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Broaden your horizons with captivating program


Broaden your horizons with captivating program

Artist Kathy Mackey talks about her role in the upcoming Horizon Festival and what participants can expect from the diverse and creative events.

Horizon Festival, the Sunshine Coast’s premier arts festival, returns in 2023 with a vibrant and topical program that celebrates the here and now.

From August 25 to September 3, as the region’s winter draws to a close, the highly anticipated festival will captivate locals and tourists alike with a diverse array of music, cabaret, theatre, comedy, family events and more.

Horizon Festival salutes the vibrancy of the region with artists, their stories and the community at the heart of this year’s program. Staged in stunning locations and unique venues, the 2023 program is bursting with free and ticketed events for all ages and interests.

We caught up with one of the participating artists Kathy Mackey, creator of Let’s Organise Your Leisure – a participatory art project for everyone – to discover more about what you can expect from her exciting project.

What is Let’s Organise Your Leisure all about?
I will take participants on a guided walk along the water’s edge at Maroochy River to discover natural and pre-planted, man-made materials commonly associated with leisure activities, such as pool noodles and yoga mats. The group will work with me to construct large sculptures for the Float-Off Finale, where you will launch into the water of the Maroochy River alongside your sculptural creation.

Who will love your project?
Let’s Organise Your Leisure is a slightly satirical take on how our time (even when we are not at work) has become very structured and requires us to be seen with ‘accessories’. Those who are interested in the intersections between art, sport and tourism will enjoy the piece, as well as more mature folk who can see the ironies in being ‘retired’.

What are you looking forward to most about Horizon Festival?
I am looking forward to being part of a festival with many diverse performances, exhibitions and sites. It’s a wonderful celebration of creativity in the region and I am looking forward to seeing some other performances and the great mix of venues along the coast and in the hinterland.

How would you describe yourself as an artist?
I am a multidisciplinary artist who works across performance, installation, video and photography.

How would you describe your work?
My current practice sees me utilising artificial objects – specifically, pool noodles – to explore the liminal spaces between the natural/the artificial and the public/private and the worlds of leisure verses non-leisure.

What is your favourite Sunshine Coast location?
Cotton Tree, but I also love Kings and Moffat beaches.

What’s next for you, professionally?
I have a solo exhibition on in Sydney at the same time as Horizon. It is at the Hurstville Regional Gallery and includes photography and video works based on a residency that I completed at the Georges River in 2022. It will be great to share this work with audiences interstate. I am also working on some new video works that focus on bodies moving with the pool noodles underwater, rather than floating along the surface.

For program information, bookings and festival updates, visit and follow @horizonartfest on social media. For more information on Kathy Mackey, go to or head to Instagram @klm186

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