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CArriageworks AUG/SEP/OCT 2011

Moves C R E AT IV IT Y


CARRIAGEWORKS Housed in the old Eveleigh Rail Yards, CarriageWorks has been a place of movement since its earliest days. Today, CarriageWorks is home to artistic exploration, creative collaboration, individual expression and collective experience. We seek to engage our community with contemporary art in all its creative forms. We invite you to make CarriageWorks yours, and share the experience with us.



14. ERTH

Quirky children’s entertainer Heidi ‘Hoops’ Hillier shares her musings on the magic of creative play.

CarriageWorks’ Sydney Children’s Festival is just around the corner... Make the world your playground!

Aden Rolfe encounters a myriad of mystical creatures in the enchanting world of Erth.




Welcome to the latest issue of our free community newsprint. Creativity Moves explores how creativity in all its forms has the power to provoke thought, challenge perception, forge identities, unite people, and ultimately move us forward as a more connected, more alive whole. Creativity Moves also tells you more about what we do here at CarriageWorks and why we do it.

We take a look back at the creative goings on at CarriageWorks over the last few months.

July – October at CarriageWorks is set to inspire the senses. Let’s Play!

Illawarra Children’s Services’ Jennine Primmer discusses the art of expressing yourself.

The theme for this issue is Exploration + Self where we look at the role creativity plays in nurturing curious, courageous, confident kids, and what we can all learn from the magic they so easily see in the world. This September CarriageWorks’ Sydney Children’s Festival will transform Sydney into a creative playground for youngins’ (and the young at heart) with a program packed full of art, craft, culture, circus, dance, theatre, performance and a little bit of magic (if you know where to look). Intrigued? Cover Image: The Art of Expression © Photographer Don Smith

Read on..... Creativity Moves © 2011 CARRIAGEWORKS

How did you come to be working as a children’s entertainer?

Surprise is good! I have been working as a children’s entertainer and circus teacher for about five years now. It’s not where I thought I would be after studying visual arts for 10 years, so it surprises me that it’s where I am.

I’ve always loved to dress up in wonderful costumes and pretend to be kooky characters… a cowgirl with an imaginary horse, a sailor with a magical rope, a two headed hula-hooper, a hotel heiress in a hula hooping hotel! When I finally started working with children, I discovered that they love to dress up too! We have a lot in common, kids and me. They know how to play, imagine, connect and they love to communicate. I started out wanting to be an artist, and now I’m surrounded by creativity! Kids are so naturally creative and joyful – they are an inspiration to the rest of us. What do you think we can learn from the way they see the world? Kids have the keys to the universe! They know the world really is a magical place – if you know where to uncover the magic. They save the day for me all the time. If I ever get tired of playing the same game or the same character some smart little kid will smile at me as if to say “I can’t believe you don’t know this” and then show me a whole new way to do the game or the show, or the trick. Kids never get bored because they are adaptable and not afraid of change. I try to be like that too. Kids remind me not to be boring. People often say to me say to me “hula hooping is kids stuff”. Yes it is and I wouldn’t want it any other way because kids stuff is about joy. We adults have a lot to learn from children! Children don’t get bogged down; they easily find new pathways to overcome obstacles. They don’t have preconceived notions of what is right so they do what works.







E .P

Kids never get bored because they are adaptable and not afraid of change. I try to be like that too. Kids remind me not to be boring.


It’s simple and they know it. That’s why I believe it’s important not to show kids what to do, but let them discover it for themselves. Why is it important to give them the space to explore creativity? I teach at a circus school and circus is a great environment for creativity and problem solving, it’s a utopian society where community is strong. It’s a “can do” place. Everyone has a “yes” attitude. It is a place where everyone plays together - kids and adults. I see all types of children come through the circus. Some are not particularly good at school, or good looking, or perhaps have a difficult home life. It’s amazing to see these kids blossom when they discover all the things they can actually do. And then there’s also the kids who can’t juggle or swing on a trapeze or who are too shy to speak. I am totally awed when they keep trying until they can. It’s an amazing thing to watch. I believe those kids go on to be great people. What inspires you? My mum is an inspiration… she’s 65 and still playing – she’s a natural clown always laughing for no particular reason, just an expression of her joy. I want to be like her when I grow up. I’m also inspired by art and images. My favourite artists, like Yayoi Kusama and Henri Matisse like to play with images, colours and ideas too! And I love working at festivals like the Sydney Children’s Festival and seeing children inspired by the same things as me, say for instance, the environment. Sydney Children’s Festival is one of my favourite places to be. Creativity explodes all around you. Ideas are moving, the games are changing, and images are growing. Surprises are around every corner. Just like life! And at this festival kids set the agenda… and the agenda is play! Some come on folks! LETS PLAY!




Strolling on a Saturday afternoon at The Finders Keepers.

Hanging around enjoying fun and festivity in the foyer.


Sharing ideas worth spreading at TEDxSydney.


Feeling energized by craftiness and creativity at The Finders Keepers.


Sharing the soulful sounds of Emad Younan performing the songs of his late brother Jesse.


Spreading the sustainable word with passion at Sustainable Works.


Understanding organic by meeting local provedores at Sustainable Works.


Experiencing the loss of missing persons felt by loved ones with Version 1.0’s The Disappearances Project.


April to June at CarriageWorks was full of creative goodies! Unplugged + Uncomplicated saw a swathe of talented, local musos take the stage, The Finders Keepers Autumn/Winter art and design markets was packed to the rafters with beauty and detail and TEDxSydney’s ideas worth spreading inspired thousands of curious minds! And there’s even more to come...


Fashion with a difference at The Finders Keepers.


Hotdog = Happy for the YouTube film crew capturing TEDxSydney.


Lounging around soaking in ideas and inspiration at TEDxSydney.


Scoping out detail and delight at The Finders Keepers.


Little people sharing big dreams on a wall of wishes.


Spruiking designer wares at The Finders Keepers.


Chilling out in the cafe - good coffee, stories and tunes at Unplugged + Uncomplicated.


Wheeling in style on the way home from TEDxSydney.


Fuelling the fire with sumptuous brain food for the TEDxSydney sessions.


Kicking back and catching up with friends at The Finders Keepers.


Do you know this man? Please contact the marketing gals at CarriageWorks.


Creating art real time in the foyer at the TEDxSydney Forum.


Soaring sounds at the live music stage.


Painting up a storm and enjoying the simple things at Unplugged + Uncomplicated.


Years ago, I was involved in developing some residential creative arts programs for children who were described as ‘at risk of disengaging’. This experience and the incredibly positive outcomes achieved through sensitive and innovative creative arts programming, opened my eyes to the power of the arts and how children’s engagement with them can make a difference to how they express themselves, perceive themselves and learn. I witnessed first hand how the creative arts could build self confidence, ignite curiosities and encourage children to be experimental in their approach to learning. The creative arts allow children to make mistakes freely, without fear and this is why the opportunities they present are so important. Creativity supports children’s development and enables them to experience their individual potentials rather than those prescribed for them. Creative opportunities, especially in the early years, set children on the path to life long learning. Through creative experiences children learn to learn.



At a dinner I attended recently, a primary school teacher described some of the children in her care as “just not creative”. This kind of type-casting is widespread and can be damaging; one child is labelled sporty, another creative, another academic. This pigeon-hole view is often rife in families as well; children think they can’t be creative because their brother or sister already holds that mantel, and so they look elsewhere for themselves.


The secret is not to underestimate children’s innate creative capabilities, but this is what adults often do – adults teach, children learn. Ironically, many adult educators lack creative confidence. So we need to demystify creativity, and equip and inspire the grown ups too!


Children are excellent at expressing divergent or unique thinking. Adults tend to be less so, because as we grow we discover that having ideas that differ from our teachers and parents or expressing our ideas at the wrong moment is not regarded positively. Every time this happens we shut down a little part of our creativity. Fortunately, many artists have not been conditioned out of their divergent thinking. So, whenever possible, linking artists with children can be a potent mix; visual and performance artists, musicians, actors, designers, comedians, poets, architects, scientists and writers.


We also need to create creative spaces for children - spaces and places where children can engage with the arts and with artists. These spaces should be dynamic, evolving, amiable, accessible, inspiring and malleable - art studios, festivals, theatres, galleries, discovery museums, non-prescriptive play spaces, even real life habitats – to make way for sensory exploration, and imaginative play opportunities.


creativITY supports children’s development and enableS them to experience their individual potentials rather than those prescribed for them.


At the moment our social and educational systems set art and creativity apart from day to day living. But rather than relegating creativity as such we need to see it as an essential part of human thinking. It’s as natural and necessary for children (and grownups) as fresh air and sunshine! As early childhood education expert and author Lella Gandini puts it ‘the art of daily life and the creativity of daily life should be the right of all. Art, then is a part of our lives, of our efforts to learn and to know’. Creativity in every part of life, what an inspiring notion...

At a workshop with 4 to 5 year olds beside the Shoalhaven River a few years back, I showed the children examples of environmental sculpture and then let them explore. I was amazed at how they understood intrinsically that the sand, leaves, rocks and water were all art materials. This understanding came more naturally to them than to me. IMAGES Above: Images from Sydney Children’s Festival 2008, 2009 & 2010 Previous: Greenpeace: 30 Years of Inspiring Action Exhibition, 2007 Jennine Primmer is Illawarra Children’s Services General Manager, Communications 2011 Creativity Conference - Inspiring Children’s Creativity September 29, llawarra Performing Arts Centre

CARRIAGEWORKS’ RESIDENTS PROGRAM AUG/SEP/OCT Erth Busy times at Erth! Dinosaur Petting Zoo is heading to Ireland for the European summer, and later to Chile and Argentina. A team of Erth artists are heading to the Pilbara in WA for a puppetry workshop around local folklore. Erth’s Taniwha, comprising performance and Indigenous story elements, is at Auckland Museum from September – October. And Erth’s magical new puppetry show I, Bunyip premieres at the Sydney Children’s Festival this September. Force Majeure Force Majeure is in creative development for two exciting new works in first-time collaborations with Sydney Theatre Company and Belvoir – both to premiere in 2012. One of the works, Never Did Me Any Harm, explores contemporary attitudes to child rearing in today’s society. If you’ve read any good articles on this topic or have your own experiences of modern-day parenting, share your thoughts on Force Majeure’s Facebook page ( You never know, they might end up in the work! Performance Space WALK Performance Space’s season of walks, promenades, marches and strolls in and around Sydney continues with 3 new projects: Strategies for Leaving and Arriving Home Sarah Rodigari 4 June - July 24 Green Bans Art Walk Big Fag Press and Cross Art Projects 6 - 27 August Laika’s Derive, the dogs detour Sarah Waterson 15 August - 29 October In September, Performance Space are co-presenting with Mobile States the Green Room Award winning one man show Harry Harlow written and performed by James Saunders, Sam James’ Kafkaesque dance video installation Vivaria and internationally renowned dancer Gabrielle Nankivell’s enchanting I left my shoes on warm concrete and stood in the rain. ClubHouse their home for creative exchange and conversation about interdisciplinary arts returns 5-17 September with artist residencies, SEAM Critical Path’s workshops about the body, technology and space led by choreographers and artists from Australia and around the world, and culminates with NightTime Performance Space’s platform for new short works. PlayWriting Australia PlayWriting Australia is currently hosting the second session of the 2011 National Script Workshop at CarriageWorks. The plays are This Year’s Ashes by Jane Bodie and The Trouble With Harry by Lachlan Philpott Each writer will work with a team of creatives and cast over two weeks of intensive script development. PlayWriting Australia will be joined by our first RE-GEN team of emerging artists: Erin Kelly will develop her new play, Here, In the Sugarcane with director Patrick McCarthy and dramaturg Emma Cole. Three new plays to look out for! Stalker  Following great success at Fremantle Street Arts Festival, Stalker are taking their hip hop production Elevate to Global Carnival, Bellingen in September and plans are in place for further performances in Sydney and NSW. A team is heading to New Zealand in September for technical research and development on new work, Encoded. Encoded, a fully immersive and interactive, site specific performance, and Buru, Marrugeku’s Indigenous stilt-dance show for children is poised to tour Western Australia in September. version 1.0 The Table of Knowledge 30 Aug – 11 Sep, Illawarra Performing Arts Centre (IPAC) A Merrigong Theatre Company and version 1.0 co-production version 1.0 turns its forensic theatrical vision onto the 2006 Wollongong City Council scandal, where the ICAC exposed sexual obsessions, envelopes stuffed with cash and a mob of powerful men that met regularly at a plastic table outside a local kebab shop they called ‘the table of knowledge’.


as we KNOW? IT


Dragons, gargoyles, giant rabbits. And of course, dinosaurs. These are the beasts that emerge from the Erth workshop, ready to capture your imagination. They’ve been doing so for 20 years, in productions that combine puppetry with live performance, that showcase inflatable sets, stilt-walking performers, and an array of flying creatures. But while shows such as Dinosaur Petting Zoo are immensely successful with younger audiences, the company’s philosophy on making work for children is that it doesn’t, at least not exclusively. Artistic Director Scott Wright insists that they simply make theatre, and that it can be for everybody. So it is with their upcoming production, I, Bunyip, which premieres at the Sydney Children’s Festival this September. Co-presented by CarriageWorks, the performance explores Aboriginal folklore through various Indigenous spirit creatures. It teaches the audience about the difference between, say, a Turong and a Nyol, and in this, it seems to have just as much to teach parents as it does to children. “It’s interesting that we can describe dragons and fairies,” says Wright, “but that we can’t describe things from our own country.” When catering to audiences of adults and children, Wright believes the all-important thing is to not patronise them. This includes presenting things that might be a little dark. “If you don’t ever scare children, they won’t learn how to utilise that emotion, or know what to be scared of.” It’s one of the traditional uses of these stories, along with creating a deeper connection to place. “By learning about Bunyips and Yawk Yawk and Hairy Men, we begin to understand a greater spiritual connection to the land.” And this is what I, Bunyip is ultimately about, fostering cultural understanding through these fantastic spirit creatures. So, do you know what a Bunyip looks like?

By Aden Rolfe



04 Aug – 03 Sep

Presented by Sydney Children’s Festival and Erth Erth’s magical new puppetry show introduces kids to creatures from Aboriginal culture who have inhabited our landscape and imaginations for generations. “A unique blend of visual & performance art” Jo Duffy, Artistic Director, Darwin Festival

04 Oct – 08 Oct




26 Sep – 08 Oct

01 Oct, 10am – 4pm

27 Aug, 12pm-5pm

Produced by CarriageWorks in association with The Daily Telegraph Art, books, circus, craft, film, music, mayhem, performances, workshops, free play and loads more! Sydney Children’s Festival is a giant artistic playground stretching from Sydney’s Inner West to Parramatta, Penrith and Newcastle. More info and bookings at

Presented by Sydney Children’s Festival in partnership with the Children’s Book Council of Australia (NSW) In 2011 Sydney Children’s Festival celebrates the world of words with a day-long Literary Festival. Featuring a forum with author Maggie Hamilton, storytelling, workshops, author talks, a Book & Brains quiz show, and loads more!



27 Sep – 01 Oct (Seymour Centre)

27 Sep – 01 Oct (Seymour Centre)


A Spoon Tree Production presented by the Seymour Centre, Country Arts WA and the Sydney Children’s Festival The exquisitely talented Wolfe Bowart brings to the stage a profound sense of joy and child-like wonder that resonates with audiences of all ages.

Produced by Belvoir and Kim Carpenter’s Theatre of Image. Presented in association with Seymour Centre and Sydney Children’s Festival This beautiful production of Guus Kuijer’s magnificent book grabs your heart, challenges your mind, and makes you laugh no matter how old you are.

Presented by SFAC Gallery and CarriageWorks Co-curated by Meg Shiffler and Justine Topfer Inaugural Biennial exhibition. Selected artists from Sydney and San Francisco present works proposing visionary solutions to making each city more green and liveable.

Produced by CarriageWorks Programmed by Music For Trees Enjoy a free afternoon of live music, over a coffee or glass of wine in the CarriageWorks cafe. Featuring the sounds of talented, local artists Les Deux Violettes, Jordan Leser, Andy Golledge and John Dixon.



26 Sep – 08 Oct



Presented by Sydney Children’s Festival Groundbreaking 360-degree interactive theatre experience requiring hands-on participation. Unlike anything you’ve seen before, City of Riddles is above, below and all around you!

29 Oct, 12pm-5pm Produced by CarriageWorks Programmed by Music For Trees Enjoy a free afternoon of live music, over a coffee or glass of wine in the CarriageWorks cafe. Featuring an awesome line up of talented, local artists.



CarriageWorks is supported by the NSW Government through Arts NSW



CREATIVITY MOVES is CarriageWorks' quarterly community newsprint. This is Issue 03, Espression + Self.