Posted on: June 27th, 2014

Performance Space has a long-standing partnership with the Creative Practice Lab at the University of New South Wales’ School of Arts & Media that has seen us join forces to foster the creative development of countless experimental artists in NSW.

This month, we are jointly hosting two residencies at the iO Myers Studio to support the development of two brave new interdisciplinary works:


23 June – 11 July 2014 

Justin Shoulder is an interdisciplinary artist who creates and disseminates contemporary mythologies. These stories are realised in the construction of full-body, highly sculptural avatars that Shoulder calls Fantastic Creatures. Each avatar possesses its own gestural physicality and movement language, which is expressed in live performance, video and photographic works.

For his Performance Space residency at iO Myers Studio, Shoulder will collaborate with dancer and performer Bhenji Ra to develop a brave new body of work: Mother Tongue, a contemporary fable performed as multidisciplinary theatre.

This new work is a meeting point of four diverse practices: Bhenji Ra (Contemporary Dance, Vogue Culture, Performance Art) Justin Shoulder (Visual Arts, Theatre, Club Culture) with guidance by Victoria Spence (Dramaturg, Performance Artist, Civil Celebrant) and a score by leading composer Nick Wales.

Through this residency, a series of hand-made, utilitarian props and costumes that also function as extensions of the performers’ bodies will be developed. Throughout their time in the studio, Shoulder and Ra will explore the movement vocabularies that emerge from these objects, drawing from Filipino familial narrative, ancestral dances, Filipino mythology and the queer community’s historical struggles to explore ideas of resilience and resistance in an unstable world.


14 July – 25 July 2014

Josephine Starrs & Leon Cmielewski are Australian artists whose artworks are situated at the juncture of cinema, information visualisation and the sublime landscape. Their new project, Augmented Terrain will be a large scale installation that allows audiences to experience an immersive sensory environment. The artists are working with internationally renowned Slovenian artist Marko Peljhan and his c-astral unmanned aerial vehicle/drone system to photograph and map images os the Australian landscape. The intention is to configure the land itself as active, not neutral, and to imagine it being able to speak and make comment about the impacts of human activity.

The increasing normalisation of drone surveillance and warfare has caught the attention of the general public. Starrs & Cmielewski are working with dancers to explore aspects of the human relationship with these technologies, using a quad-copter drone to record dancers’ site-responsive performances in the natural environment. The dancers exhibit a range of different emotions, including curiosity, agitation, engagement and resignation in response to the persistently intrusive drone.

During their residency at iO Myers Studio, Starrs and Cmielewski will explore the integration of these concepts into an immersive, sculptural installation that re-imagines the relationship between technology, nature and culture. The surround soundscape for the work is created in collaboration with Sydney artist, Alex Davies. Audiences will be presented with drone-captured imagery including aerial views of landscapes dynamically manipulated in ways that reveal both their underlying fragility and strengths.

This work is supported through the Australia Council’s Creative Australia program.