Next Wave announces artists to watch out for in 2017-18
Kickstart Helix artists represent the new generation in Australian art
Australia’s leading artist development organisation Next Wave has announced the latest cohort of participants in its prestigious and highly competitive development program, Kickstart Helix.
Following an unprecedented number of applications received from early-career practitioners nationwide, 17 artists, writers, curators, producers and collectives have been selected to participate in the program.
From fine printmakers, installation artists, curators and practitioners working in Islamic decorative arts through to Indigenous choreographers, zine-makers, queer performance makers and radical alter-egos, the selected participants represent a diverse cross section of identities, abilities and artistic practices operating in Australia today.
The selected participants are: Embittered Swish (VIC/NSW), Rosie Isaac (VIC), Luke Duncan King (VIC), Azja Kulpińska and Timmah Ball (VIC), Lady Producer Gang (ACT), Josh Muir and Adam Ridgeway (VIC), Zachary Pidd and Charles Purcell (VIC), Danielle Reynolds (VIC), Harrison Ritchie-Jones (VIC), Taree Sansbury (NSW), Zara Sigglekow (VIC), Sancintya Simpson (QLD), Brendan Snow (NT), Rhen Soggee (SA), Alex Tate and Olivia Tartaglia (WA), Shireen Taweel (NSW) and Athena Thebus (NSW).
Kickstart Helix is a year-long program of creative and professional development opportunities and intensive workshops, culminating in the presentation of bold and ambitious new work at Next Wave Festival in May 2018.
Having travelled across the country to meet with potential applicants during October and November 2016, Director/CEO Georgie Meagher and Creative Producer Erica McCalman are thrilled with the final selection.
“We say that a diverse conversation is the only conversation worth having – and this selection of projects is absolutely true to that,” said Georgie Meagher. “I couldn’t be more excited at the prospect of spending the next year with these great creative thinkers as they create some incredibly ambitious projects for Next Wave Festival 2018.”
“These 17 artists, producers, curators and writers are going to have an incredible journey with Next Wave over the next 18 months,” said Erica McCalman. “For the first time Kickstart Helix will have artists, writers, curators and producers learning, sharing and creating together. This provides an incredibly fertile place for participants to develop rich and challenging work, and revolutionise each other’s practice.”
Established in 1984, Next Wave is the most comprehensive platform in Australia for a new generation of artists taking creative risks. Next Wave produces unparalleled learning programs and a biennial festival which reflect a commitment to social and cultural diversity, environmental sustainability and inclusion.
Next Wave’s learning programs have launched the careers of some of Australia’s best and brightest new talent, including Barry Award-winning comedian Zoe Coombs Marr, four-time Archibald Prize nominee Abdul Abdullah, acclaimed dancer and choreographer Atlanta Eke, and Megan Cope, winner of the 2015 Western Australian Indigenous Art Prize for her Next Wave-developed work The Blaktism.
Georgie Meagher and Erica McCalman are available for interview.
Full artist biographies follow.
Further media information: Magda Petkoff, Purple Media, firstname.lastname@example.org, 0409 436 473
Embittered Swish (VIC/NSW) Performance
Embittered Swish began in 2015 as an artistic conversation between artist Cinnamon Templeton and performance maker Mick Klepner Roe, taking Jean Genet’s 1943 novel Our Lady of the Flowers as its starting point. Embittered Swish grew to be the ensemble of artists that devised and performed Our Lady of the Flowers at La Mama Courthouse theatre in October this year. These artists include Mossy Pebbles, Bobuq Sayed, Krishna Istha, Romy Seven, M’ck McKeague and Rare Candy. The project focuses on the morally and sexually ambiguous. Genet moves and speaks in the in-between; bodies overlap and change through desire; crimes and confessions are decaying glories. We have been reformulating the novel to speak to contemporary trans realities. Embittered Swish is now expanding their practice of personal and poetic performance making into other cultural texts.
Rosie Isaac (VIC) Performance
Rosie Isaac works with performance, video and writing. Most often she begins with a script, a form of writing that is always oriented towards speech.
The digital female voice used for public announcements coughs, she is given a body. An allegorical personification of Security is cast as an exhausted and exploited office worker. The slippery terrain of words becoming idea becoming body is used to explore the politics of public space under conditions of power, authority and myth.
Recent exhibitions and performances include ‘Through flooding’ (2016) part of Through love: five feminist perspectives, Brainlina’s program for Next Wave Festival 2016. Slow roasted lamb (2016), Gertrude Studios, No, I couldn’t agree with you more, a two-person show with Briony Galligan at TCB art Inc. (2015), Pardon me, but our position has been struck by lightning at The Substation (2014) and ?! Performance Festival, The Pipe Factory Glasgow (2014). Isaac is a current Gertrude Studio resident.
Luke Duncan King (VIC) Drawing, printmaking and video installation
Luke Duncan King is a visual artist working predominantly in printmaking, also including drawings and watercolour works on paper. King recently completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours – Visual Art) at the Victorian College of the Arts in 2015. King participated in numerous group exhibitions at the Margaret Lawrence Gallery, City of Melbourne Library and internationally at 3331 Arts Chiyoda as a part of the International Printmaking Conference 2014 in Tokyo, Japan. He often collaborated with student visual artists, emerging visual artists and dancers at the VCA, Jodee Mundy Collaboration, Nicola Gunn as well as with Louella May Hogan and Anna Seymour to discover the performance and audience experientially and encounter the artistic practice in a visceral and insightful way.
Azja Kulpińska and Timmah Ball (VIC) Writing
Azja Kulpińska is a queer migrant from Poland currently based on the lands of the Kulin Nations. She is a Theatre of the Oppressed practitioner, zine-maker and producer, community arts worker, radio producer and writer. She has facilitated dialogical theatre and zine-making projects in Australia, Solomon Islands and Poland that explored challenging narratives around identity, migration, displacement, systems of oppression and other topics relevant to the communities she works with.
Timmah Ball is an interdisciplinary artist of Ballardong Noongar descent, working across community arts and writing. She has delivered numerous community arts events bringing unique stories into the broader public consciousness. Most recently she completed a writers residency at The University of Iowa, called Indigenous Voices/Narrative Witness. She has written for Inflection Journal, Right Now, Meanjin and the Westerly.
Azja and Timmah have been working collaboratively since 2015 on producing intersectional feminist zines (including Wild Tongue), events and a radio show Intersections on 3CR community radio, with an aim to provide a platform for a range of women and gender non-conforming practitioners (with an emphasis on WOC, Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders, queer and trans and disabled practitioners) to disrupt the dominant narratives from below through writing, images, performance and sound.
Lady Producer Gang (ACT) Producer
Lady Producer Gang (LPG) is a collective of independent creative producers. LPG is a gang because they’re about disruption, independence and community. Founding members Yasmin Masri, Adelaide Rief and Vanessa Wright are producers of the collaborative kind, viewing creative production as an artistic practice. LPG was established as space to interrogate and invent new models for working, not only for developing and presenting art but also for the structures and systems that sit behind contemporary creative practice.
As a collective LPG want to facilitate conversations about the power and meaning of art, with those who are often excluded from those discussions. Through their work they explore the potential of creativity to disrupt; using social experiments and play to teach us new ways to exist, think and relate to each other in a world facing uncertain futures. For LPG, this type of art is participatory and DIY.
Yasmin, Adelaide and Vanessa have established and worked for diverse organisations including You Are Here Festival, Noted Festival, Melbourne Fringe Festival, Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centres, Craft ACT, DESIGN Canberra, Hotel Hotel and the London Design Biennale. They have also been radio presenters, teachers, social media managers, community lawyers, and shop assistants.
Josh Muir and Adam Ridgeway (VIC) Sculpture, installation, story
“I am a proud Yorta Yorta/ Gunditjmara man, I hold my culture strong to my heart and it gives me a voice and great sense of my identity. I look around I see empires built on aboriginal land, I cannot physically change or shift this, though I can make the most of my culture in a contemporary setting and my art projects reflect my journey.” – Josh Muir Josh Muir is a Melbourne-based multi media artist. In 2015 Muir was the recipient of the Telstra National Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander Art Award – Youth and the Hutchinson Scholarship, which will see him undertake a 12-month residency at the Victorian College of the Arts. Muir’s work has been acquired by the Koorie Heritage Trust, The National Gallery of Australia, the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, the National Gallery of Victoria and was commissioned as a major project artist by White Night.
Adam Ridgeway is a Worimi ceramicist currently based in Melbourne, Victoria. Ridgeway’s artistic practice began in 2005 at Sydney College of the Arts completing Honours in 2009 and Masters in 2011. Ridgeway’s ceramic works are introspective explorations of contemporary Indigenous identity and the A-colonial/anti-colonial histories, memories and perceptions that intersect in their formation. Previous exhibitions have included the 24th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award (2007), the 4th World Ceramic Biennale in Korea (2007), the 2008 Gold Coast International Ceramic Art Award and Generations (2008) at the Horus & Deloris Contemporary Art Space, Sydney.
Zachary Pidd and Charles Purcell (VIC) Theatre
Zachary Pidd and Charles Purcell are award-winning theatre-makers and actors based in Melbourne whose individual backgrounds are fundamental to their combined practice: Charles’ spans writing for performance, cultural studies and dramaturgy; Zak is a multi-instrumentalist whose investigation of sound underpins all of the work he makes. They met studying Theatre Practice at the VCA where they developed a shared collaborative devising process founded on non-hierarchical structures. Each of their collaborations to date have been driven by non-traditional dramaturgies, pastiches of disparate, multi-modal theatrical languages, and an investigation into the mutualistic relationship between chaos and structure in performance. Together they have collaborated as co-creators and performers on Smithereens (Frisk Festival, Melbourne Fringe), as performers together on Daniel Schlusser’s Schmaltz (Malthouse), and created work for The Last Tuesday Society and The Village Festival at Falls.
Danielle Reynolds (VIC) Performance/visual art
Danielle Reynolds is a multi-disciplinary artist who creates works that comprise interchangeable components of: large-scale painting, sculpture, moving image, sound and performance. Her work is generated from a studio practice that engages with notions of ‘not knowing’ and failure as desirable states to work from/with. The resulting work commonly employs recurrent themes of humour, gesture, popular culture and futility. Danielle completed her Honours at VCA (Victoria College of Arts) following the completion of a Bachelor of Fine Arts at RMIT University in 2015. Danielle spent six months studying at Chelsea College of Arts: The University of Arts London. Earlier this year she was selected for the Supermassive Internship with Aphids to work on their show HOWL (Festival of Live Art) and in 2015 completed an internship at Arts Project Australia. Danielle has exhibited nationally and internationally in a number of group shows: most recently she exhibited in Debut XII at Blindside Gallery and performed ‘On the Boulevard of Broken Dreams’ as a part of A. Time-based Exhibition, curated by Arie Rain Glorie.
Harrison Ritchie-Jones (VIC) Performance/dance
Harrison Ritchie-Jones graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Dance) in 2014. In 2013, he was awarded a Victorian College of the Arts Undergraduate Most Outstanding Creative Scholarship. He has worked with, and performed in creations by Stephanie Lake, Graeme Murphy, Rebecca Hilton, Lucy Guerin, Phillip Adams, Prue Lang, Shian Law, Rebecca Jensen and Alice Heyward, in commissions by Chunky Move, Tasdance, Lucy Guerin Inc. and The Australian Conservatoire of Ballet. He has also performed in the frame of Ludwigshafen Pfalzbau (Germany), Pieces For Small Spaces at Lucy Guerin Inc. (Melbourne), and Murray White Room Gallery (Melbourne).
Taree Sansbury (NSW) Dance theatre
Taree Sansbury is an emerging freelance artist and NAISDA Dance College graduate. Taree is a proud Kaurna, Narungga and Ngarrindjeri woman from South Australia. In her short time as a freelance artist Taree has had the opportunity of performing in Force Majeure’s two-year Culminate/Cultivate program and undertook an internship with Australian Dance Theatre in 2014. A highlight for Taree was working with independent creative Vicki Van Hout on her latest full-length work Long Grass, which premiered at the Sydney Festival and later on at Dance Massive 2015. Taree has worked with some of Sydney’s highly acclaimed independent makers such as Victoria Hunt in her most recent full-length work Tangi Wai and Martin Del Amo’s development of his latest work Champions. Taree performed in the 2016 Next Wave Festival and AFTERGLOW (presented by PACT Centre for Emerging Artists) for Thomas E. S. Kelly in his debut full-length work [MIS]CONCEIVE. More recently Taree was a performer in Branch Nebula’s Snake Sessions for the Artlands Festival in Dubbo, NSW.
Zara Sigglekow (VIC) Curator
Zara Sigglekow is an arts writer, curator and administrator. Her most recent exhibition The Joke explored humour in relationship to power, and was held across a commercial gallery (Neon Parc) and an ARI (Bus Projects).
With an academic background in Political Studies and Art History (University of Auckland), and a Master of Art Curatorship (University of Melbourne), she is is interested in making exhibitions that contextualise contemporary art within broader social and cultural themes.
She is a regular contributor to Ocula and writes for Art Guide Australia, Eyecontact (NZ), and catalogue essays for emerging artists in Australia and New Zealand.
Sancintya Simpson (QLD) Interdisciplinary, photo-media, video, painting, performance and sound
Sancintya Simpson is an interdisciplinary artist who examines the complexities of racial, migratory and mixed-race experience within Australia. Her practice is informed by her heritage as a biracial First-Generation Australian of Indian-Anglo descent. To create dialogue on society’s concealed prejudices, her practice intertwines painting, photography, video and performance. The two main aspects of her practice are her use traditional mediums mixed with digital platforms, and her radical alter-ego CHICHI MA$ALA. Simpson has a Bachelor of Photography with Honours from Queensland College of Art, Griffith University (2014).
Brendan Snow (NT) Producer
Brendan graduated from the University of Ballarat Arts Academy with a Bachelor of Arts: Acting in 2013. There he became skilled in physical theatre, viewpoints, circus, voice and dance on top of learning a more conventional text based theatre and film acting. Since graduating Brendan trained with Melbourne Suzuki, The Actors coach (film) and as a writer in ATYP’s National Studio program. He has also moved into becoming a producer, he co-founded independent theatre company, Milkbar Theatre and produced all five of their shows, often doubling up as a director or actor. Brendan’s passion lies in creating or managing theatre and drama for youth and regional areas.
Rhen Soggee (SA) Producer
Rhen Soggee is an early career producer, interested in social change through arts, specifically with queer, feminist, multicultural and intersectional agendas. Tertiary study in Classical History piqued Rhen’s curiosity in development/interplay of culture, religion, science and politics. Once presented with arts as a profession outside of performance, Rhen delved into Arts Management to facilitate conversations, experiences and understanding through Arts, underpinned by an ideal to foster better cross-cultural exchange in Arts and beyond. They believe that immersive, participatory and challenging (multi)arts experiences can help us to reflect on who we are, how we are and how we interact, affect and are affected by the world around us. Currently a Program Coordinator at Carclew, Rhen also worked as Program Coordinator at OzAsia Festival, following their Anthony Steel Fellowship at Adelaide Festival Centre. They have worked on contemporary music festivals in Singapore, developed youth programming and established a Youth Drop In at Feast Festival, and previously managed a contemporary music act: organisation is their middle name. Rhen’s strong community streak was acknowledged by nomination for Young Australian of the Year Award in 2014. They continue to champion engagement and social change, using arts to spark cross-cultural conversation and understanding in their everyday.
Olivia Tartaglia and Alex Tate (WA) Multidisciplinary
Olivia Tartaglia and Alex Tate are artists from Perth, Western Australia, exploring futurism, ecotechnology, far-future scifi, biological art, and the Anthropocene, and collaborating together on interactive installations including zen gardens and luminescent inflatable architecture.
Olivia works with paint, pen and installation, and her works draw inspiration from a multitude of fantastical realms, paying homage 70’s scifi concept art, classic biological illustrations and fledgling animated cinema. She is currently working on new concepts within the mediums of sculpture, textiles and installation/performance works.
Alex works primarily in digital mediums, exploring relationships between the virtual and the natural worlds. He explores the serendipitous nature and visual representations of digital glitches, and virtual terraforming as an act of aesthetic contemplation.
Shireen Taweel (NSW) Installation
Shireen Taweel’s practice is rooted in cross-cultural discourse, where local-global dialogues influence my work as Shireen explore the refined processes of metallurgy. Shireen’s cultural heritage within the Islamic Decorative Arts is a source of reference and inspiration in the development of forms and in the application of decorative techniques and consideration of sacred objects. Shireen’s forms sit in a space between jewellery, sculpture and architecture, where Shireen’s techniques of making take the traditional art of copper-smithing into a contemporary context. The works partake in a cross-cultural discourse, while the sense of the arcane and shifted structures opens dialogue between shared histories and communities of fluid identities.
Athena Thebus (NSW) Video, sculpture, installation
Athena’s practice spans sculpture, drawing, and writing. Her practice is driven by the desire to generate an atmosphere by which queer life is sustainable. Part of figuring that out is to make sculptures and installations that use materials that are connotative of capitalism’s excess, nuanced with past shame and queer hope. Presently, her writing practice involves feeling like a dog and swimming in other people’s waters. She is a Scorpio with a Sagittarius rising and a Capricorn moon.