Capturing the Village Vibe

Adrea Kirwin in the garage set-up.

At the beginning of 2018 emerging photographer Kita Lawrence had an idea to photograph and interview the people of Eumundi through a project she named #TheLocalVibe.

The project set out to capture the diverse, vibrant and caring nature of as she puts it ‘this quirky little community’.

Three locations were used, all on the main street called Memorial Drive, to the capture ‘the vibe’.

Kita set up a little DIY studio in her garage, she then moved her set up to a Eumundi cafe ‘The Store’ and lastly to ‘Joe’s Waterhole’ Hotel.

In order to capture the authenticity of the town she kept the execution of the project as simple and laid-back as possible.

By doing so it allowed the project to just evolve on its own and by word of mouth as much as possible.

As Kita says: “‘There were a handful of people that I contacted and organised times for the interviews but most of the participants were just going about their normal routine and were just coming into town for work, to order a coffee or down at their local watering hole for a beer”.

From Kita herself

“What can I say, this project over the past two years has been mind-blowing, never could I have anticipated the journey it’s taken me on so far,” Kita says.

“It being my first attempt at a project like this and one of this scale I was a bit sceptical as to whether I could actually pull it off, whether or not I was even capable of executing and completing it.

“It actually really pushed me out of my own comfort zone, for several reasons.

I had been predominantly a stay-at-home mum of four prior to this, so this was a huge step for me in many ways.

“Regardless of the challenges I was very eager to work on it, I loved the whole concept, the interviewing, the portraits, listening to and documenting the gratitude and witnessing it all come together. Countless late nights and a ridiculous increase in caffeine intake – I gave this project my absolute everything.”

Her exhibition in Wan’din’in arts space in Eumundi will showcase what she refers to as “the collective vibe that flows through the community of Eumundi” in an intimate display of portraits and people’s heartfelt notions on personal gratitude and connections to the town.

This exhibition is designed by Kita to be an inspirational platform that brings together the community through one simple idea, connecting locals with their town, through her art.

As part of her #TheLocalVibe Project Kita has also been working on a book called It Takes a Village to Raise a Vibe, due for release at the exhibition opening night.

“This book has allowed me to display all of the 90 participants’ portraits, connections to town and gratitude in a collective manner and in a medium that will allow Eumundi’s unique and uplifting vibe to reach the hearts of more people,” Kita says.

“The book also gave me the opportunity to share the personal journey side of the project in a bit more depth. It reveals more about why I set out to capture this town and why the essence of Eumundi has been so valuable to me personally and my family since moving here five years ago.”’

Kita’s exhibition will be opened by Jandamarra Cadd on Friday 22 November at 5.30pm. All are welcome, there will be nibbles on arrival, cash bar available and live music by Andrea Kirwin. The exhibition runs until Saturday 11 January 2020. More information at www.discovereumundi.com/arts-space/calendar

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