Arts projects incorporating
science, several languages, and exploring ageing, illness and disabilities are
some of the innovative and diverse works supported by the Australia Council for
the Arts through its September grants round.
Council Chief Executive Officer Tony Grybowski said the strong field of projects
assessed by expert peers included innovative collaborations between artists and
communities, ground-breaking ideas using science and technology, and artists
from migrant and Indigenous backgrounds creating works that draw on their
cultural heritage and native languages.
“The Australia Council is committed to
supporting artists create excellent, challenging and exciting work and fostering
experimentation and risk-taking in all art forms,” Mr Grybowski said.
important part of being an artist is having the freedom to try new things, be
innovative and push boundaries and provide audiences with thought-provoking,
entertaining and moving experiences.
also vital that all Australians are able to participate in and have access to a
range of art and cultures and that the Council supports projects that are
relevant to a wide range of people and communities.
the projects supported in this round meet that challenge and include an
impressive and diverse range of work by talented individual artists, groups and
small to medium organisations from across the country.”
September grants round received a strong response with almost 1,700
applications and 290 projects funded in all areas of arts practice and from
every state and territory.
million investment includes $3.7 million to 166 projects by individual artists,
$1 million to 39 group projects, and $5.7 million to support 85 projects by
small to medium arts organisations.
Australia Council’s peer assessment process ensures grants are assessed by
experts in the relevant areas of arts practice.
This funding round involved 115 peers from all states and territories
and all arts practices. In this round 25 per cent of peers were from regional
or remote areas, 16 per cent identified as being Aboriginal and/or Torres
Strait Islander people, and 19 per cent from culturally and linguistically diverse
Melbourne-based emerging artist Brienna
Macnish creates innovative and diverse multi-artform projects that are inclusive
and tell stories that are under-represented and socially relevant in a
contemporary arts context. Brienna’s work,
Village, is a multi-art form project
created in collaboration with a retirement village and seeks to bring older
people back to the centre by transforming it into a contemporary arts
Western Australian artist Nathan Thompson’s work
questions the role of humans in the natural landscape. He will use his grant to create an artistic
autonomous biological robot where the body is an organic structure and the
behavior is generated by heart muscle cells.
The project is at the intersection of art, science and society, and will
use ground-breaking scientific and cybernetic processes to create an artistic
autonomous robot made of organic and inorganic matter.
Sydney-based interdisciplinary artist John A
Douglas investigates his ongoing chronic illness and dialysis treatment through
scientific and collaborative performances.
His project will reveal over time the transformations of his body after an
organ transplant and the regime of ongoing compliance and drug treatment that
is both lifesaving and potentially lethal. Douglas will interrogate - via
performance, video, sound, interactive media and sculpture - the complexity of
the transplant experience underlined by the trauma of surgery, a disrupted
identity, and adherence to a program of physical fitness.
Powerhouse Youth Theatre in Western Sydney will
collaborate with contemporary dance company Force Majeure on Jump First, Ask Later to be staged at
the Sydney Opera House. This work will tell the collective stories of six young
culturally and linguistically diverse artists who are part of Fairfield’s
underground parkour and street-style community. This dance theatre work merges
urban freestyle forms with contemporary dance to create a physical narrative
that explores the poetics of violence, migration, redemption and ultimately the
collective freedom they discovered by mapping their city through dance. The Powerhouse Youth Theatre Ensemble, a
collective of seven young and emerging artists who speak six different
languages between them, will develop scripts to create multi-lingual
presentations. The theatre will also
host a weekly drop-in and leadership program for refugees and migrants aged
between 14 and 18 years.
Melbourne Artistic Director Jodee Mundy produces
theatre, public events, installations and artistic interventions that bring
together diverse cross-sections of the community to challenge and inspire them
and position diversity as valuable to the art.
Her project, Imagined Touch, The
Deafblind Live Art Project is centred on two Deafblind women (performer and
pianist) exploring their profound experience of living in a world without sight
or sound. Through tactile translators, touch choreography, social haptic
communication and sign language, these Deafblind artists and their interpreters
guide audiences through a metaphoric participatory hands-on installation
offering audiences an insight into navigating the world through touch.
South Australian contemporary arts company Vitalstatistix will present Adhocracy,
a national artist hothouse held annually to support the creative development of
new experimental art and performance. Artists from around Australia will spend four
days in a studio developing new artworks, which can span live art, performance,
sound, installation, media, technology, and socially-engaged practice.
Salamanca Arts Centre in Hobart will
present New Alchemists, an exhibition
exploring futuristic biologies and post-human narratives. The exhibition, to be held in SAC's Long
Gallery from 22 July to 1 September 2016, will feature local, national and
international artists showing new, commissioned and pre-existing works, most
not seen before in Tasmania or Australia. The project provides a platform for
early career Tasmanian artists to exhibit with world-class contemporary alchemists
and artists from other states and countries.
Participating artists work within the art/science spectrum but, avoiding
the clinical, channel humour and the abject, and their artworks traverse an
array of media.
Kaldor Public Arts Projects has commissioned Sydney-based
Aboriginal artist Jonathan Jones to recreate the Garden Palace in
the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, which was destroyed by fire along with
Indigenous historical artefacts in 1882.
Winner of the Kaldor Public Art Project’s Your Very Good Idea competition, Jonathan’s installation, Barrangal dyara (skin and bones), will
give back that history through this project.
Brisbane’s Motherboard Productions will
stage Shimchong: Daughter Overboard! at
the 2016 World Theatre Festival, in collaboration with artists from Brisbane,
Melbourne and Seoul. The production is a politically ambitious retelling of a
traditional Korean tale that highlights the current plight of those seeking
asylum in Australia through a fusion of original music, traditional Korean
opera, physical theatre and bilingual storytelling.
Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre in Yirrkala,
Northern Territory has received funding for its Indigenous artists to
take part in the major exhibition, Living
Water, at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco. The exhibition will be curated by Erica Izett and Georges Petitjean
from the Aboriginal Art Museum Utrecht and Donna Carstens from the Australian National
Maritime Museum. It will include works by 35 artists: 18 from the Sordello
Missana Collection in Antibes, five from Buku Larrnggay Mulka, four from the
Aboriginal Art Museum Utrecht and three from the Australian National Maritime
Museum. All but three artists are Indigenous.
Iranian-Australian theatre group Baran, based
in Brisbane, will present a contemporary version of one of the
most famous narratives of pre-Islamic Iran, ‘Vis and Ramin’. A team of
Farsi and English-speaking creative practitioners have developed a bi-lingual
performance work that will engage industry and linguistically diverse artistic
peers as well as the thriving multicultural community in Brisbane. This new
work was developed over two years with support from Metro Arts, BEMAC, the Australia
Council’s Theatre Diversity Initiative, Arts Queensland, as well as Playwriting
Broome Aboriginal Media Association Aboriginal
Corporation will hold the Goolarri Writers Program and
Incubator. This will build on the skills
participants learned from the 2014 program, while nurturing new talent in
performance writing. It will assist these emerging writers to develop their
stories to a level where they can submit their work for commissioning, awards
or further opportunities. The writers will work one-on-one with the
facilitators on their projects and participate in masterclasses, workshops and
be mentored to create their own opportunities. They will also be encouraged to
create a bank of new ideas and works for further development.
Brisbane Community Arts Centre will
focus on diversity and critical mass for its 2016 program. Capitalising on the Australia
Council’s Theatre Diversity Initiative, BCAC have shown diversity is their
point of difference nationally, evidenced by engaging 32 culturally and linguistically
diverse artists across 20 projects between 2012 and 2015. BCAC’s new vision will
create a flexible curatorial structure through artist-led open calls, balanced
with ethical strategic projects that actively promote gender equality, inter-generational
initiatives, diversity, including artists from Indigenous, queer and culturally
and linguistically diverse communities, and artists with disability. In 2016 BCAC will generate critical creative
mass through micro-festivals held over three to five days, which will include exhibitions,
workshops, free showings and presentations across all art forms.
Hayes Theatre Company in Sydney will develop
new Australian musical theatre works over two years.
Melbourne composer Iain Grandage will
mentor Adelaide Indigenous singer-songwriter
Corey Theatre to compose in collaboration an eight minute work in
Gunditjmara language to be performed by Archie Roach to open the 2016 Port Fairy Spring Music Festival.
Sydney experimental jazz trio The Necks will
celebrate their 30th anniversary by recording new work, and embark on an Australian
and international tour. They will also collaborate
with extreme drone metal band from Seattle Sunn O))) and Brian Eno.
Brisbane choreographer Lisa Wilson and composer Paul Charlier will premiere in
2016 Wireless, a new intermedia dance
theatre work, which will incorporate dance, music, design and on-stage
technology. Lisa received a Creative Development grant from the Australia
Council to develop Wireless, which
explores issues of trust, technology and deception.
see the September grant results, go to: https://www.australiacouncil.gov.au/funding/awarded-grants/
are now open for the next grants round, which closes on 2 February 2016.
more information go to: www.australiacouncil.gov.au
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