I’ve been reflecting on the deeper influence of my time at PACT for my internship, beyond the new skills I’ve picked up. When I think about it, I have participated in more creative events or activities during the last couple of months than I ever have before. I think part of the stimulus has been the regular travel to Sydney. I’ve taken the opportunity to stay back after my PACT days to catch a show. I’ve travelled back up to Sydney on an additional day because it feels like no big deal. It’s all too easy being down in Wollongong to not make the effort to attend something in Sydney, even though I might be really interested in it.
The other reason I think it’s been happening is because creative exposure breeds more creativity. I am in that space where I have allowed myself the freedom to try new things, explore, expose myself to new creative experiences. I’ve allowed myself to believe that this is my life. That it’s perfectly reasonable to be doing these things. That I belong amongst these things. They are natural. They are necessary.
That might sound really obvious, but for someone who has denied the creative part of her life for a good 20 years, they are not obvious, and I have to struggle all the time with “permission” to “indulge”. There is a voice within me that brings me down and tells me that I’m being selfish. Self-indulgent. That it’s a waste of time. That I have responsibilities and therefore am being irresponsible. It’s a loud voice, and I must overcome it.
Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way has two activities that she insists you need to be disciplined about if you want to discover or recover your creativity . The first is Morning Pages and the second is Artist Date. I love the concept of both, but am not disciplined about either. But I have been doing my Morning Pages on the train each day I’ve travelled to PACT and been on many Artist’s dates in the last two months.
Here’s some of the things I’ve been up to during this time.
Dark Mofo, Hobart, 10-14 June
Where I experienced
Hobart is transformed during this winter festival
Anthony McCall: Solid Light Works, Landscape for Fire, Night Ship
Bastiaan Maris: Fire Organ
Patricia Piccinini + Peter Hennessey: The Shadows Calling
The Rabble: Orlando, Theatre Royal
Lucy Bleach: Radiant Heat
Jason James: Angry Electrons
Tyrone Sheather: Giidanyba
Marina Abramovic: Private Archaeology, Museum of Old and New Art, exhibition grand opening
Film: A Second Chance, Directed by Susanne Bier, at the State Cinema
At the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery I saw exhibitions by John Kelly (Beyond Woop Woop), Patrick Hall (Things I Once Knew, a survey exhibition of his work) and the permanent exhibition Our Land: parrawa, parrawa! Go away! in the Bond Store Galleries, which documents the Black War, the dark period of Tasmania’s history following European invasion.
Created by Ryan McGoldrick, performed with Claire Stejpanovic and Steve Wilson-Alexander, all UoW grads.
Directed by Phillip Crawford, produced by arts organisation Beyond Empathy. I had a small part in this film, made by young people living in the most disadvantaged communities in the Illawarra. It was very exciting to see it screened on the ABC.
Marina Abramovic in Residence, Kaldor Public Arts Project 30, Pier 2/3 Walsh Bay, 3 July
I lost myself for an unknown period of time participating in a range of Marina’s durational exercises, designed to help an artist engage fully in the present. I loved it. I am always rushing from one thing to the next, running late, trying to fit one more thing in, dealing with the cacophony in my head and a multitude of distractions. This forced me to expunge all of that and SLOW DOWN.
We are studying Brecht in Spring semester in our Political Dramaturgy subject, with Mother Courage one of the set works. Is it possible to do Brecht in this day and age? Great to see Robyn Nevin at work, but not sure this packed the political punch it could have.
TV Commercial Casting Call, Outcast International, Wollongong 9 July
I took the plunge and rocked up to a casting. Wendy Green is originally from Wollongong, now living and working in the US. Her casting company specialises in finding odd, quirky, “outcasts” for film and TV projects. Didn’t get cast, but experienced the process for the first time and didn’t talk myself out of it beforehand.
Byron Perry + Antony Hamilton, Untitled
Didn’t leave myself enough time to fully immerse myself in the multitude of video installations. Had the best fun playing with Byron Perry and Antony Hamilton’s work Untitled, where I could control the video projection of one or the other through a keyboard synchronised to frames of the video/audio. In the videos, Byron and Antony were pulling funny faces while speaking and sometimes making random noises. The blurb says “The installation is an attempt to place the participants in a situation where they can be swept up in the ridiculousness and sublime joy of unbridled creativity”. That’s exactly what it was.
I laughed my head off, then soon after could not subdue a flood of silent tears during one of the most beautiful scenes I have ever seen staged. A testament to the power of simplicity in design, the power of symbols and suggestion and an incredible achievement for any director and cast to bring together this curious and complex … can’t even call it a play … by Caryl Churchill. This is an example of everything that contemporary theatre can be about.
Lore, Bangarra Dance Theatre, Illawarra Performing Arts Centre, 24 July
My first time seeing Bangarra perform. Bonus was that I won tickets through Merrigong Theatre Company. Shared this one with my family.
Reflecting back on it all, I’m very impressed! No wonder I’m so exhausted!