I am passionate about deepening and strengthening the nature of artistic practice through robust cultural conversations. I have given keynote addresses, interviewed artists, spoken on panels and facilitated public discussion for a range of organisations including the London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT) at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Big West Festival, Australian Theatre Forum, Melbourne Festival, Experimenta, Victorian Theatre Forum, VAPAC, Regional Arts Victoria, Geelong Library and the National Gallery of Victoria. Some events from the Wheeler Centre have been recorded and can be viewed below.
Art and Money
Art and finance often make for uncomfortable bedfellows. Throughout history, artists from every discipline have depended on the financial support of the state and from private patrons, in the form of philanthropic donations.
On 21 May 2014, I facilitated a public forum asking the questions: Can art survive without philanthropy, and should it? If an artistic individual or organisation is to benefit from an injection of funds from without, must they become beholden to the whims and beliefs of their benefactor, particularly if the funding comes from corporate sponsorship whose ideals may not match that of the arts organisation? Joining me on the panel were Louise Walsh, Rupert Myer, Rebecca Coates and Peter Biggs. (Video opens in new window.)
In April 2014, the Griffith Review published an extraordinary collection of essays exploring new ways people are working together and solving social problems that governments and other organisations have struggled with, edited by Julianne Schultz. More information on the publication is available at griffithreview.com.
On 12 May 2014, I facilitated a public forum asking the questions: Are the arts being overlooked as an effective way of solving contemporary issues? What benefits can communities reap by adopting a more culturally integrated approach? Joining me on the panel were Schultz, Robyn Archer, Scott Rankin and Marcus Westbury. (Video opens in new window.)
Patricia Cornelius' Savages
The winner of the drama category in the 2014 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards (along with a host of Green Room Awards) was Savages, a searing examination of masculinity under duress by Patricia Cornelius. The four original cast members – Mark Tregonning, James O’Connell, Lyall Brooks and Luke Elliot – reunited with director Susie Dee in a theatre-in-the-raw rehearsed reading of this extraordinary work on 19 July 2014 at the Wheeler Centre.
At the 1 hour 7 minute mark of the video, you can see Patricia and I in conversation about her work, contemporary masculinity, and the future of independent theatre in Australia.