Interview: Jos Franciscus (Cord Fundraiser)

Interview: Jos Franciscus (Cord Fundraiser)

A chat with Cord Fundraiser organiser Jos Franciscus, along with some examples of what we can expect.

Cord Fundraiser is a once a year fundraising event showcasing and auctioning original artwork created by local and national artists to raise money for spinal cord injury rehab in Perth. Held at Whipper Snapper Distillery in East Perth this Saturday 6 June, the auction is the first time it has been hosted here and aims to bring the cream-of-the-crop of street artists, illustrators, designers and homegrown talent. 2015 sees the likes of Paul DeejAndy QuiltyPippa McManusArt By Destroy and more donating their art. You can head to the Facebook event HERE, once you've read an interview with organiser Jos Franciscus and a few examples of what'll be on display.

Hey Jos, how is everything? 

Good! A bit crazy when you're this close to launching an event. I'm in a constant state of "am I forgetting something?" Haha.

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I'm a crazy dog lady, happy resident of Mt Lawley, lover of the arts, occupational therapist and I also happen to have a spinal cord injury. I guess when you have quadriplegia, or you're in a wheelchair, it's something you inevitably explain but for me I feel it's such a small part of who I am. I think at this point in time, my life is a little driven by passion projects, and it's such a privilege to be able to pursue them. I'm happily busy!

cord andy q

^ Andy Quilty - "Skull Study"

You’ve been involved in organising and coordinating a number of creative projects like the stARTup Markets at last year’s Beaufort Street Festival and FORM's Public Street Art Festival – what led to your interest in the arts?

I've always been surrounded by art and passionate about it, but it's really been since my accident five years ago that I've been able to pursue roles in the arts. It started with my own art auction fundraiser 'Cord' and snowballed into a series of other incredible opportunities. I'm even considering studying it formally next year.

How did Cord (previously Art for Spine) begin?

It started with a desire to do something that would impact the lives of people with SCI in a meaningful way. It was first held in 2011 in Brisbane, shortly after I left hospital. It was hugely influenced by my own personal experience as both a person with a SCI and as an occupational therapist.

cord black mountains

The Black Mountains - "Grow"

What was the motivation behind using art and music as key elements of this?

For me it was a no-brainer. I have so many friends who are musicians and artists who are keen to help me raise awareness of SCI. Plus art is such an exciting and thought provoking format to express that, not to mention fun.

The theme for this year’s fundraiser is Dis/Connect, can you tell us about the idea and meaning behind it?

I have noticed that they seem to be recurring dual concepts with SCI. In terms of disconnection not only physically between the brain and body but also the disconnection and isolation one feels with who they once were and what they used to do. Connection relates to the healing process and the connections that are rebuilt socially and identity wise.

Cord hawk

Hawkinstonhawk - "What Makes A Man"

There are several incredible Perth artists exhibiting this year, is promoting local and national work a focus?

Absolutely, to me it's hugely important, the artists and musicians really are the stars of the show. It's so important for me to showcase the talent that's happening in Perth and beyond. I've been really lucky to score so many incredible artists, who are all generously creating and donating their artworks.

Do you feel the arts here has a different vibe to Queensland?

A little. I think Perth has a bit more of an urban street art edge, it has its own identity for sure and slowly becoming more confident. It's pretty youthful and innovative. Brisbane has some excellent cutting-edge artists however. I truly miss the GOMA (Gallery of Modern Art) as I practically lived there...I wish I could transplant it here!

cord kristian

^ Kristian Stevens - "Her Only Rival"

What are some of the highlights of this event for you?

Basically Cord is a culmination of all the things I love (how selfish of me!). So it's hard to pick just one stand out. Of course getting the auction underway will be exciting, listening to the sounds of Sarah Pellicano and The Stoops, but I'm equally excited to just enjoy the night with great food and a Gage Roads (beer).

Cord flyer

Add Cord Perth on FACEBOOK to keep up to date with all their goings on.