Fluffy shreds all the rules to help families connect through play

Fluffy by Artbomb

Supported by Create NSW, Artbomb presented a six-day season of Fluffy for Sydney Festival 2022 Photo: Jacqui Manning

Artbomb received $51,000​ from Create NSW’s 2021/22 Arts and Cultural Funding Program (Individual/Group Project Funding) Round 1 to present Fluffy, as part of the 2022 Sydney Festival.

“Fluffy is a place where the normal rules of the art world – don’t touch, don’t run – don’t apply.”

Supported by Create NSW, Artbomb successfully delivered a six-day season of Fluffy at Sydney Festival 2022, transforming Track 8 Carriageworks into an immersive and interactive play space where families came together to play, make and explore together.

Fluffy is a place where the rules that normally apply in the art world – don’t touch, don’t run – don’t apply. Kids and their adult carers throw, scrunch and shred paper, run, touch and interact with the sculptures and performance artists and finally box up the paper for the compost heap at a local community garden.

The surreal, non-linear story-world allowed families to engage with art and each other in a liberating creative play environment. At a time when connecting has been disrupted due to Covid, Fluffy draws families and strangers together to play and make art in joyful immersive experiences.

The shredded paper or “fluff” is the core material of the artwork. Fluffy interrupts the recycling process by taking paper from local offices and schools (and brought in by audiences) to be shredded and played with.

As a final act, following these moments of joy and mess, the paper is used for compost at Pocket City Farms in Sydney.

Since the premiere at 2022 Sydney Festival, Artbomb has secured ongoing engagements for Fluffy with other touring partners including Parramatta Council and the Dream Big Festival in Adelaide.

Frank Newman, a co-founder of Artbomb said Fluffy was the company’s first major project, taking shape over several years thanks to development funding from Create NSW and City of Sydney – a process that engaged numerous community and sector stakeholders.

Frank and the Artbomb team created a professional-looking presentation to convey the vision and value to give investors confidence in the project. This presentation included professional quality imagery and visual assets to communicate the artistic elements and how these would come together.

This presentation helped Artbomb secure the venue at Carriageworks and programming support from Sydney Festival.

“We looked at our ACFP application through the lens of a presenter and their needs – what problem did they need to solve?”

With the backing of a major festival, Artbomb applied for $51,000 project funding through Create NSW 2021-22 Arts and Cultural Funding Program Round 1.

This funding was essential to support final rehearsals, the community engagement workshop, the design and building the set and employ five performers for the Sydney Festival six-day season.

Speaking about the experience of the ACFP grant application process, Frank said “Once the work was ready, we looked for ways to demonstrate how genuine and confident we were in our purpose, execution and all the other elements, such as ticketing, promotion and connection with the community. We looked at application through the lens of a presenter and thought about their needs – what problem did they need to solve?”

Fluffy was co-funded by City of Sydney, Create NSW (ACFP 2020/21) and had the programming support of Sydney Festival, so we were able to show assessors how the final component of funding would deliver a world-class professional-quality production that everyone could be proud of.”

Newman’s top tips when applying for ACFP funding

  • Know and clearly communicate the purpose of your work
  • Make sure your work is ready, you’re confident, you understand the broader needs and how your art makes an impact
  • Invest in professional-quality images – this demonstrates a commitment to showcasing the work in the best possible light, and helps others believe in it as much as you do

Applications for Round Two of the Arts and Cultural Funding Program close on 13 February 2023. For more information on Individual Project Funding and how to apply click here.


Image Credit: Artbomb presented Fluffy, Sydney Festival 2022 Photo: Jacqui Manning