asking “Who’s that girl? Where can we hear more of her music?” Thankfully, we’ve found answers to those questions since then. Not only has she worked with artists like Seekae, Giselle has created her own style of divinely smooth music, rich in those babin’ vocals that continue to turn heads. Whatta gal.
Record Of The Year (presented by LaCasa): Flume, ‘Flume’
2012 was a spectacular year for electronic music, and Sydney producer/dreamboat Flume arguably had the best year of all. He built a nationwide rep by releasing fantastic remix upon fantastic remix, then swiftly put out his excellent debut without breaking a sweat, managing to outsell One Direction in the process. ‘Flume’ is an incredible collection of forward thinking floor fillers, from an artist we reckon has only just got started.
Remix The City (presented by Two Thousand): Sydney Food Trucks
If you’ve noticed exotic aromas in the air, your glands salivating and your belly a little fuller as of late, it’s probably because a mix of chefs and food lovers alike have jumped on board with the Sydney Food Trucks Project. Running as part of a one-year trial, the City of Sydney called for expressions of interest to operate food trucks in Sydney – with a total of nine food trucks now making their way around the city. Cantina Mobil, Eat Art Truck, Veggie Patch Van: these are just a few of the options available. The food trucks trade in different locations every day, with an app made especially for the project that you can use to hunt down the trucks in real time.
Best Eats: Gelato Messina
As far as gelato goes, there are few in Australia who have done it better, longer and with more irreverence than Gelato Messina. From their humble Darlinghurst digs to a new Surry Hills outpost and a lab concocting snap-frozen craziness, Messina have created a holy trinity of time honored technique, unexpected flavour combinations and pop culture mastery, all served up in a little cup or cone.
SMAC Of The Year: Jess Scully
More info on this lovely lady here.
Huge thanks to our sponsors La Casa, Jagermeister, APRA and Cake Wines for making the night possible – and Carriageworks for providing such a beautiful setting.
Thanks also to everyone who voted, attended and tuned in to hear the SMAC Awards broadcast live on FBi Radio 94.5FM.