Geelong Arts Centre announce brave, bold and creative local recipients for this year’s Creative Engine grants
31.08.2021

Geelong Arts Centre announce brave, bold and creative local recipients for this year’s Creative Engine grants

Xavier McGettigan and Bec Goring

Equating in $86,000 in financial grants and in-kind occupancies within the centres landmark Ryrie Street building, these grants will directly benefit creative individuals and organisations in the region.

While the future of the arts remains in a constant state of flux as the coronavirus pandemic continues, the Geelong Arts Centre has unveiled the nine local recipients of this year’s Creative Engine grants which aim to benefit artists and creatives working in the region, in their pursuit to develop fresh, innovative, and exciting work.

The grants, both financial and in-kind studio access within the arts centre’s landmark Ryrie Street building, directly benefit individuals and organisations who demonstrated the desire and ability to drive bold and exciting contemporary arts practice and performance.

The key takeaways

  • Geelong Arts Centre has unveiled the nine local recipients of this year’s Creative Engine grants
  • Equating in $86,000 in financial grants and in-kind occupancies within the centres landmark Ryrie Street building, these grants will directly benefit creative individuals and organisations in the region.
  • The next round of grants is due to be announced early next year

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The selected projects span multiple artistic disciplines, including dance, magic, theatre and docu-film, but share in common their ability to meet the program’s three selection criteria:  connection, innovation and thoughtfulness.  

Ignition grants – designed for projects that are in the early stages of creation and need support in transitioning from creative development to prepare for presentation – were awarded to ‘Rattus’, an urban thriller by writer and director Elias Jamieson Brown, set in the industrial heartland of Geelong; and local singer-songwriter Bec Goring’s ‘Sounds of Olfactory’, which aims to redefine the boundaries and challenge the constructs of what we consider live performance to be.

Rattus blends real history with folklore to explore trauma, privilege, and the intersection of addiction and faith. Rattus is inspired by the Barwon Heads cancer cluster, and  Elias plans to conduct interviews with local activists and families whose lives have been affected by contamination. 

‘Sounds of Olfactory’ will explore to what depth a multi-sensory live performance can connect with the community. The themes of ‘Mindfulness,  Chaos and Affluence’ will be explored by local visual and sound artists working across a range of mediums.

 

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Providing cash grants and access to performance and co-working spaces for innovative concepts to play and explore ideas further, the Jump Start grants were awarded to four amazing local concepts. 

The first is Perfect Pairing, an original collaboration between Attitude Dance Company and The Hot Chicken Project, by director/choreographer Xavier McGettigan and wine expert/presenter Laura Viva.  The project is a wine tasting with an arts twist, pairing wine with dance! Professional dancers, wines, and original dance pieces will be developed with a focus on local wines and creatives.

Next is Roaring, a new immersive theatre experience that plunges its audience into 1920s Geelong. This development will be led by Geelong producer and actress, Libby Brockman, in collaboration with award-winning writer Fleur Murphy, seasoned director Rachel Baring, and local Geelong actors. Artistically inspired by grand-scale immersive works such as The Malthouse’s ‘Because The  Night’ and London’s ‘A Drowned Man’, and bolstered by the team’s 10yrs+ experience in immersive and intimate theatre productions, this is an exciting work made by and for the Geelong community.

A third jump-start grant was awarded to Magic Adventures by Dazzling Dan, an innovative, interactive video that enables the viewer to interact with the narrative/video feed responding to questions asked directly by the actor on screen, interact with props in the video, and engage and take part in the direction of a dramatic narrative  (akin to ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’). Taking you on a virtual magic trip around Geelong, this one will be one to watch. 

Next is The Devil’s Grip. Created by writer/performer/producer Gavin Roach and set in the Western District’s prized pastoral lands and rolling Barrabool Hills, the story at the centre of The Devil’s Grip is deeply connected to the Geelong area – investigating the murky mysteries that lurk beneath one of Victoria’s gruesome true crime stories – the triple murder of the Wettenhall family at the Stanbury Estate.  

Lastly, A Decorated Place is a dance work by performer and choreographer Caroline Meaden that takes its cues from films featuring wandering women. Women who take up residence inside other people – in their houses, workplaces, cars, diaries and dreams. It is a watery work that deals with the slippage between people and objects and landscapes, through a choreographic lens. 

The last round of grants come under the Place to Make initiative, designed to offer a testing ground for creatives and companies to sample and refine ideas.

HELD is a first stage of creative development for a new local dance theatre work made and performed by Helen Duncan and Zoee Marsh. Guided and facilitated by the performers, the work will offer audiences an innovative, gentle, immersive and sensory performance experience. 

The final grand was awarded to Worlds Where Life Might Exist, where two women want to live, and a spacecraft is about to die. This project is presented by Christine Davey and Skin of Our  Teeth Productions.

Having originally set out to award six grants in 2021, due to the outstanding quality of submissions received the Geelong Arts Centre ended up awarding grants to all nine of the above applicants, totalling $86,000 consisting of cash and in-kind venue access.

Playing a pivotal role in the continuation of the arts in uncertain times, the Geelong Art Centre’s Creative Engine (a co-working space and eponymous arts development program) was introduced in October in 2019 with a primary directive to support individuals and artistic collectives and build sustainable arts practices within regional Victoria.

Creative Engine will continue to offer regular grant rounds to invest in emerging projects produced by those with a strong connection to the Greater Geelong region, with the next due to be announced early next year.
You can find out more via the Geelong Arts Centre website