CArriageworks APR/MAY/JUN 2011
Moves C R E AT IV IT Y
CONSCIOUSNESS + COMMUNITY
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 the community with contemporary art in all its creative forms. We invite you to make CarriageWorks yours, and share the experience with us.
4. STRINGS ATTACHED
8. Creativity MOves
14. PERFORMANCE SPACE
Concrete Playground’s Zacha Rosen swings by Strings Attached rehearsal space to check out the suspended reality of Artistic Director Alejandro Rolandi.
CarriageWorks’ history through to its current operations is filled to the brim with all things creative.
Aden Rolfe meets Performance Space Artistic Director Daniel Brine to go beyond the surface and explore the realms of our Uneasy Futures.
6. JAN-MAR HIGHLIGHTS 10. make it count
We take a look back at the creative goings on at CarriageWorks over the last few months.
Apr – Jun at CarriageWorks is pretty much just packed full of cool things to see and do. Don’t miss a minute.
We talk to Liane Rossler about the notion of conscious creativity and what makes something truly beautiful.
CREATIVITY MOVES We’re keen to kick-start start a conversation in our community about why different forms of creative expression matter, so we’ve launched this neat quarterly community newsprint: Creativity Moves. Creativity Moves looks at how creative expression 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. Interested? Cover Image: Cycling to Platform Rocks The Block at The Block in Redfern (see page 8) © 2011 Cynthia Sciberras
Read on..... Creativity Moves © 2011 CARRIAGEWORKS
the physics of existing:
STRING S ATTACHED ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
mom e n t u m
A vertical honeycomb rig of construction scaffolding and bicyclewheel pulleys push toward the roof of Strings Attached’s current rehearsal space - a disused, former flour-mill. In May, the physical theatre company will be trading it in for another piece of reclaimed industrial heritage to start a creative residency at CarriageWorks, developing their 2012 show A Return to the Trees.
A Return to the Trees merges the visions of Strings Attached co-directors, Alejandro Rolandi and Lee-Anne Witton. Rolandi is a physical jack-of-all trades, with one foot in dance and another in acrobatics. Witton is an acrobat, has been a competitive gymnast and is a level-headed balance to Rolandi’s outgoing public persona.
For Rolandi, acrobatics and dance are an extension of the science of force and reaction. His Argentinean origins in stage, circus, dance and electrical engineering come together today in the form of contact improvisation, for which Strings Attached has become well-known. It’s an art on the edge of dance which looks not unlike a new Bond-film fight, the violent impacts slowed to a gentle touch. “Contact improvisation is a form that I fell in love with because of my physics background - there is inertia, momentum, there is friction, impact and gravity pulling downwards. It’s really the physics of existing. When you start doing contact improvisation, you start playing with these energies to use them for your dance - share them, recycle them.” He drops eight metres down their rig, slowed by a bungee. In real life this seems casual, like falling into a bed. “The bungee has a rhythm,” he says “And it pulls you in ways that you can learn to predict, but you have to be constantly listening to it.” This awareness is central in his shows, where performers must work in sensitive response to each other’s movements and actions. When imagining A Return to the Trees, both Rolandi and Witton felt overwhelmed by the weight of humanity’s physical impact on
the environment. Channelling this they conceived and produced a kinetic fable, where a five-member cast climb, fall, dance and drop around the set on bungee cords, personifying lost survivors scouring a post-apocalyptic landscape for now-absent trees. “How would we feel if we were to live in a world that has gone that crazy?”
The need for more sustainable behaviour fires Rolandi’s creativity. Reuse permeates his thinking, his planning and his shows. “Growing up in Buenos Aires taught me to make art with recyclable materials, and with rubbish, or borrowing things,” Rolandi explains, “Because if you don’t do that, you can’t make art. Very simple.” In this production he wants the company to take this approach even further, “Let’s make a set that we don’t have to transport. That we can hire anywhere around the world, and put together.” There are still compromises, for now, as some of the equipment they want to use isn’t widely available. Hiring low-energy lights on tour isn’t easy, but they’re working towards as small a footprint as possible. “So when the technology is available, we’re ready to embrace it.” Our interactions with each other and the environment are themes that Rolandi continues to explore through the work of Strings Attached. Community was a central part of life in Argentina and the apparent lack of tight local bonds in Sydney was a shock when he arrived in the early 00s. “People here were not really appreciative of what an amazing bubble of perfection this city is. The world out there is enormous, and most of the people in this planet live under very different conditions than we do. By removing the things we take for granted like in A Return to the Trees, what I want to show is how vulnerable we all are, really.”
By Concrete Playground’s ZACHA ROSEN
Zacha is a regular reviewer of CarriageWorks events. Check out more of his writings on our blog at carriageworks.tumblr.com
Chalking it up to experience at Music For Trees for Unplugged+Uncomplicated.
Feeling free to express yourself at Platform Hip Hop Festival.
Reading between the lines at ANLF’s exhibition Subtext: Art For Literacy.
Connecting cultures at East London West Sydney.
Getting up close and personal at Amanda Palmer’s secret gig.
Discovering two creative heads are better than one.
Sharing aspirations at ANLF’s exhibition Subtext: Art For Literacy.
Feeling festive with The Paper Collective.
JAN-MAR happenings + HIGHLIGHTS
January to March at CarriageWorks was packed full of fabulousness. We kicked off a spankin’ new music series Unplugged + Uncomplicated, pushed cultural boundaries with hip hop theatre production East London West Sydney, and Platform Hip Hop Festival was bigger and better than ever! Looking forward to more amazing events ahead...
Stopping time with Nick Bassett’s hip hop exhibition Power Moves.
Encountering unexpected canvasses at Platform Hip Hop Festival’s graff comp.
Kicking back and enjoying the show at Unplugged+Uncomplicated.
Kitting up with new-found know-how at Sustainable Works Bike Maintenance Workshop and Kitchen Garden Club.
Coming together with music, dance and community for Platform Rocks the Block.
Encouraging tomorrow’s hip hop heads at Platform Rocks the Block.
Offering something for everyone.
Hanging around for a lazy afternoon of art and music in the CarriageWorks foyer.
Piquing curiosity with a program packed full of creative goodness.
Catching up with friends at Unplugged+Uncomplicated.
Grooving with James Brennan at Unplugged+Uncomplicated.
Payin’ respect before battling on the dance floor.
Keeping it simple but making it count with sustainable rockers Music For Trees.
Starting a conversation with our community through our newsprint Creativity Moves.
WHERE POSSIBILITY BEGINS
CREATIVE sustainability Creative thinking touches every facet of CarriageWorks’ operations, including how we think about sustainability. The CarriageWorks site was built on a premise of creative sustainability, transformed from an abandoned rail workshop into a hub for contemporary art and culture.
CREATIVE history We’re often asked about the history of our building. The Eveleigh Rail Yards were built between 1880 and 1889, including the now heritage listed CarriageWorks. The striking buildings comprise the largest intact, quality workshop site still standing from Australia’s steam era. During the height of the workshops’ productivity more than 3,000 workers were employed here to build and maintain carriages and wagons for Sydney’s expanding rail network. New carriages built here include the Royal Carriages and Australia’s very first air-conditioned train. From 1973 productivity at the site declined due to its inefficient older buildings, restrictive union practices and increased privatization of construction. The site was eventually closed in 1988. In June 2002 Arts NSW completed the purchase of the Carriage and Blacksmith Workshops at the Eveleigh Rail Yards site. Soon after a construction project on the site commenced under the name of CarriageWorks. CarriageWorks was to become a place for the exploration, development, commissioning and presentation of contemporary work. Adaptive re-use of the workshop site began in 2003 with the housing of numerous contemporary arts companies. CarriageWorks officially opened in 2007. We understand how important place the practice of art. CarriageWorks is a that fosters the development of artistic and celebrates and champions creativity its forms.
is to place work in all
Today, we continue to integrate sustainable thinking in our personal practices, business practices, and delivery processes. We think there’s so many inspired ways to be sustainable, so we are always exploring new ideas, opportunities, technologies and partnerships. Sharing knowledge has the power to change attitudes, communities, and ultimately the world we live in. CarriageWorks’ fresh approach brings people together to trade ideas and inspiration on how to look at the topic of sustainability creatively. CarriageWorks’ Sustainable Works CarriageWorks’ Sustainable Works is a series of free community workshops exploring creative sustainability on the last Saturday of every month. Topics are vast and varied including bush tucker basics, bartering, bike maintenance, bee keeping, revamping your rethreads and much more. Music For Trees We were thrilled to collaborate with sustainable rockers Music For Trees to program the February line-up of our new monthly music series Unplugged + Uncomplicated. Music For Trees is a local non-profit initiative that invites people to plant trees, by enjoying live music. The February gig resulted in 25,000 new trees being planted. Music For Trees will be back to program Unplugged + Uncomplicated in August. TEDxSydney TEDxSydney at CarriageWorks on Saturday 28 May 2011 will feature a selection of Australia’s leading visionaries and storytellers showcasing their Ideas Worth Spreading live to a group of thinkers as well as online to the world at large. TEDxSydney provides free knowledge from inspired thinkers, and a platform for curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.
CREATIVE PLATFORM At CarriageWorks we want to connect creative minds and creative ideas. One of the ways we do this is by providing a platform for artists to connect with each other and the community, to share creative energy and inspiration. Platform Rocks the Block In March, we partnered with the Redfern Community Centre and Family and Culture Day to produce Platform Rocks the Block; a monumental program of Indigenous Hip Hop artists in an afternoon festival of music, dance, culture, family and community at The Block in Redfern. A deadly day was had by all. Unplugged + Uncomplicated On the last Saturday of every month from 12pm-5pm CarriageWorks hosts a spankin’ new music series Unplugged + Uncomplicated. A platform for established and emerging local artists, Unplugged + Uncomplicated has already seen over 25 local Sydney artists take the stage. Come down and support your local talent, upcoming dates are Saturday April 30 and Saturday 30 May.
CREATIVE DEVELOPMENT Creativity has spurred great minds to envision amazing things for our world since the beginning of time. At CarriageWorks we’re passionate about providing a space for creative minds to develop, collaborate, grow and flourish. Our creative development efforts are diverse and take in rehearsal space, marketing support, artistic mentoring, internships, producing and production support. Some of our development initiatives for 2011 include: JUMP We’re thrilled to be working with the eight NSW artists selected for the 2011 JUMP National Mentoring Program for Young and Emerging Artists. For the next 10 months we’ll work with the mentees and their mentors to guide and manage their program experience. Check out our blog carriageworks.tumblr.com to follow the road with the mentees. Children’s Cheering Carpet - Saltbush Children’s Cheering Carpet - Saltbush, a theatrical production for children, is an immersive journey through the culture and landscape of Aboriginal Australia. The project is the result of collaboration between acclaimed Italian theatre company TPO; Australian theatre director and performer Jason Cross; Insite Arts; and Indigenous Australian artists. We were pleased to support this production in March. Rosie Catalano EP Launch We were delighted to support the enigmatic singer– songwriter Rosie Catalano for the launch of her debut EP in April. The talented Rosie first wowed our audiences at last year’s Winterland Festival. A Return to the Trees CarriageWorks will support the final development stage of Strings Attached production A Return to the Trees. This production investigates the psychological transformations that society may experience as a consequence of overpopulation, technological advancement and climate change. Elbow Room Award winning Australian theatre company Elbow Room will develop a new work with CarriageWorks this coming June. Elbow Room’s beautiful production A Tiny Chorus was a hit at last year’s Sydney Fringe Festival. Hoipolloi Theatre Company Acclaimed Theatre Company Hoipolloi will work with CarriageWorks on the creative development of a new work in December.
TRUE bEAUTY LIANE ROSSLER ON CONSCIOUS CREATIVITY
Liane Rossler is in the business of creating beauty and the desirable. A founder, designer and director of Dinosaur Designs for 25 years, Liane saw it grow to become one of the most visible and successful design-based businesses in Australia.
Since leaving Dinosaur Designs, Liane has immersed herself in a range of creative projects including ‘Supercyclers’, a collective of people who like riding bicycles and who create beautiful, useful things out of junk; ‘Knitty Gritty & Loopy’, a series of workshops that use design to transform everyday waste items into by-products of love; and ‘Happy Talk’, an initiative that brings creative people and ideas together to create a platform for inspiring, resourceful, ecological and transformative design. In her (lack of) spare time Liane is also part of the inspiring crew that run GreenUps; an informal monthly drinks night that supports and connects the creative, inspired and lively community of people in Sydney who are already immersed in or curious about sustainability. GreenUps speaks to artists, designers, scientists, lawyers, gardeners, government folk, corporate folk, not-for-profit folk, film folk, fashionistas, foodies, media and just about everyone in between. Through all her creative pursuits, it’s apparent that Liane is driven by a more powerful, holistic notion of beauty and creation. An idea that goes beyond an exquisitely designed object, a way of thinking that involves the process as well as the end product. True beauty exists when people create with conscious minds.
true beauty EXISTS WHEN PEOPLE CREATE WITH CONSCIOUS mindS.
We recently caught up with Liane to talk about the notion of conscious creativity...
What does conscious creativity mean to you?
What are some examples that you find particularly inspiring?
We’re living in times of rapid change, and we can see that there is even greater change ahead. But as quickly as were moving, it’s a perfect time to slow down and think about how and why we’re doing things the way we do, and how we can do them in ways that give more, are more enjoyable, and feed into long term benefits.
I think models of conscious thinking are particularly successful – and inspiring – when the experience of doing something is enjoyable, and fun feeds into the positive outcome. Some local and inspiring examples include the humble garage sale, a tradition that has been revived en masse in Sydney recently with The Garage Sale Trail. Thousands of garage sales on the same day not only shift and share things and generate income, but bring the community together, save piles of junk from going to landfill, and create a day of fun.
It’s time to think about the way we live with completely open, conscious, creative minds. People have lived in sustainable ways for thousands of years, thinking and acting resourcefully and creatively. This knowledge, combined with today’s technology and science, is now available to such a large and diverse audience of people. It’s now also possible for knowledge, experience and wisdom to be shared and spread faster than ever before, in a matter of minutes really. It’s an important time for us to think about process - not only the look or the cost of something, but how it was made, what went into making it, who made it, and where it will go when we have finished with it. When we think about things in this way, it not only helps us to make conscious choices, but it opens our minds to creative thinking when we consider the larger journey of an object or process and its impact. We have so many opportunities to reduce and utilise our waste and see it as a valuable resource.
CarriageWorks’ Sustainable Works brings people together to share knowledge and skills across cultures and generations, while encouraging conscious thinking, nurturing new relationships and championing a fresh, creative approach to the topic of sustainability. Joost’s Greenhouse which recently popped up at Circular Quay creatively combines so many admirable sustainable practices. Greenhouse beautifully demonstrates the power of supporting local and home grown produce, reusing and reinventing materials, while simultaneously creating a comfortable, luxurious venue. Time, simplicity, resourcefulness and the handmade are newly appreciated in their own right, which to me is a truly exciting development. Changing the way that we think, consume and perceive our role in the story of humanity has never been more important. It’s time to approach the future creatively, and think about things differently. For any creative being, I think that is an amazing and inspiring position to be in!
ma ke it count
BRI GHT IDEAS CUT DOWN WASTE
NATURE ART BEE BUSY
IMAGINE A BUILDING THAT GROWS FOOD...
MAKE IT FUN
rAW GO LOOPY Previous: Joost’s Greenhouse at Circular Quay © 2011 Cathy Xiao Chen Above: A selection of images from Liane’s creative projects and inspirations including Supercyclers, Happy Talk, Knitty Gritty & Loopy, CarriageWorks’ Sustainable Works, Joost’s Greenhouse, and The Garage Sale Trail.
lianerossler@lianerossler greenups.net supercyclersarego.blogspot.com knittygrittyandloopy.blogspot.com garagesaletrail.com.au greenhousebyjoost.com happytalk.net.au
CARRIAGEWORKS’ RESIDENTS PROGRAM APR/MAY/JUN Erth erth.com.au Erth’s Petting Zoo has been touring regionally through SA and WA, and recently wowed thousands of dino-fans at Tasmania’s Ten Days on the Island. The Erth workshop is developing and building spirit creatures in collaboration with the advisory Taumata panel of New Zealand together with the Auckland Museum. And creative development with CarriageWorks on Erth’s production I, Bunyip has commenced. I, Bunyip will premiere in October at Sydney Children’s Festival. Force Majeure forcemajeure.com.au Following a successful season of Not In A Million Years at Melbourne’s Dance Massive, Force Majeure are back in Sydney getting ready for their upcoming dance theatre workshop, Cultivate. Run in partnership with Performance Space, five directors/choreographers and seven performers will work with Kate Champion, Force Majeure’s Artistic Director, to learn about the company’s methodologies. Performance Space performancespace.com.au Uneasy Futures 15 Apr – 21 May, CarriageWorks A season of visual and performing arts that contemplate visions of the future and moving towards the unknown, with new work from Vicki Van Hout, version 1.0, Dean Walsh and the exhibition Awfully Wonderful, Science Fiction in Contemporary Art. WALK A season of walks, promenades, marches and strolls in and around Sydney taking place throughout 2011. Don’t miss: Within & Without 23 June – 2 July, Blacktown Arts Centre Pascal Berry and Deborah Pollard in collaboration with Valerie Berry and Anino Shadowplay Collective (Philippines) explore the physical and psychological landscape of the city. Performance Space also continues to host residencies, launch publications and open the doors to ClubHouse, their home for conversation and revelation about interdisciplinary arts. PlayWriting Australia pwa.org.au Energised by their biggest National Play Festival ever, PlayWriting Australia is launching into autumn with the first of their new format National Script Workshops at Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre in May. They’ll also be working with playwrights in Broome, Tasmania and Bankstown. Stalker facebook.com/stalkertheatre Stalker is taking their hip hop production Elevate to the Fremantle Street Arts Festival 23 - 26 April. The Elevate crew will also be running youth workshops at Southern Edge Arts in Albany and at Mandurah Performing Arts Centre. version 1.0 versiononepointzero.com.au seven kilometres north-east 20 - 21 April, Bosnia Presented by MESS Festival Nominated for a 2010 Sydney Theatre Award, seven kilometres north-east explores the discomfiting entanglements of tourism and atrocity. The Disappearances Project 03 - 07 May, CarriageWorks Presented by Performance Space, CarriageWorks and version 1.0. Intimate new work exploring the effects of long-term missing persons cases. The Vehicle Failed To Stop 11 Jun, Sydney Theatre Collaboration with Next Stage, Sydney Theatre Company (as part of the Rough Draft program) After six years of working with transcript materials from parliamentary proceedings, inquiries and royal commissions, version 1.0 will examine and workshop the disturbing convergence of war and commerce. Image: I Can Draw You A Picture installation at Performance Space’s Liveworks season ©Mike Inglis 2010
PERFORMANCE SPACE COMPANY IN RESIDENCE AT CARRIAGEWORKS Operating for 27-odd years at the edges of theatre, dance and visual arts, Performance Space hasn’t been shy about chewing over difficult topics and seemingly intractable problems. So with a name like Uneasy Futures, we would assume that the current season will be dealing with questions around sustainability and community consciousness. Which, according to Artistic Director Daniel Brine, it does, but not at a superficial level. Take, for example, Fathom, a performance work that draws on marine research to explore ideas around environmental anxiety. While the artist, Dean Walsh, addresses these issues within the piece itself, he also looks at his own environmental impact in making and presenting the work. He takes a holistic approach to his practice – in exploring rather than arguing – and it’s this attitude that Brine feels is key to issues like sustainability. ‘If the artist is genuinely exploring something, that’s fine. But preaching is not interesting.’ It’s an important distinction, and one that might be the defining trait of a Performance Space work. ‘We try to find artists interested in where they are in the world,’ says Brine, ‘and who are interested in communicating that to an audience.’ Performance Space programs work that explores subject matter in a compelling way, and challenges assumptions about creative practice. So for Brine, a work might use recycled materials to signal themes of consumerism and waste, but it also needs to go beyond the surface to produce real meaning for an audience. And it’s this approach that’s helped Performance Space engage artists and audiences for almost three decades. ‘Performance Space continues to build community in its new space at CarriageWorks,’ says Brine, ‘while creating partnerships around Sydney and beyond.’ To connect with different audiences, he says, ‘you need to be able to ask questions that relate to different communities in different places.’
By Aden Rolfe
CARRIAGEWORKS’ PROGRAM APR/MAY/JUN 01 Rosie Catalano EP Launch
05 The Finders Keepers
09 Ken Unsworth
20 May – 21 May
02 - 25 Jun
Presented by CarriageWorks Local songstress Rosie Catalano returns to launch her debut self-titled EP at CarriageWorks.
Co-presented by CarriageWorks Independent design and art markets dedicated to emerging designers, artists and musicians.
Presented by CarriageWorks Featuring two major works from one of Australia’s most prominent artists.
02 CarriageWorks’ Sustainable Works
10 CarriageWorks’ Sustainable Works
30 Apr, 10am-12pm
Presented by General Thinking in association with CarriageWorks A selection of Australia’s leading visionaries and storytellers showcase their Ideas Worth Spreading to a group of thinkers and curious souls.
25 Jun, 10am-12pm
03 UNPLUGGED+UNCOMPLICATED LIVE MUSIC+CARRIAGEWORKS
07 CarriageWorks’ Sustainable Works
11 UNPLUGGED+UNCOMPLICATED LIVE MUSIC+CARRIAGEWORKS
30 Apr, 12pm-5pm
28 May, 10am-12pm
25 Jun, 12pm-5pm
Produced by CarriageWorks Enjoy a free afternoon of live, local music talent. Featuring The Falls, EUSH, Emad Younan, Red Boots and PJ Wolf.
Produced by CarriageWorks A series of free sustainable practice workshops and activities on the last Saturday of every month.
Produced by CarriageWorks Enjoy a free afternoon of live, local music talent. Featuring Gerard Masters.
04 The Disappearances Project
08 UNPLUGGED+UNCOMPLICATED LIVE MUSIC+CARRIAGEWORKS
NB CarriageWorks OPENING HOURS
28 May, 12pm-5pm
Monday to Friday / 9am-5pm Saturday / 9am-1pm (last Saturday of the month 9am-5pm) Sunday / Closed
Produced by CarriageWorks A series of free sustainable practice workshops and activities on the last Saturday of every month.
03 May – 07 May Presented by Performance Space, CarriageWorks and version 1.0 An intimate new work from the Helpmann Award–winning performance group version 1.0.
Produced by CarriageWorks Special event: TEDxSydney. Featuring performances by Rosie Catalano and John Christo.
SUPPORTED BY CarriageWorks is supported by the NSW Government through Arts NSW
Produced by CarriageWorks A series of free sustainable practice workshops and activities on the last Saturday of every month.
CONTRIBUTORS PHOTOGRAPHERS Esteban La Tessa / Lester Jones Johnny Cochrane / Mike Inglis Conan Whitehouse / Bill Chant Prudence Upton / Cathy Xiao Chen Cynthia Sciberras / Sam Ali
CREATIVITY MOVES is CarriageWorks' quarterly community newsprint. This is Issue 02, Consciousness + Community.