By UK/Indonesia 2016-18 team

14 September 2017 - 11:53

A handful of performers from many different genres have been announced, from Alt-J, De La Soul and George Clinton & Parliament-Funkadelic, to Rudimental and Purity Ring. There are also some local names who will enliven the festival, like Stars and Rabbit, Ras Muhamad, Anton, Hogi, and Diskoria.

In order to inaugurate the arrival of Bestival to the archipelago, a press conference was held last Friday at Artotel, Thamrin, Jakarta. British Council Indonesia Director of Arts Adam Pushkin took the opportunity to talk about the cultural festival UK/ID 2017 which will take place on October 14-22 at The Establishment, SCBD, Jakarta.

There was also an element of street art at Bestival Bali’s press conference. Amy Travis, a Manchester-born and bred artist who’s currently living on the Island of the Gods, was invited to make a Bestival-themed mural at the outdoor area of the press conference.

“This mural is inspired by the official poster of Bestival Bali. I like that it shows some things that are connected to Bali, for example, kites and flamingoes,” said Amy in between her mural-making sessions. “I start from the centre, and then let it go with the flow. I use the primary colours from the poster, so I can retain its tropical feel.”

When she first saw the wall, Amy was surprised because the size and shape didn’t match with what she had been told. She recounted with a laugh, “It turns out to be bigger than I thought! I also expected the shape to be vertical, but it turns out to be horizontal.”

Amy’s relationship with art started long ago; it can even be said that art is flowing in her veins. Her mum is an artist, and so is her grandmother. Once, little Amy was asked to dip her feet into a can of paint before walking around as she pleased on a very large piece of paper.

This creativity-nurturing environment shapes Amy’s hospitable ideas in relation to art, inversely proportional to those who regard art as something exclusive. “Art is a language that everyone can understand. We are all creative in our own way, we’re all artists,” she said.

Furthermore, Amy is passionate about making positive changes through creativity, such as encouraging children to attend workshops. She passionately stated, “I want to tell everyone that they are creative. It’s important to express yourself.”

Amy has been living in Bali for about a year; prior to that, she travelled the world visiting places such as India, Nepal and Australia, even witnessing the rising sun from Mount Everest. “But Indonesia has a special place in my heart,” she said.

She started learning about street art in Bali after meeting an artist with a stage name of Sleeck (“I will teach you all I know,” he promised to Amy). Amy vividly remembers her first spray-painting moment. The location: an abandoned opera theatre at Sanur with walls covered in street art. She remembered: “The spray can’s nozzle is quite hard, my finger hurt.”

Since then, Amy has actively painted in various places. She drew on a car exterior in Bali, painted someone’s car wheels in Australia, did a piece in Yogyakarta, and even sprayed one of the houses at Rainbow Village, Malang.

“The most - and the best - street art I’ve ever seen is in Indonesia. Walking through the Rainbow Village in Malang is absolutely crazy, a whole village that is painted with different murals everywhere. There is also street art everywhere in Bali. Not to mention the surroundings: you can be standing near to a piece of street art and there’s a paddy field or a temple across the street. Contrasting and beautiful at the same time. I’ve never seen it anywhere else,” she concluded.