Open Wide

At 2016 Steirischer Herbst festival of new art, Open Wide a temporary pavilion in the Austrian city of Graz that welcomed both locals and visitors to the festival programmes. Open Wide a vibrant and friendly arrival area that can be seen rising through the trees across the Peoples Park, inviting the passersby to enter inside and share ideas. 

Open Wide, highlights the cultural diversity present in this unique part of the city, but also a statement of intent for those passionate about integrated societies — it is an 'Arrival Zone' for the festival, but also a metaphor for the peaceful coming together of folk from all walks of life and circumstance. Involving over 100 people from Graz much of it stems from pattern workshops held in June where communities came together to develop a visual language for the Arrival Zone and giving them a sense of belonging and ownership, the artists have generated a new visual language for the Steirischer Herbst venues. The pavilion forms an integrated visual vernacular for the arrival area, as well as other markers throughout the city, including 24 banners developed from the patterns created in the workshops, an entrance to the Rotor Gallery and a canopied seating area outside the orpheum theatre.

"I am born and bred Holloway, London," explains Myerscough, "and very proud of being brought up in an integrated society. Understanding how a sense of belonging can be achieved through our work has been an ongoing project for many years now. Indeed, the notions of integration and belonging are rarely far from our thoughts at present."

"It’s no surprise that one issue dominates discussions this year(2016)," admits the festival’s art director Veronica Kaup-Hasler, "one which preoccupies us more than ever: Old Europe and its relationship with the rest of the world."

Inside, the installation is illuminated by natural sunlight passing through thousands of meters of neon-wrapped ribbon, providing a vibrant glow by day, and a subtle warmth by night. The temporary design of the pavilion’s interior hosts the 'Samowar café' where countless cups of tea are served as an invitation to visitors to engage in a verbal, nonverbal or artistic exchange. The arrival zone is a series of symbolic open doorways connected together open to everybody and welcoming everyone.

A scaffold structure hosts a blend of handmade signs, brightly coloured neon plywood shapes, painted patterns, and wind mobiles, bringing a lively atmosphere to the area.

Steirischer Herbst Festival

Morag Myerscough &
Luke Morgan

Installation programme
Rotor Gallery

Peoples Park, Graz, Austria

Morag Myerscough
Luke Morgan

Temporary Installation

August 2016 for 3 months

Project Legacy
Scaffolding was hired.
Painted panels were distributed 
to the community groups

Read More
Before the takeover —
the Socialist Workers building
on the edge of the Peoples Park