Metro Arts presents CROSS-STITCH:
Thunderbox Led by Artistic Director, Britt Guy
Friday December 6 and Saturday December 7 2013 from 6pm at Metro Arts
Closing the year at Metro Arts is CROSS-STITCH: Thunderbox, Brisbane’s unrivalled immersive two-night art party curated by Britt Guy. Site-specific, interactive and live, Britt has curated a collection of contemporary Australian artists sharing their latest partners in crime – communities and you the audience.
Artists include Zane Trow, Robert Millett, Lenine Bourke, Mck Mckeague, Matthew Day, Andrew Tuttle, Edwina Lunn, Gerwyn Davies, Nathan Stoneham and Thomas Quirk. Each work is a conversation between an experimental artist, an Australian community and Brisbane audiences. Expect to witness work fleetingly, engage in conversations, and contemplate your connection with place, community and art making as you traverse through these interstitial performance and installation works.
Starting at the bar, audiences pick from the program of works, self-curating a journey through the online gaming world, intimate duets, hidden spaces, mouse size galleries, the sounds of nameless towns, suburbs and cities while traversed across the country through an ode to landscape and corrugated iron.
“I believe that contemporary artists are seeking a stronger connection and engagement with audience and the place where they are creating and presenting their work. Simultaneously, I believe audiences today are just as hungry for a richer understanding of contemporary art making,” explains Britt.
“With CROSS-STITCH: Thunderbox, I hope to encourage discussion around the relationship between art, engagement and audience interactive practices.”
An independent producer, curator and community arts and youth worker with extensive experience across festivals such as Brisbane Festival’s Under the Radar and This Is Not Art’s Critical Animals, as well as sitting on various selection committees in organisations in Darwin, Queensland and Melbourne, Britt has in depth knowledge and is engaged with emerging artist development, experimental art practice, site specific and pop up work, youth run events, community cultural development, events planning, strategy writing and research.
Leveraging on Metro Arts’ traditional and non-traditional spaces, and resources to realise the event, CROSS- STITCH is a platform for an emerging artistic director to test and strengthen curatorial skills.
The End of an Era of Independents at Metro Arts
PREHISTORIC BRINGS THE CURTAINS DOWN ON THE SEASON OF THE INDEPENDENTS.
See Marcel Dorney’s vital play before December 7
Award-winning playwright and director Marcel Dorney and his fellow co-founders of Melbourne theatre company Elbow Room conclude Metro Arts’ 2013 Season of the Independents with Prehistoric.
It is fitting that Marcel Dorney, with three works under his belt in The Independents, should also be the final work to be co-presented under this banner. The Independents has been an important platform for presenting Brisbane’s independent performance makers for 12 years, in that time presenting more than 50 works, commencing with Three Points of Contact by Shaun Charles.
“Prehistoric was generated entirely within the walls of Metro Arts,” says Dorney, “first through a commission from the recently defunded Backbone Youth Arts, and then as part of the Season of Independents. I got my start as a director through Metro Arts at 19; I’m immensely proud to have come back here to work every five years or so, and watched the organisation change. To be part of the ‘last’ of the Independents is also – I hope – to help push open a new door.”
In 2014 Metro Arts will continue to co-present the performance work of practitioners making and presenting performance works under their own creative control. We will respond to what is needed at this time – a flexible platform appropriate for a new context and new challenges.
The Independents started as a vehicle for playwrights to test their writing in production and enable them to continue to develop their craft. The list of writers it has supported reads as a who’s who of Queensland playwrights including Linda Hassall, Maxine Mellor, Sven Swenson, Robert Kronk, Simon Brook, Daynan Brazil, Daniel Evans, Elaine Acworth, Sasha Janowicz, Margi Brown Ash and Katherine Lyall Watson.
Sue Benner who founded The Independents says, “I was surrounded by a sea of potential theatre talent and a staff and Board that were ferocious in their commitment to the place and willing to taking the risk necessary to support these artists’ careers. And so The Season of Independents was born with borrowed and invented stuff, seats held together with gaffer tape, minimal lighting (to be polite), front-of-house non-existent but for a bevy of volunteers, and Workplace Health and Safety? I won’t even go there… Three Points of Contact had exactly the fresh, controversial, edginess that the year 2002 needed, and exactly the mad energy required to launch a season of new independent work.”
Over its 12 years The Independents has continuously evolved and expanded in response to performance makers’ needs. The platform has morphed to service and showcase directors and actors; developing the skills of designers, stage managers and producers. It’s changed in response to theatre form, embracing contemporary performance, music, dance and all the combinations and spaces between. It has broken out of the Sue Benner Theatre at the call of artists making more experimental work, wanting to challenge spatial and audience relationships. Who can forget the transformation of the Basement by Motherboard Productions in 2011 for 지하Underground, a work that continues to develop and will return for its third Brisbane season in 2014.
Exposing artists and work to a national audience and enabling work to transition to other stages has been a focus in later years.
In 2010 The Kursk travelled from the Sue Benner Theatre to 37 venues around Australia and we are now in preparation to showcase the escapists’ work Boy Girl Wall in the US – a little work made for the Sue Benner Theatre with not much more than a piece of chalk an overhead projector.
Liz Burcham, CEO of Metro Arts says, “We stand at a point where we don’t need a label or a sign post that says this is independent. Metro Arts stands by daring and exciting theatre and performance, in all its many forms and in 2014 will present under its own name, Metro Arts, a program of work in collaboration with artists that breaks form and style, blends performance and installation, engages cross culturally and in some cases are co-presented with our peers nationally.”