Heart of the City

Published by: Liam Lowth / Griffith University Film School | 25-Sep-2016
Rising musician, Arthur Wimble, released an EP written in in the heart of West End; Brisbane City's off center cultural hub. We spoke to the musician about identity, culture, and what it truly means to be part of a city.
West End is an enigma. It's the beating, off-center heart of the CBD, permanently frayed round the edges of anything it holds; gig posters, hemmed skirts, knobbed street corners, tattered paperbacks. It's a carved out section of Brisbane's past that merges lifestyles unrelated. But for some reason it all works; this fusion of ideas that synthesizes into something rough round the edges but bursting at the center of its seamed heart. Enter its citizens, specifically, one small time musician "“ who for the purposes of anonymity cannot be referred to as anything other than his pseudonym "“ Arthur Wimble. This young musician lived and studied in 4101's cultural epicenter. With the recent success of Arthur's debut EP, Hearts, there's a sense that he "“ just one of many West End denizens "“ and the suburb itself, have rubbed off on each other to create something special.

Hearts, the 6 track EP, has been gaining traction fast. It's currently doing the rounds on Triple J, garnering the attention of French music journal Kitsune, and sparking interest amongst numerous music blogs. The EP deals with themes of love, loss and memory, and was written when Arthur lived in the area. Something about the raggedy presentation but substantial heft of the material echoes the West End's own distinctive style.

"I've always used my surroundings as kind of a ground level for my work," Wimble told us.

"I studied in the area. You take in things from around here and it affects what you put out."

Arthur's answers bring to mind questions of both identity and culture. Does the culture we live in shape us? Or do we, as a group of individuals shape where we live? The answer is a combination of both; West End's vibrant arts scene is the product of multiple individuals coming together to influence the suburb, which in turn changes those same individuals to varying levels, depending on their interpretations of what's around them. It's cyclical, it's got a pulse to it; a heartbeat, if you will.

"It's kind of weird, the whole place seems like it was set up using stuff from other suburbs' Lifelines or Vinnies "“ It's this collection of things in one spot," said Arthur.

Critics have praised Hearts as a work which pulls from many genres, effectively toeing a line between joy and tragedy. It's many things at once; perhaps you could call it a collection of things in one spot.

When asked what was next for Arthur Wimble, the musician simply replied,

"Something completely different. I guess we'll all find out soon."

Now, working from a different area, perhaps there is more truth to Arthur's answer than his simple delivery lets on. Wherever the young musician's project goes, its roots are in the nostalgic romance of West End's bric-a-brac streets. This suburb is an enigma; a living breathing section of city with a heartbeat "“ like Tim Winton once said of Australia, "It leans in on you like family." This is a place where we'll all grow together.

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