Michelle Boyde, Genevieve Murray and David Patman on the Lake Margaret pipeline track as part of creative development for The Lake, 2017. Credit: Joel Spring.
The Unconscious Collective (UnC) , established by David Patman and Michelle Boyde in 2014, is an informal collaboration of artists working with sound, movement, contemporary and digital art and design. UnC’s application to Arts Projects Individuals and Groups was funded by the Emerging and Experimental Arts panel in 2017.
David and Michelle received $14,163 to creatively develop an art/ecology intervention reimagining the historic Lake Margaret power station on Tasmania's West Coast as a utopian centre for personal and cultural regeneration, focussing on experimental architecture and live art practice. The project is part of an ongoing partnership with The Unconformity festival to stimulate cultural production and tourism on the post-industrial West Coast communities through art.
David and Michelle have applied many times before. As seasoned applicants, asking for advice from an Australia Council Grants Officer is a key part of their process.
As David says, ‘I very much recommend talking with Australia Council staff – it helps you to focus on the right areas of the application, ensures you're applying to the correct fund, and gives insights into how panel members may respond to the project. It can really help to demystify the process too and make it seem less daunting.’
There’s value in writing the application, too, beyond receiving the funds. ‘It helps you to organise the steps necessary to transform the ideas into a workable project; it's a good reality check, and can also help to generate new ideas and solutions.
Selecting the Emerging and Experimental arts panel to assess the application was an easy decision, David explains. ‘We see emerging and experimental arts as artistic practice that reaches beyond what has been accepted, historically, as art. Experimental arts responds to complex new questions arising in the world, socially, politically or technologically. In the case of The Lake, we were taking a risk and testing the limits of what might be considered artistic practice by collaborating with an experimental architect on a post-industrial ecology project. So Emerging and Experimental seemed to be the right match.’
David and Michelle selected Creation as the third criterion, to direct the assessors’ attention to the central aims of their project. In this case, the application was for the creative development phase of the project, so creation made sense as the criterion.
Since UnC received funding for the project, David has been an Australia Council assessor himself, which he says might give him added insight into why the application was successful, speculating that, ‘perhaps we were able to capture the atmosphere of Lake Margaret and the West Coast through a succinct written statement about what is an inspiring place, combined with some good imagery and support material, as well as clearly conveying the aims of the project.’
The first phase of creative development is complete and David and Michelle are now confirming partners for the next phase, aiming for the first stage presentation at the Unconformity festival in October 2018.
Learn more about our grants for Arts Projects