2020 Chamber Made Annual Report

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Annual Report 2020

Chamber Made Annual Report 2020

‘Director Tamara Saulwick and Tan have collaborated to devise a uniquely structured, visually stunning choreographic, sound-based performance.’ —STAGE WHISPERS (Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep)

Contents Artistic Director’s Report page 4

Message from the Chair page 6

Vision and Values page 7

Credits page 8

The Year at a Glance page 10

Works 2020 page 11

Artform & Sector Development 2020 page 18

Relationships 2020 page 25

Chamber Made Annual Report 2020

Chamber Made Annual Report 2020

Artistic Director’s Report Tamara Saulwick

The events of 2020 delivered extraordinary challenges the world over and the arts sector felt the particular blows of halted works, empty performance spaces and developments put indefinitely on hold. There were also achievements and highlights. New work still managed to be made, new ideas tested, artists supported, audiences engaged.

However, we were pleased to be part of Arts Centre Melbourne’s Asia TOPA Connected documentary program so the work could linger online in a unique way.

We also commissioned two written and two audio responses to the day, published by online arts platform ADSR Magazine.

Fortunately the Singapore season is able to go ahead, scheduled to be presented in April 2021.

Here at Chamber Made, we spent many hours re-imaging programs, writing grant applications and trying to carry on as best we could with existing developments, events and promises. Our year was bookended by a number of public-facing events of which we are immensely proud.

With Melbourne bouncing in and out and back into lockdown, we made the decision to present our annual Hi-Viz Practice Exchange as an entirely online, single day event.

Our enduring thanks to Helen Macpherson Smith Trust and The SUBSTATION for their ongoing support of Hi-Viz, and to the Australia Council for the Arts who assisted us to transition 2020 to an online event. And my particular thanks to Digital Producer Leela Schauble and Associate Producer Lana Nguyen for coming on board this year and being such a valuable part of the team.


The response to the day was overwhelming, with well over 200 registrations. The day included an Artist-in-Conversation I was thrilled to host with renowned Canadian sound and interdisciplinary artist Janet Cardiff.

DRAGON LADIES DON’T WEEP It was a thrill to start the year working with the pianist and performer Margaret Leng Tan, composer Erik Griswold, video designer Nick Roux, dramaturg Kok Heng Leun, a fantastic creative and production team and co-producers CultureLink Singapore.

Hi-Viz 2020 also included a participatory sound work Vibrato Virtual by Aviva Endean and Cobie Orger, the launch of a new Chamber Made podcast series Audiosketch by Roslyn Oades, artist provocateur sessions with Sonya Hollowell and Fayen Ke-Xiao d’Evie, group discussion sessions, and the presentation of our inaugural Hi-Viz Short Work Commission: Living Memory by Sui Zhen with Carla Zimbler and Megan Payne.

Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep premiered at Arts Centre Melbourne as part of Asia TOPA and was set to be presented at Sydney Opera House and Esplanade Theatres on the Bay Singapore shortly after. The pandemic put a stop to these subsequent seasons.

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ORANGE HOUSE BY THE SEA RESIDENCY We closed the year with our 2020 Orange House by the Sea artist in residence, Rebecca Jensen. Again, in a year where opportunities for artists fell away in droves, we were so pleased to be able to still offer this residency. Rebecca is a choreographer and dancer who has been exploring sound-making as an extension of the moving body, and used the residency to begin the development of a new work Dolphin Caller. THANK YOU My deep thanks go to the artists and arts workers we work with who have carried on and re-imagined work in brilliant ways. To the participants and audiences who have continued to show up, support our work and be keenly engaged with what we do. To our funding, development and presenting partners who have helped us keep the ghost light on all year. To our Board of Management for their steady guidance and continued support. And to our generous donors who literally make the work we do possible and with whom we have such a valuable ongoing relationship.

LITTLE OPERATIONS: FEELING COUNTS What a pleasure it was, by November, to have artists back in a studio exploring new ideas. Malthouse Theatre hosted our 2020 Little Operations development with dancer and choreographer Siobhan McKenna and musician and composer Lena Douglas. The artists were at the very start of a new collaboration and it was fascinating to see the seeds of this work take hold. We shared a snippet of the work and a short video document of the development with an online audience, including a fascinating Q&A with the artists delving into the impetus and foundation for this work.

And to our small team of staff: Executive Producer Kylie McRae, Operations and Finance Coordinator Dan Sheehan and Communications Manager Emilie Collyer, whose hard work and good humour kept things buoyant in the unexpected and uncharted waters of 2020. Page 5

Chamber Made Annual Report 2017

Chair Report Michael Bink

This could almost be called the COVID report, such has been the impact of the pandemic on the arts sector. Certainly, Chamber Made has not been immune from it. Yet, while the company’s operations were dramatically impacted, it is only part of the story.

our artistic and management team in their quick, creative response to supporting the individual artists who are the lifeblood of the small-to-medium performing arts sector. The COVID-imposed hiatus in development and performances was turned to good use, with management and the Board refocusing efforts on aspects of the organisation that, in normal times, necessarily took second place to the challenges of producing art on exceptionally tight budgets and timelines. Policies and procedures have been developed or refreshed, while governance systems have also been updated. And where restrictions have allowed, artistic development and partnership building have continued.

We still produced amazing art, the high point being our world premiere presentation, in partnership with CultureLink Singapore and Arts Centre Melbourne for Asia TOPA 2020, of Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep, featuring the iconic Margaret Leng Tan. This acclaimed work reflected the company’s ability to connect and collaborate with highly regarded international partners to present artistically rigorous yet accessible performances that weave together performance, sound and music in truly contemporary forms. And while further performances at Sydney Opera House and Singapore were blocked by the pandemic, this work will be performed again.

The Board wants to particularly thank CEO and Artistic Director Tamara Saulwick, who so impressively led the company through the highs of Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep, into the initially frightening early days of the pandemic, through lockdowns and then into the more hopeful but still restricted last months of 2020. In unprecedented times, Tamara and the whole staff team were exceptional.

Another high point was the success of the Hi-Viz program, our practice exchange for cis and trans women, trans men and non-binary folk working across performance, sound and music. This year’s event was held online in the midst of lockdown, bringing together over 200 people from across Australia and overseas — sending a strong signal that this community of artists was still deeply engaged in the artistic process in spite of COVID-19.

At a governance level, the Board continued its work in improving our governance processes. The company’s Rules have been updated to bring them in line with our current purpose, while the upper limit to Board numbers were boosted to allow for a broader set of skills and experiences. We were particularly pleased to invite two new board members: Jo Porter, CEO of the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre, arts producer and experienced board member; and Lydia Dobbin, who brings the insights of a younger artist and founder of an arts company through her experience establishing Play On. Their presence in Board meetings since early in 2020 has significantly added to the quality of the discussion.

The restrictions driven by the pandemic were a test of the company’s resilience and values, as well as the commitment of governments to contemporary arts. Our key funder, Creative Victoria, was quick to understand the risk to the sector, providing a range of ways to support smaller performing arts companies so they could progress their work and keep artists employed. The Australia Council Resilience Fund was also a crucial and welcome initiative. Philanthropists also leant support, sometimes through companies like Chamber Made, to the individual artists who suddenly found themselves without income. Chamber Made itself acted as generously as circumstances allowed to ensure that artists who did not have the protection of a salary could find ways of working and being paid. I speak for the whole Board in expressing admiration of

Writing this now in the first months of 2021, it is heartening to see the arts sector emerging from 2020 ready to perform in front of audiences once more. Chamber Made in particular has an exciting program of development and performances to take us through 2021 and beyond. Now that is something to look forward to!

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Chamber Made Annual Report 2020

Vision and Values Vision Reimagining artistic horizons to transform and enrich art, artists and audiences.

Purpose To interrogate the intersections of music, sound and performance with risk-taking artists and adventurous audiences to discover new forms of expression that reflect and articulate the themes of our times.

Values Collaboration We nurture a culture of inquiry, dialogue and exchange, prioritising artists’ agency and the empowerment of independent voices.

Complexity We create spaces to engage with the exploratory, the unfamiliar and the unknown.

Curiosity We seek the most prescient questions and then ask them again with the courage to take risks.

Equity We champion fairness and activate opportunities that reflect, respect and celebrate difference.

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Chamber Made Annual Report 2020

Chamber Made Annual Report 2020

Chamber Made 2020

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ‘‘[Tan] cuts a figure of elegance, grace and ferocity … she possesses a power that’s bewildering.’ —ARTS HUB (Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep)

STAFF Tamara Saulwick Artistic Director & CEO Kylie McRae Executive Producer Dan Sheehan Operations and Finance Coordinator


Leo Gester Production

Siobhan McKenna Dancer & choreographer

Keith Armstrong Artist & researcher

Goh Ching Lee | CultureLink Singapore Producer

Olivia Muscat Writer

Jessica Aszodi Vocalist Ros Bandt Sound artist

Emilie Collyer Communications Manager

Steve Berrick Creative coder & programmer

Lana Nguyen Associate Producer

Janet Cardiff Multimedia artist

Leela Schauble Digital Producer

Pier Carthew Photographer


Rainbow Chan Vocalist, producer & multi-disciplinary artist

Michael Bink Chair

Victoria Chui Collaborating artist

Greer Evans Treasurer

Carolyn Connors Collaborating artist

Kylie Trounson Secretary

Martyn Coutts Dramaturg

Lydia Dobbin

Emilie Collyer Facilitator & writer

Rod Macneil Jo Porter Michael Roper

ARTISTIC ADVISORY GROUP Madeleine Flynn Genevieve Lacey Freya Waterson

Tim Devine | AKQA Researcher Lena Douglas Musician Sam Doyle Production manager

Nat Grant Multiform artist Erik Griswold Musician & composer Jenny Hector Lighting designer Sonya Holowell Vocalist, composer & writer Cat Hope Composer Melanie Huang Data visualisation artist Adena Jacobs Director & Orange House assessment panelist Rebecca Jensen OHBTS Resident Leah Jing Panel moderator Pia Johnson Photographer Angus Kemp Videographer Peter Knight Composer

Fayen Ke-Xiao d’Evie Artist-mother-agitator

Kok Heng Leun | DRAMA BOX Dramaturg

Aviva Endean Composer, Musician & Orange House assessment panelist

Andy Lim | ART FACTORY Lighting designer

Bec Fary Creative audio producer

Alisdair Macindoe Co-creator, composer & performer

Robin Fox Creator & composer

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Roslyn Oades Sound artist Emily O’Brien Production Cobie Orger Videographer Megan Payne Choreographer & artist Jonathon Roberts Robotics Nick Roux Technical designer & media artist Tamara Saulwick Performance maker & dramaturg Bosco Shaw, Lighting designer Margaret Leng Tan Musician Afsaneh Torabi Collaborating artist Sarah Walker Photographer & writer Sui Zhen Composer & musician Yap Seok Hui | ARTFACTORY Production Yuan Zhiying Costume designer Carla Zimbler Video artist

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Chamber Made Annual Report 2020

The Year at a Glance JANUARY


Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep, video art development

Serious Noise, development Hi-Viz Short Work Commission, assessment



Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep, world premiere ASIA TOPA, Arts Centre Melbourne

Hi-Viz Practice Exchange, planning Diaspora, nominated APRA AMCOS Art Music Awards: Work of the Year Electroacoustic/Sound Art

Kylie attends final Australia Council Arts Leaders residency, Tamworth Tamara and Kylie attend and present at APAM, Melbourne



Concept planning with AKQA

My Self in That Moment, development, Melbourne


Dragon Ladies Don't Weep, Sydney Opera House Unwrapped and Esplanade Theatres on the Bay Singapore tours cancelled

Hi-Viz Practice Exchange, one-day online event Tam & Kylie attended APAM Live Exchange at Liveworks (online gathering)

COVID-19 cancellations and lockdown commences



Feeling Counts, Little Operations Serious Noise, development

Permission to Speak, regional tour cancelled

Kylie attended Australia Singapore Arts Group Cultural Leaders Forum (online meeting)

Artist Advisory group meeting



Orange House by the Sea Artist Residency, assessments

Orange House by the Sea Artist Residency SYSTEM_ERROR, development


My Self in That Moment, development Staff attend Koorie Heritage Trust Training

Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep, documentary video, Arts Centre Melbourne

Hi-Viz artist responses published in special issue of ADSR magazine

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Works 2020

Chamber Made Annual Report 2020

Chamber Made Annual Report 2020

Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep


Music, text, performance and image

World Premiere Friday 28 February Arts Centre Melbourne as part of ASIA TOPA 2020

A work that sweeps across the senses, Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep is a sonic portrait of new music icon Margaret Leng Tan – an evocative exploration of memory, time, control and loss. New York-based Singaporean pianist Tan forged a path as a major force within the American avant-garde, serving as muse for such giants as John Cage and George Crumb, and transforming the toy piano into a serious instrument. Her stellar career is a touchstone for the past 40 years of experimental musical innovation. Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep combines spoken and recorded text, projected images and original music for prepared piano, toy piano, toys and percussion by Tan’s long-term collaborator Erik Griswold. Created by a team of Singaporean and Australian artists, including director Tamara Saulwick, video designer Nick Roux, and dramaturg Kok Heng Leun and performed by Tan, this cross-cultural collaboration is an evocative collage of the forces that have shaped Tan’s life and how music has been both her passion and her refuge. Highlights Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep was featured as a case study in the Asia TOPA report, lauded as an example of best practice in international collaboration. The behind the scenes documentary about the work was also featured as part of the Asia TOPA Connected series.

Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep is a Chamber Made and CultureLink Singapore co-production, cocommissioned by Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay and Asia TOPA. This activity received grant funding from the Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grants Program of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and is supported by Creative Victoria, Australia Council for the Arts, National Arts Council (Singapore), The SUBSTATION, Playking Foundation, Sidney Myer Fund and the Robert Salzer Foundation. Asia TOPA is a joint initiative of the Sidney Myer Fund and Arts Centre Melbourne and is supported by the Australian and Victorian Governments. Artistic Credits Margaret Leng Tan Musician & performer

Nick Roux Video artist

Tamara Saulwick Director

Andy Lim | ARTFACTORY Lighting designer

Erik Griswold Composer

Yuan Zhiying Costume designer

Kok Heng Leun | Drama Box Dramaturg

‘The narrative, the music – by Tan’s long-term collaborator, composer Erik Griswold – and the visualisations all dance with the tension between precision and improvisation, between playfulness and perfectionism.’

A performance work for bodies and electronics

What would a perfect system look like, what would it mean, and would we really want it?

Creative Development December

No system is immune to failure. Biology and technology alike are vulnerable to malfunction and breakdown. Set against a backdrop of transhumanist aspirations, SYSTEM_ERROR contemplates our shared disquiet around the frailties and imperfections that make us human, and interrogates the increasingly dependent and integrated relationship between human bodies, brains and technology.

Development of SYSTEM_ERROR has been supported by Arts House Listening Room residency and CultureLAB. The project has also been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

Tamara Saulwick comes together with contemporary dance-maker, composer and instrument designer Alisdair Macindoe to create and perform this new hybrid performance work. They are joined by data visualisation artist Melanie Huang, director Lucy Guerin, lighting designer Amelia Lever-Davidson and writer Emilie Collyer to form a uniquely interdisciplinary team.

Alisdair Macindoe Co-creator, performer, sound & system designer

Artistic Credits Tamara Saulwick Co-creator & performer

Melanie Huang Data visualisation artist & creative coder Emilie Collyer Writer & text consultant

Central to the work is a bespoke instrument designed by Macindoe that sees electrically conductive tape function as a live audio mixing circuit activated through touch. Extending technology from content into form speaks directly to this pivotal time in human evolution as we grapple with the implications of technology’s centrality to our everyday lives.


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Chamber Made Annual Report 2018

Chamber Made Annual Report 2020

‘Huge thanks for a brilliant day that has left me with a sense of expanding possibilities, and an optimism that we really can help sustain each other.’ —PARTICIPANT (Hi-Viz)

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Chamber Made Annual Report 2020

Chamber Made Annual Report 2020

My Self in That Moment

Serious Noise

A live performance work for solo and distributed voice and body

My Self in That Moment is a new hybrid electroacoustic and live voice work created for an ensemble of 48 iPads and a solo performer. Led by Tamara Saulwick working in collaboration with soprano Jessica Aszodi, My Self in That Moment will feature composition by Peter Knight and the work of art photographer Sarah Walker. A portrait of an artist and a deconstruction of an artistic tradition, the work explores the relationship between a singer’s body and voice, and the social forces that impact on this complexity.

Creative Development March December My Self in That Moment is based on a coproducing partnership between Experimenta and Chamber Made, with support from the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision and QUT’s Creative Lab. The project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. Artistic Credits Tamara Saulwick Concept & direction

A work for low brass, voice, electronics & paint bombs

Creative Development July November

Performed by a large ensemble of vocalists and instrumentalists aged 14-17, Serious Noise is a ritual summoning, an SOS, an act of resistance, a frozen parade, a warning to the universe as imagined by teenagers on the precipice of change.

Serious Noise has received seed funding from Rising Festival

Composer Cat Hope, director Adena Jacobs, and dramaturg Tamara Saulwick come into collaboration with a large ensemble of teenage musician /performers to create a strange, fierce and uncompromising work which is part concert, part performance, part take-over.

Artistic Credits Adena Jacobs Direction Cat Hope Composition Tamara Saulwick Dramaturgy Jen Hector Lighting design

Peter Knight Composition Jessica Aszodi Vocalist Steve Berrick Creative coding & programming Martyn Coutts Dramaturgy Sarah Walker Visual art & photography

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Chamber Made Annual Report 2020

Chamber Made Annual Report 2020

Hi-Viz Artform & Sector Development 2020

Hi-Viz is Chamber Made’s initiative for women, gender diverse and trans artists working across performance, sound and music. The event is intended to deepen dialogue, build networks, and nurture new understandings between performance makers, theatre directors, composers, and sound artists.

‘There are many things that are unusual about the way that Hi-Viz is run. This is one such thing: the softness of it. The awareness that communion takes effort.’

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Hi-Viz 2020 was a one-day, free event held entirely online.

—SARAH WALKER, Writer-in-residence

Thanks to the generous ongoing support from Helen Macpherson Smith Trust and ADAPT funding from the Australia Council for the Arts in 2020, we added a new Short Work Commission (which had a public call out and competitive selection process). This was secured by composer and musician Sui Zhen in collaboration with video artist Carla Zimbler and choreographer and artist Megan Payne. We commissioned a new podcast series by sound artist Roslyn Oades and a new participatory performance event by video artist Cobie Orger and composer Aviva Endean. We doubled our artist response commissions (from two in 2019 to four in total in 2020). We commissioned three artists to provide ‘artistic provocations’ at the Hi-Viz event. The day attracted a huge increase in participation, with 228 people from around the globe registering to attend. Thursday 23 October 2020 Online Hi-Viz is supported by the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust and The SUBSTATION and received funding from the Australia Council for the Arts.

Artistic Credits Janet Cardiff (Canada) Featured conversation Aviva Endean and Cobie Orger Vibrato Virtual Roslyn Oades with Ros Bandt, Rainbow Chan & Adena Jacobs Audiosketch Sui Zhen with Carla Zimbler and Megan Payne Inaugural Hi-Viz Short Work Commission Fayen d’Evie and Sonya Holowell Artist provocateurs Bec Fary, Nat Grant, Olivia Muscat, Sarah Walker Artists-in-residence

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‘A spectacular day of thinking, dreaming, scheming, feeling. Hi-Viz 2020 inspired me to create and play and shake off the lockdown cobwebs while also giving me the appropriate time, kindness and understanding to do so.’ —OLIVIA MUSCAT, Writer-in-residence ‘This was my second Hi-Viz and I have loved each one. So far, they are getting better with every year for me and I am excited for next year’s! —PARTICIPANT

Chamber Made Annual Report 2020

Chamber Made Annual Report 2020

Orange House by the Sea Artist Residency The Orange House by the Sea Artist Residency program is for mid-career women, gender diverse and trans artists who are working at the intersections of performance, sound and music. The three-week residency includes an artist stipend, access to a Melbourne-based mentor if required and child care contributions if required. Located on the Bellarine Peninsula in Victoria, the Orange House by the Sea is the beautiful home of the late artist Margaret Cameron and is generously provided by Margaret’s son and daughter-in-law who now own the house: Crickneck Cottage.

Little Operations Little Operations is a creative development and R&D opportunity offered to emerging and established independent artists working at the intersection of performance, sound and music to explore new ideas and approaches to practice. An artform development hothouse, the opportunity includes producing support, mentorship, space and a stipend. Each Little Operations culminates in a public showing, introducing Chamber Made audiences to new artists, ideas and works in development.

‘OHBTS allowed me to look at my choreographic working through the lens of sound, listening and experimental performance, expanding my practice and creating space for new discoveries and evolutions.’

Tuesday 24 November 2020 Online presentation Chamber Made’s Little Operations program is funded by a combination of Navigator donations and core funding.

Artistic Credits


Siobhan McKenna and Lena Douglas

In 2020 we welcomed our third Orange House by the Sea resident. Due to restrictions associated with COVID-19, the residency took place at a different location in 2020 but was kept in the same general locale and the spirit of the Orange House. Sunday 29 November – Wednesday 16 December The Orange House by the Sea Bellarine Peninsula

Little Operations with Siobhan McKenna and Lena Douglas: Feeling counts

This residency is supported by the Hugh Williamson Foundation, Chamber Made donors and the family of Margaret Cameron.

2020 Resident Artists

Choreographer and dancer Siobhan McKenna came together with composer and musician Lena Douglas to begin a new creative development.

Rebecca Jensen 2020 recipient

Having collaborated previously, the pair established mutual artistic interests. Aware of the parallels between them in how they engaged with rhythm and pattern they became excited about the creative possibilities of devising a new project together. Feeling Counts was the start of this new collaboration where the artists experimented with fusing their respective choreographic and compositional practices.

‘Little Operations allowed Lena and I to begin creating a collaborative relationship where we can fuse our respective practices to explore movement and sound in the one body. This opportunity gave us the time, space, feedback and financial support to begin this process. We are really excited by what we made and the potential it has to be continued in the future.’ —SIOBHAN MCKENNA ‘I found this event to be incredibly generous - from both the artists in sharing their artistic processes as well as from Chamber Made in creating professional and considered documentation.’ —AUDIENCE MEMBER

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Chamber Made Annual Report 2019

Chamber Made Annual Report 2020

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ‘‘[Tan] remains a vital and energetic performer, and Dragon Ladies provides us with a rare insight into that which drives her passion as an explorer and pioneer of new musical territories.’ —LIMELIGHT (Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep)

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Chamber Made Annual Report 2020

Chamber Made Annual Report 2020

Relationships 2020 Salons Chamber Made’s Salon series continued in 2020. Salons are key to our relationship building as an opportunity for audiences to delve deeper into the content and context of our works. They are also a way in which we connect with new presenting partners and audiences, bringing our work to a wider range of people.

Salon: Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep How do you create a sonic portrait of a music icon in an intercultural context? This in-depth exploration into the making of Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep was moderated by arts writer Leah Jing. Pianist Margaret Leng Tan, director Tamara Saulwick, composer Erik Griswold and dramaturg Kok Heng Leun shared their experiences and challenges working on what became a very personal sonic memoir that pushed Margaret Leng Tan to connect her background in experimental music into an exploration of new territories in theatre.

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15 February 2020 Theatre, The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Federation Square This Salon event was hosted by the Asia Society and Arts Centre Melbourne as part of the Asia TOPA Salon Series.

Artistic Credits Leah Jing Panel Convenor Tamara Saulwick, Margaret Leng Tan, Erik Griswold, Kok Heng Leun Panellists

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Chamber Made Annual Report 2020

Supporting artists and arts workers The impact of COVID-19 hit independent artists hard. So many artists and arts workers lost nearly all of their work for the year, from premiere presentation seasons to tours, new work developments to ongoing employment opportunities such as teaching and collaborating on various projects. At Chamber Made we were deeply disappointed that two presentation seasons of Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep (Esplanade Theatres on the Bay, Singapore and Sydney Opera House) were cancelled, as was a planned regional Australian tour of our 2016 work Permission to Speak. This was disappointing for the company and in particular a huge loss for the artists involved. It thus became very important to the company that we find ways to support and nurtures artists and arts workers where and when we could throughout the year. It was wonderful to offer our regular new work development initiatives Orange House by the Sea Artist Residency and Little Operations.

Our decision to move Hi-Viz 2020 online and our success with securing ADAPT funding from the Australia Council for the Arts meant we could commission artists for a few new and extra works associated with that event. Hi-Viz attracted the highest number of participants ever with 228 people registering to attend, confirming how nourishing this event is for artists, particularly in a year when many of them were so isolated. The primary benefit of holding the event online was that people from interstate and even overseas could join the day. While planned creative developments of new works were put on hold due to COVID-19, we were pleased to still be able to engage a number of artists to keep new works ticking over. These were: SYSTEM_ERROR, My Self in That Moment and Serious Noise. We also began the process of adapting existing works to COVID safe and flexible presentation formats. In 2020 the company engaged 48 artists and arts workers in a professional capacity.

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Chamber Made Annual Report 2020

Staying connected with audiences It was a delight to partner with the fantastic online arts platform ADSR Zine in order to distribute our Hi-Viz commissioned responses (two written and two audio) to a wider and different online readership than we usually reach.

Finding ways to stay connected with existing audiences and connect with new audiences was a particular challenge in 2020. We were fortunate that our main new work presentation was able to go ahead. Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep was presented at Arts Centre Melbourne as part of Asia TOPA, bringing the company to one of the largest venues (The Playhouse) we have presented at in many years. The presentation season was accompanied by a salon event hosted by the Asia Society and Arts Centre Melbourne as part of the Asia TOPA Salon Series.

We wrapped the year with an online presentation and Q&A with our Little Operations artists Lena Douglas and Siobhan McKenna which, again, afforded a new level of access to an online audience.

Presenting Hi-Viz 2020 online also enabled us to reach new audiences. The inclusion of Canadian artist Janet Cardiff held particular appeal for a number of participants, helping us reach some new people who had not attended the event in previous years. We also had feedback that making the event free and online was a great help to those who could not normally travel to the event or attend for other reasons including family, cost and accessibility.

In 2020 we had 532 audience members at ticketed (paid) events, and 282 at unticketed (free) events.

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Chamber Made Annual Report 2020

Keeping the lights on with valued partnerships Nurturing and building development and presentation partnerships seemed more important than ever in 2020. While many projects, presentations and developments were put on hold or in some instances cancelled, creating ongoing, long form conversations about holding space and what might be possible as things kept changing and evolving was key to keeping our company buoyant. Recent and current partnerships include: — The SUBSTATION (presenting partner Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep 2020, Hi-Viz Practice Exchange 2018-2020 and beyond) — Arts House (development and presentation partner SYSTEM_ERROR 2018-21) — CultureLink Singapore (co-producer Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep 2020-21) — Arts Centre Melbourne (co-presenter Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep 2020) — Asia TOPA (co-commissioner and copresenter Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep 2020)

— Experimenta (co-producing partner My Self in That Moment 2018-20) — ADSR Zine (presentation partner Hi-Viz Practice Exchange commissioned works 2020) — Malthouse Theatre (workshop venue Little Operations 2020) — Rising Festival (commissioning partner Serious Noise development 2020-21) We would also like to acknowledge the support of presenting partners with whom we had works planned for 2020 but which were cancelled due to COVID-19. It was a challenging time for all and we appreciated the thoughtful ways in which these organisations managed the huge changes and challenges involved:

Chamber Made Annual Report 2020

Donors In 2020 our Navigators contributed in a significant way to new works and our core programs Hi-Viz Practice Exchange and Little Operations. In a year where opportunities for artists to develop work and to be in the same space together were few and far between, this support was appreciated more than ever. Navigators provide invaluable financial support and friendship to Chamber Made which allows us to step into the unknown, take risks and present seasons that really inspire our audiences. We enjoy bringing Navigators in to our collaborative processes and connecting them with some of the fabulous artists working with the company. NAVIGATORS

— Sydney Opera House

— Cash donations of $1,000 and up

— Esplanade Theatre by the Bay, Singapore

—In-kind donations of $2,000 or more

— Canberra International Music Festival

— Navigators who give amounts of $5,000 or more will be recognised as CoCommissioners and Instigators of nominated new works and projects

— Arts House — Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre Page 28

— Navigators who give amounts of $10,000 or more will be recognised as singular Commissioners and Instigators of nominated new works and projects When you join Chamber Made’s donor program you can support: —Commissioning and developing new work — Artist and art sector development through Little Operations, Orange House by the Sea Artist Residency and Hi-Viz Practice Exchange — The tireless and constant behind-the-scenes work by Chamber Made staff and the wonderful creative and production teams we work with that makes the art happen Please visit the support page on our website for more information about becoming a Donor or contact Kylie McRae directly to discuss.

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Chamber Made Annual Report 2020

Chamber Made Annual Report 2020


Supporters & Partners

‘Asia TOPA seeks to challenge the status quo here in Australia, too. It has the explicit aim of shifting conservative, and often Anglocentric, programming at major performing arts institutions, and to encourage them to take inspiration from Asia … Singaporean experimental music legend Margaret Leng Tan teams with local avant-garde theatre mavericks Chamber Made for Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep, a hybrid of spoken and recorded text, video projections, and music for toy piano and percussion.’ —Cameron Woodhead, THE AGE

‘In Dragon Ladies Don't Weep I am simply fulfilling Cage's staunch belief in the equation, Life = Art = Theatre. As my first fullyfledged foray into theatre it is a no-holds-barred depiction of who I am, foibles and all. I am candid about my omnipresent struggles with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and yes, there is light at the end of the tunnel where humour is the ultimate redemption. It's not all gloom and doom. My life has been a fascinating journey filled with priceless stories, some of which have found their way into Dragon Ladies Don't Weep.’ —5 Questions with Margaret Leng Tan, LIMINAL MAGAZINE

‘Sometimes, in industry events such as these, there is a tint of envy in the room. Competition. People scoping for who’s working where. This year, we aren’t bragging about the work we’re doing. We’re celebrating the tiny joys we’re finding in what is at hand.’ —Sarah Walker (Hi-Viz Practice Exchange), ADSR ZINE

@BecFary 22 Oct ‘how do we know reality except through our senses? and we can fool the senses so easily' Leaf fluttering in wind such a privilege to be listening to Janet Cardiff this morning, in conversation with Tamara Saulwick at #HiViz2020 @ChamberMadeOrg @BeckySuiZhen 22 Oct ‘One step into the future and one foot into the past, do you ever think about that? It’s like our bodies are caught in the middle. The hard part is being present, really being here. Stop.' Janet Cardiff... live In Conversation on #HiViz2020 now with @ChamberMadeOrg @CamillaHannan 22 Oct What a way to start the day! Listening to one of my fav artists Janet Cardiff @Cardiff_Miller as part of @ChamberMadeOrg 's #hivizpracticeexchange Page 30

1,819 Facebook Followers At end Dec 2020.

1,962 Twitter Followers

OUR NAVIGATORS (Donations of $1,000 or more) Rosemary Forbes & Ian Hocking, Helen & Peter Murdoch, Helen Symon & Ian Lulham, Suzanne Kirkham, Jo Porter & Michael Nossal, Michael Bink & Jenny O’Connor

EXPLORERS (Donations between $200 – $999)

STOWAWAYS (Donations under $200)

Margaret Plant, Margaret Leggatt & Eugene Schlusser, Tim Stitz & Petra Kalive, Lydia Dobbin, Anonymous

Joel Murray, Sally Goldner


At end Dec 2020.


Department of Communications and the Arts

Instagram Followers At end Dec 2020.



E-news Subscribers A total of twelve eNews communications sent out to 1,380 subscribers with an average open rate of 35.46% and an average click rate of 9.03%.




Website Users

Including: 26,434 Page Views, 13,570 Sessions, 87% New Visitors, 12% Returning Visitors in 2020.

4 Radio Interviews 2 Print Features 24 Online Features

Chamber Made is a proud member of the Australian Music Centre and Theatre Network Australia Photographs by: Pier Carthew, Carolyn Connors, Aviva Endean, Cat Hope, Rebecca Jensen, Pia Johnson, Cobie Orger, Nick Roder, Sui Zhen, Carla Zimbler Page 31

Meat Market Office 22, 44 Courtney Street North Melbourne VIC 3051 AUSTRALIA

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