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05/06 Monday 10:16PM

Collectively speaking

By Leo Kasim

They’re new, refreshing and an exciting addition to Brunei’s creative and arts scene.  Calling themselves ‘the collective’, the group have been making most of their public appearance in art galleries with Sunday pop-up sales which are somewhat reminiscent of the small and alternative markets in places you’d see such as those in Melbourne, Australia.

Osveanne, one of the two founders of the group, tells me that the creative scene in Brunei has the potential to meet international standards but was lacking a platform to do so.

“We wanted a platform to provide exposure for local talents and allow the public to learn more about creative industries,’’ she says.

Back in 2013, she met Shinny who saw that there was a particular worldwide trend for hair braid sessions or ‘braid bars’. Both of them initially focused on their own ‘braid bar’ sessions but soon enough new opportunities began to surface.

“Initially we were only focusing on doing a small event, but we kept finding new inspiration to grow our concept into what it is now,” Osveanne says.

In January 2014, ‘the collective’ began and have been picking up traction following an encouraging response from the public.

“It was an organic process that has taken off a lot faster than we thought it would. In three months we have seen a movement within the public who recognize this as a positive development for the community,’’ she says.

Osveanne rarely uses the words ‘business or ‘company’ to describe the group. She says that the group’s intention is to promote a lifestyle supportive of the local community while getting people inspired, creative and to collaborate more in the arts.

“We are hoping to see that the efforts we are making now will come into fruition in which our community would be proud to shop local, eat local, enjoy local and support local (industries),’’ she says.

“The aim is also to develop Bruneian standards so that we can have creative industries that are locally sustainable and also valid on a global scale,’’ she adds.

The group has held three successful creative arts festivals and braid bar workshops since starting with strong support from the patrons and vendors who are made up of small and independent companies and startups selling their own creations whether its clothes or cupcakes.

"We have been receiving a lot of positive feedback and are grateful for that because that inspires us,” Osveanne says.

She also acknowledges that there is still more room for improvement in terms of active participation from other parties.

“There are a lot of people with great ideas and we hope they get motivated to follow their passion, collaborate with each other and create more opportunities in the industry,’’ she says.

"There also needs to be a greater focus on creative arts in education followed by more action and initiative from individuals to get our local arts scene up and running.”

As the group enters another month, Osveanne says that there are more things planned to keep the momentum going. She also invites more creative talents to showcase their skills.

“If you are an artist, a writer, a fashionista, an actor, a dancer and in any way musically inclined or simply a ‘creative’, be sure to stay posted as we have events for that,’’ she says. (Photos by thecollectiveartevents, samofurniture and beadsheaps)

(The group will be having another event this coming Sunday at Creative Space, No 6B, 1st Floor, Sengkurong Shopping Complex, Kg Sengkurong. For pointers, building is located behind the Sengkurong Petrol Station or is opposite SKH)

(You can follow them on their Facebook page, Instagram and Pinterest and keep up to date on their latest creative events)

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