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November 2012

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Arts Queensland’s bi-monthly update of arts and culture

Welcome to the November edition of Arts Update. This month we take a look Arts Queensland’s changing role following our recent restructure, we reveal how Indigenous artists and designers are transforming canvases into couture, and learn more about Laser Beak Man’s stage debut with Sydney Theatre Company, Arts Corps success and BIFF Director Richard Moore’s festival highlights.

Canvas to calico in artwork’s high fashion transformation Striking print works from leading Indigenous artists are being transformed into high fashion by young designers from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

from the QUT Creative Enterprise Australia’s Fashion Incubator to create a 20-piece collection that will be unveiled on 21 November before an audience of fashion industry VIPs.

Cairns artists Arone Meeks, Napolean Oui, Sharon Phineasa, Tommy Pau, and Townsville’s Margaret Mara are working with five graduating design students

“We really want to take beautiful Indigenous art and put it on the runway,” said project manager Cynthia Macnee of QUT Creative Enterprise Australia. story continued...

story continued... “So often designers are conflicted about how to approach and work with Indigenous communities and artists and this project is breaking down those barriers. “We’re trying to set up a process where designers work with artists to access a larger market and, through that, generate more income. “Why only have an artwork on canvas when it can be seen on some of the best dressed men and women in Australia or the world?” Artist Sharon Phineasa has revelled in seeing her artwork transformed into luxurious textiles and wearable art, but has most appreciated the genuinely collaborative nature of the designer-artist relationship. Sharon’s artwork Komal (Combs) is being transformed into a dress by student designer Hayley Elsaesser. The talented student designers were selected for this unique project through their participation in the Fashion Incubator, another initiative of QUT Creative Enterprise Australia, which provides business development and technical support for start-up fashion labels and emerging brands.

“Wearable art is something I’ve always wanted to do with my work, so this is a fantastic opportunity,” Sharon said. “This is a true collaboration between the artist and designer. They are conscious of cultural protocols and are following every step so our work is used in a way that is sensitive to the story behind the art.” The other artist/designer collaborations are: Tommy Pau and Shea Cameron; Arone Meeks and Monique White; Napolean Oui and Georgia Grainger; and Margaret Mara and Samantha Delgos. The Contemporary Indigenous Fashion Project is collaboration between QUT Creative Enterprise Australia, QUT Fashion, and KickArts Contemporary Arts, supported by Arts Queensland’s Backing Indigenous Arts. For more information visit Front: Artist Sharon Phineasa with her artwork Komal (Combs)which is being transformed into a dress by student designer Hayley Elsaesser. Above: Artist Arone Meeks with Jane Morley.

Cate takes Tim’s story to stage Cate Blanchett and Brisbane artist Tim Sharp, best known for his super hero creation Laser Beak Man, have been firm friends for two years. Tim, 24, was diagnosed with autism at age three and from early on used drawing and artwork as a way to communicate. He has since established a national profile through his artwork and animation, as well as he and mum Judy’s campaign to spread a message of ability and acceptance. His relationship with Ms Blanchett began when they met at an exhibition of his artwork at QPAC’s Out of the Box Festival, developed into a friendship and is now the stimulus for Sydney Theatre Company’s decision to create a play for its 2013 season based on Tim’s artwork. Last month, the company announced it would be working with the Helpmann Award-winning Back to Back Theatre and leading director Bruce Gladwin to create a new show to be co-produced with Malthouse Theatre. Tim’s drawings are a starting point for the production, Laser Beak

Man, and he has been closely involved in its early development. The work remains closely under wraps but Sydney Theatre Company has revealed the show will follow the fortunes of a group of hopefuls auditioning for the role of the beaked wonder himself. “The play is going to be really good,” Tim says. “I’m so happy about it. It’s huge.” Judy has been awed by the creative process with Mr Gladwin and the Back to Back ensemble and has seen Tim blossom through the experience. “The arts are such a powerful force,” she says. “He’s really come out of himself. Friends have commented on how they’ve noticed the changes in his expressions.” Watch Tim tell his story on Arts Queensland’s AQTV (link to http://

Above: Artist Tim Sharp with an animated version of his super hero Laser Beak Man

A major event After a flurry of curtain calls and program tweaks, all four of Queensland’s major performing arts companies have unveiled their 2013 seasons. The Queensland Symphony Orchestra was the first to unveil its new season. The year is a rich mix of classic programming and more popular choices. The prestigious maestro series features more than 10 internationally renowned guest artists, the popular Morning Masterworks and Music on Sundays series return, as does the pomp and spectacle of the Gala concerts. Some of the best known stars to perform with the QSO in 2013 include Nicholas Braithwaite, Anton Kuerti, Ray Chen, Piers Lane and James Morrison. 2013 will be the Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s first year in its new home at the ABC building at South Bank and, in the spirit of open exchange the Orchestra hopes the new site will facilitate, the highlight of the season launch were off-the-cuff Q&As with Chief Conductor Johannes Fritzsch and orchestra members. Buoyed by the success of last year’s sell-out performances of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, QSO returns with a performance of the

complete soundtrack to The Lord of the Rings: the Two Towers and Symphony of Legends – Video Games Unplugged. Next came Queensland Ballet with its first season under the artistic direction of Li Cunxin. Cunxin is presenting a main stage season with a focus on beauty and timelessness with Ben Stevenson’s world-acclaimed production of Cinderella in April; Giselle produced and staged by Ai-Gul Gaisina in June; and The Nutcracker in December. Giselle will tour Toowoomba, Caloundra, Maryborough, Gladstone, Rockhampton and Mackay. In August, the company presents Elegance, a dynamic program of works from four exciting, internationally-renowned choreographers and Dance Dialogues in February and August where audiences enjoy a diverse program of classical and contemporary ballet pieces in an intimate studio setting. Queensland Theatre Company had a stellar 2012 with 1000 new subscribers and a 13 per cent

increase in box office revenue, and 2013 is all about building on this winning formula. Artistic Director Wesley Enoch said QTC’s onstage journey will showcase a range of works that take ticketholders around the world, shine the light on home grown talents and create theatrical moments of national importance across a world of love, art, laughter, drama, catharsis, glamour, song and adventure. The main stage program features seven productions: Tony-award winning masterpiece Red starring Colin Friels; David Ives’ sassy Venus in Fur with Todd MacDonald and Libby Munro; the blockbuster End of the Rainbow with Christen O’Leary brilliantly cast as Judy Garland; epic morality tale Mother Courage and Her Children; Robert Coleby and Rebecca Davis star in Other Desert Cities; while Noel Coward comedy Design for Living will see Jason Klarwein and partner Kellie Lazarus form a “gentleman’s agreement” with Tama Matheson; and companion comedies The Pitch and The China Incident from acclaimed Australian playwright Peter Houghton open the year. Opera Queensland was the last to reveal its 2013 season, with Premier Campbell Newman praising the new team of Artistic Director Lindy Hume and General Manager Russell Mitchell for their

fresh approach to programming and partnerships. Artistic collaborations feature strongly in the 2013 season, which features three classic works linked thematically by storms, the human heart and the eternal struggle between good and evil. The season begins in April with the first collaboration between Opera Queensland and Camerata of St John’s for St Matthew Passion by JS Bach; continues in July, with a magical realisation of Rossini’s rags-to-riches fairytale Cinderella a co-production with NBR New Zealand Opera starring Australian mezzo-soprano Fiona Campbell; and finally in October, in honour of the bicentenary of Giuseppe Verdi, the company presents the Australian première of a new international co-production of the Shakespearean drama Otello. Opera Queensland is also taking Waltzing Our Matilda to Ayr, Atherton, Biloela, Redcliffe, Quilpie and Goondiwindi.

Season launches (L-R) Queensland Theatre Company, Queensland Symphony Orchestra and Opera Queensland.

Arts projects show legacy of Creative Recovery Arts Corps The Creative Recovery Arts Corps Pilot Project is wrapping up, but it leaves behind a lasting legacy that will be of great benefit for the future. In just over a year, artists, arts workers and community members worked together to develop arts projects in three communities (Ipswich, Lockyer Valley and the Cassowary Coast area of North Queensland) to support local recovery following the cyclone and flood natural disasters of last year. The aim was to decide how arts and culture can best work in communities to build skills, encourage creativity and leave a body of work that will be of lasting value for disaster and recovery situations in the future. One aim of the project was to explore arts-led recovery in action, while ensuring a body of work remains to support communities’ ongoing resilience and capacity to recover from disastrous events. “The aim is to share this knowledge and build a state-

wide network of artists ready to support their communities in meeting future challenges. We are calling this new network the Creative Recovery Arts Corps”, said Lenine Bourke, Artistic Director of Contact Inc., which was involved in managing the project. One key tool in sharing this knowledge is the Placestories website for the project, which can be accessed at www. This is a place for networking, discussion and the sharing of creative recovery stories and resources (locally or globally), from which artists, local councils and residents can learn and draw inspiration to assist their own community’s recovery in the future. For example, the Cyclone Yasi: Our Stories project captures multimedia stories of children from Cardwell and nearby areas, sharing their experiences of Cyclone Yasi - the largest and most powerful cyclone ever to hit Australia. Sharing stories verbally, in writing

and through pictures in this way promotes healing, and assists people in their recovery.

affected communities, and has been trialled among participants in the project’s pilot regions.

In the Lockyer Valley, a community space was opened to help connect residents. The Lockyer Community Shed project aims to be a strong hub, where young people can build skills and learn from older generations.

An independent evaluation and a documentary are being completed, both of which could be used to demonstrate to various audiences the benefits and considerations relating to arts-led recovery.

The Connecting Threads project in Goodna is a sewing group that is also interested in intergenerational relationships through sharing skills. The Toolkit at Placestories features creative recovery resources, including research on psychological impacts of disaster, community consultation and facilitation guides, and how to plan a memorial service. This store of resources is available to communities around the world, and can be added to over time as a repository of knowledge. Another great outcome of the Creative Recovery Arts Corps Pilot Project is the co-development of a new training package by arts organisation Contact Inc and the Australian Red Cross - a key organisation in Australian disaster management and response. This Arts Corps training prepares trainees for the delivery of creative recovery projects in disaster-

Founding members of the Creative Resilience Alliance (which delivered the project), are Queensland-based community arts and cultural development organisations - Contact Inc, Feral Arts, Human Ventures and Crossroad Arts. The Creative Recovery Arts Corps pilot project has been a success in engaging communities through arts and culture in a positive and valuable way towards community recovery. The Creative Recovery Arts Corps pilot project is jointly funded by the Queensland Government and the Australia Council for the Arts.

Left: Connecting Threads project, Goodna Above: The Arty Party at Bundamba was one of the Creative Recovery projects. Photo: Scotia Monkivitch

Q&A with Richard Moore, Director, Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF) As Director of Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF), Richard Moore lives and breathes film and film culture. With BIFF just around the corner (14-25 November) we ask him what’s coming up and if he really does have the best job in Queensland... Q: What are your five must-see movies for this year’s BIFF? A: Paradise: Love, Mission to Lars, any of the spaghetti westerns, Night of Silence and No. Q: Is there a theme for BIFF 2012? A: We try and avoid themes partly because it’s very difficult to fit films into a singular theme and also because I’m generally suspicious of the ‘grand vision’ approach. However, if I cast a glance over some of the program streams for this year’s festival it’s fair to say that sex, drugs and politics get a good airing at this year’s BIFF. Q: How did you go about selecting each film? A: The selection process - well. There are no short cuts; it’s a constant process of watching, watching and more watching. In all I will have watched about 700 films this year with a view to selection, either in festival environments or

via DVD. The reduction to our final program is an enormous sifting and filtration process with all sorts of factors in play. For example: will there be an audience for this film; can we get it for the right price and in the right format; Will any of the cast be available to travel? Q: Who do you think will be the next big thing in Australian film? A: If it’s a who - maybe Deborah Mailman (if she isn’t already?) If it’s a what, I’m waiting for the first crowd-funded movie about a troupe of singing cattle dogs. I’d go to see that. Q: What do you love most about film and why do you think this medium is crucial for the arts? A: If I had to distil the love to one element it would be the ability to transport us out of our daily lives into other worlds. But that’s a slightly unfair question to someone like me for whom film is also work.

As much as I love film I also hate it – particularly when I have to watch five films in a day. Q: Is there something unique about Australian films, and if so, what? A: It’s very hard to point to a unique factor; after all Australian films come in all shapes and sizes. Two recent Aussie films Lore and Kath and Kimderella are testament to that. And they do have to survive in an international market place. Australian film has come in for a lot of flack over recent years for being dark and gloomy but I’m glad to see that with a few recent films, The Sapphires and Mental, our filmmakers are starting to rediscover their funny bone. PS: whether Kath and Kimderella was funny is another question, Q: Last year there was some controversy over the Human Centipede 2. Is there any hint of controversy this year? A: Controversies are always a result of external forces expressing opposition and it is genuinely difficult to predict how people or organisations are going to react. However, I can assure you there is no Human Centipede 3 this year. But if anyone would like to

generate some controversy to get BIFF on the front page of The Sunday Mail they can contact me on and we will see what can be arranged? Q: In one sentence tell us something about yourself... A: I’m a great fan of the French word for a director – animater. To animate, to make things happen, that’s me. Q: BIFF is calling for volunteers, how can people get involved and what can they do? A: I think we had over 100 ‘vollies’ last year and we love them. Apart from saving our budget a lot of cash they bring a real spirit and enthusiasm. They can register interest by going to our website . The best things about becoming a festival volunteer are the opportunities to meet people with similar interests and then sit in the dark and gorge on movies from all over the world. Movies you probably won’t find in your local multiplex.

Left: BIFF Director Richard Moore Above: Don’t miss the spaghetti westerns like For a Few Dollars More at BIFF 2012.

Arts Queensland Media Releases

Howdy partner! It’s official – the partnership between Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) and Ports North is a winner. The CIAF and Ports North teams were ecstatic to receive the national Australia Business Arts Foundation (AbaF) City of Melbourne SME Award at a ceremony in Melbourne last month. This prestigious award was for their successful collaboration enabling CIAF to be held on the city’s waterfront at the Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal. “The partnership with Ports North enables high visitation from Cairns locals and tourists,” said CIAF General Manager Alison Copley. “The venue on Trinity Inlet holds special significance for Traditional Owners the Gumuy Walubara

Yidinji people. Ports North and CIAF have developed an ideal and mutually beneficial partnership over the past four years that has positive outcomes for all.” Ms Copley said CIAF was an extraordinary Indigenous cultural experience and a great event for Cairns. This award clearly recognises the collaborative achievement between business, arts and government.” CIAF is an initiative of the Queensland Government funded by Arts Queensland and Events Queensland. Above: Alison Copley, General Manager, CIAF; Joelene Schembri, Acting Manager Arts and Culture, City of Melbourne and Kerry Egerton, General Manager Corporate Services, Ports North. Photo Morganna Magee

Change at Arts Queensland It’s a time of positive change and renewal at Arts Queensland. After months of review, the agency has a new structure and direction as it works to build a strong arts and cultural sector. Arts Queensland has a new organisational structure with two divisions – Arts Policy and Programs and Arts Corporate, Property and Services.

Three units – Art Form Development, Arts Community Engagement and Arts Policy and Grants coordination – sit under the Arts Policy and Programs division; while Business Services, the Corporate Administration Agency, Arts Property and Facilities and Arts Strategic Communications are under the Arts Corporate, Property and Services Division. Check out the full structure on our website

Comedy first for Queensland television

21st BIFF attracts big name film premieres

The first wholly Queenslandmade television comedy series The Strange Calls is now showing on ABC 2. Read more Statement/2012/10/16/comedyfirst-for-queensland-television

Two big name premiere films will open and close Screen Queensland’s 21st Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF). Read more

New era for Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts

2012 Queensland Regional Art Awards winners announced Read more http://statements.qld. brisbane-showcases-the-bestregional-art.

Arts Minster Ros Bates has officially opened the Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts’ new training facility at Kangaroo Point in Brisbane. Read more Statement/2012/10/5/newera-for-aboriginal-centre-for-theperforming-arts

Brisbane Festival a success in a million More than one million people have enjoyed the jam-packed 2012 Brisbane Festival, which is celebrating a record 90 plus sellout performances and box office takings in excess of $1.2 million. Read more http://statements.qld. brisbane-festival-a-success-in-amillion

Brisbane showcases the best regional art

Queenslanders win Helpmann Gongs Arts Minister Ros Bates has congratulated Queensland’s 2012 Helpmann Award winners -contemporary circus company Circa and Bangarra Dance Theatre’s Artistic Director Stephen Page and composer David Page. Read more http://statements.qld. queenslanders-win-helpmanngongs

Queensland Arts and Culture Case Studies Ailan Kores Queensland Music Festival in the Torres Strait 2009-2011 Sustained work in the Torres Strait has realized significant, mutual learning for both Queensland Music Festival and the Torres Strait community with a two stage evaluation evidencing significant arts and cultural and social impacts. Read more http://www.

Collective Insites The Collective Insites project involved a collaboration between artists and local museums in Maryborough to stimulate audience engagement and interest in community collections. Read more publications/case-studies.php

About us: Arts Queensland is part of the Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts. For more information on Arts Queensland go to or call 1800175531 For more information on Queensland Government go to

Arts Update November  

Queensland arts and culutre news

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