New creative director to spice up Sydney Mardi Gras
“I’ve come full circle,” says Greg Clarke of his recent appointment as creative director of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
The arts dynamo has spent the past several years as director and CEO of Adelaide Fringe Festival. He first made his mark on the Sydney scene in the early 90s as one half of the infamous comedy duo Jamie and Vanessa.
“I was Jamie and we would put on big dance parties throughout the nineties, and we would often be a part of Mardi Gras,” Clarke explains.
From those humble beginnings, Clarke went on to become one of the most respected voices in the Australian arts and theatre scene. His appointment with Mardi Gras marks a new stage for the community organisation, which tasks Clarke with not only overseeing the festival but the entire Mardi Gras season.
The trailblazing artist says he is looking forward to taking on the mantle of creative director.
“What’s wonderful about this position is it’s the creative director of all the cultural events from parade to festival and party,” he tells SX. “So I’m interested in looking at ways we can thread themes across all the events and have key moments that are so special and unique and done in a way we’ve never done before.”
Clarke says he is also a great believer in collaboration and hopes to bring more of this to Mardi Gras by extending the organisation’s partnerships.
“I often want to create things with other people – I love to give people themes and ideas and together come up with something spectacular. Terese Casu (Mardi Gras CEO) and I have been talking a lot about how can we really increase the cultural footprint of Mardi Gras? How can we work with the other major arts and cultural organisations across the season and how can we program things that will work with them for Mardi Gras?”
Casu describes Clarke as a formidable force in the arts and events industry.
“His experience in successfully growing and managing large scale festivals is unparalleled.”
Top image: Sydney Mardi Gras creative director Greg Clarke and CEO Terese Casu. Photo: Supplied