Create or Die, a sort of creative hub, was started by Deb Morgan to encourage and showcase the work of people who do not make a primary income from their own art and to foster a community to inspire one another.
As an event producer who runs her own studio Deb Morgan is paid to be ‘creative’ and yet of course, this does not necessarily equate to creating work that is personal. This desire is what led Morgan to begin the Create or Die project. “At Create or Die, we put on exhibitions and run competitions for creatives to encourage them to create art for art’s sake as opposed to answering brief- it takes the pressure off because it’s usually a pretty open brief,” explains Morgan.
After a chance meeting with Annabel Howery who runs a beer coaster design company, Morgan staged the first Create or Die competition last year which demanded designers create a design for a beer coaster with the winning designs exhibited at Showcase Gallery.
This year’s competition “Message in a Bottle” is a unique collaboration between Create or Die and Amy Kyriacou, a writer and environmental activist who have joined forces to wage a creative battle against plastic and at the same time invigorate the creativity latent in design-to-brief creatives around the country.
Kyriacau has decided to stop using single-use plastic in her life – a tall order by anyone’s measure. This year the competition still involves designing a beer coaster (for the ‘Stone & Wood’ sponsor) but with an environmental edge. “After meeting Amy and hearing how she is going to stop using single-use plastic I thought ‘I’m really frustrated by the amount of wast our modern society produces and so this seems like a perfect match for the competition’,” says Morgan.
Artists and designers can submit their creative response to the plastic pandemic until November 16, culminating in a finalist’s exhibition with winning artworks to be printed on bar coasters and beer labels throughout Australia. The overall winner will receive a trip to Byron Bay courtesy of sponsor Stone & Wood as well as tour of their brewery.