Dean Walsh and Andrew Batt-Rawdwn are Co-Directors of Weird Nest. Dean is an award-winning Australian contemporary dance and performance practitioner, teacher, writer, movement researcher and disability arts access advocate. He is Autistic (higher functioning) and identifies as living with disability through a comorbidity of ADHD and Complex-PTSD, the conditions of which influence his Autism and personal/professional life significantly.
Dean has been at the forefront of many significant shifts in the contemporary performing arts in Australia, particularly from the perspective of operating as an independent practitioner, for the past 30 years. Apart from creating over 45 works of his own instigation (mostly solo and about ten group works), Dean has also been engaged by 14 nationally and/or internationally renowned dance and theatre companies and individuals. He has tutored at most tertiary institutions in Australia and a few in the UK and Europe, noting that his teaching engagements develop his own choreographic practice profoundly. Many of his own works have toured nationally and a few internationally.
Andrew is an artist with a developing practice informed by his interest in nature (environmental and human) expressed through performance, visual art and sound. Prior to 2017, most of his composition had been for chamber instrumental and interactive electronic music for a variety of ensembles and soloists, mostly nationally though some internationally. Since then most of his work has been as a composer for contemporary performance or as a composer-performer for contemporary performance. Andrew’s music can be found on most streaming platforms, especially BandCamp and some of his scores can be found at the Australian Music Centre. Andrew’s had various curatorial, animative and management roles in various businesses involved in the arts over the years.
With Weird Nest, Dean and Andrew are developing a company that has diversity and multi-context environmental awareness as its raison detré. It’s a performing arts company that advocates for, and engages in, accessible and inclusive practices, which include promoting agency and leadership capacities for people living with disability and/or neurodivergency. Our multi-artform-embracing company is underpinned by marine and other environmental understandings through both artistic and scientific research. We acknowledge that inter-community outreach is vital to developing an authentically diverse arts and wider community as well as how community is regenerated and maintained well into the future.