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AU/UK Season 2021-22

UK/Australia Season 2021-22

The UK/Australia Season is a joint initiative by the British Council and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to strengthen and build cultural connections.

The artistic program ranges across theatre, film, visual arts, dance, design, creative technology, music, literature, museums and public engagement and is exploring and celebrating the relationship between Australia and the UK.

Collectively we hope to gain a deeper understanding about where we have come from, who we are now, and where we can go together. It is also a chance to deepen relationships in business, higher education and government.

A diverse program across both nations the Season is showcasing the best of Australian and UK arts and culture. Taking place live and digitally, the Season artistic program demonstrates the versatility and creative excellence of artists and organisations working in innovative and ground-breaking ways.

The Season is taking place in Australia until March 2022 and in the UK from September 2021 to December 2022.

Who are we now?

The theme, 'Who are we now?' provides opportunities to celebrate the best of our arts and cultural lives, with points of connection and collaboration around our creative expression and technical innovation. It is a platform to celebrate the diversity of cultures and languages in both countries including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures of Australia and the nations of Wales, Scotland, England and Northern Ireland, as well as the rich societies that have emerged in both the UK and Australia through migration.

Forming part of the British Council's annual bilateral Festivals & Seasons program, the UK/Australia Season supports both nations to connect, exchange knowledge and deepen mutual understanding.

Decibel

Decibel is an Australian new music ensemble that integrates acoustic and electronic instruments in chamber music performance. The Decibel new music ensemble is touring the UK to present concerts and workshops, as well as share and develop research.

Decibel. Image credit: Rachael Barrett

Sector: Performance music

Grantee: Decibel, Monash University

Project description

Decibel is an Australian new music ensemble that integrates acoustic and electronic instruments in chamber music performance. Founded in 2009, the performers are world-leading interpreters of graphic notations, and pioneer digital score formats for composition and performance.

Their first visit to the UK will feature a two-week tour including concerts of Australian and UK compositions, research seminars, workshopping of student works and recording projects.

The Decibel new music ensemble was founded in Western Australia in 2009. They are world-leading interpreters of graphic notations and undertake ongoing development of their Decibel ScorePlayer App for the iPad, enabling coordinated performance of digital graphic notations.

While rooted in western art music tradition, Decibel aims to remove stylistic boundaries in its commissioning and performance approaches, opening opportunities to a broader range of contributors.

Project start-end dates: October 2021 – December 2022

Country: United Kingdom

Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grant: $52,595

Website: http://www.decibelnewmusic.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/decibelnewmusic

Twitter: @decibelnewmusic

Instagram: @decibelnewmusic

Youtube: https://vimeo.com/decibelnewmusic

High Performance Packing Tape

Is a life without danger worth living?

An OH&S nightmare that transforms everyday stationery and office consumables into the infrastructure of one person’s physical ruin.  Safety and wellbeing are de-prioritised in new and liberating ways. An innovative, category-defying work by Branch Nebula.

High Performance Packing. Tape Photo credit: Tristan Still

Sector: Performance

Grantee: Branch Nebula

Project description

High Performance Packing Tape is the OH&S nightmare that transforms everyday stationery and office consumables into the infrastructure of one person’s physical ruin. Safety and wellbeing are de-prioritised in new and liberating ways. Branch Nebula’s innovative, category-defying works have defined the bleeding edge of Australian contemporary performance for years.

High Performance Packing Tape showcases the high levels of collaboration, invention and technique that make this possible in a performance that faces fear, self-preservation and risk management to create enthralling new possibilities for physical performance.

Branch Nebula is one of Australia’s most adventurous performance companies. Working at the nexus between theatre, dance, sport and street-styles, they immerse audiences in the creativity of urban landscapes and vital theatre experiences.

Lee Wilson and Mirabelle Wouters co-founded Branch Nebula in 1999 and have co-created all the company’s works to date. Their shared aesthetic draws its dynamism from passionate engagement with street culture – shopping malls, protests, community vogue balls, skate competitions – and cultivates its intelligence from a discriminating awareness of movements in contemporary arts.

Project start-end dates: October 2021 – October 2022

Country: United Kingdom

Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grant: $49,660

Website: https://www.branchnebula.com

Facebook: @branchnebula

Instagram: @branch_nebula

Youtube: https://vimeo.com/380389913

The 13 Storey Treehouse

Based on the international bestselling book series by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton. Who wouldn't want to live in a Treehouse? Especially a 13-Storey Treehouse that has everything. A riotous rollercoaster of a show for 6–12 year olds.

Eliza Logan in The 13-Storey Treehouse (photo by Branco Gaica)

Sector: Children’s Theatre

Grantee: CDP Theatre Producers

Project description

The 13-Storey Treehouse is based on the no. 1 international bestselling, multi-award-winning book series by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton, Australia’s most successful children’s author and illustrator. Their books have sold over 10 million copies, won 80 children's choice awards and 10 Australian Book Industry Awards.

Who wouldn't want to live in a Treehouse? Especially a 13-Storey Treehouse that has everything: a bowling alley, a secret underground laboratory, self-making beds, a vegetable vaporizer and a marshmallow machine for starters. A riotous rollercoaster of a show that uses live action, puppetry, songs, music and animation to spark the imagination, inspiring young people aged 6–12.

CDP Theatre Producers is a multi-award-winning company with over 27 years’ experience presenting national and international tours. Australia’s largest producer of theatre for young audiences, it adapts the world’s best children’s books for the stage, working with Australia’s highest calibre artists. It has a long-running relationship with UK’s Tall Stories (The Gruffalo, Room on a Broom).

Project start-end dates: September 2021 – December 2022

Country: United Kingdom

Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grant: $40,000

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cdptheatreproducers/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGZ2NXQ5ZgM Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p53VLJaTKsw

Andy Griffiths talks about the stage show.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyIsKEONkHM

short 40 second trailer

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cdptheatre?lang=en

Fresh Water Salt Water

Fresh Water Salt Water brings together two musicians practising the oldest musical tradition in the world, Yolngu Manikay, with adventurous, diverse musicians from Australia and the UK to create unforgettable new music.

Daniel and David Wilfred. Photographs by Sarah Walker

Sector: Music performance

Grantee: Australian Art Orchestra

Project description

Fresh Water Salt Water is a bilateral collaboration between the Australian Art Orchestra (AAO), and British festivals, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (Huddersfield) and GioFest (Glasgow), to commission and present new works by Australian and UK composers performed in both countries. Cross-cultural, contemporary, and unclassifiable in terms of genre, this is a project that breathes daring and optimism – the qualities we need for a post-COVID future.

The Australian Art Orchestra (AAO) explores meeting points between disciplines and cultures to create musical expressions of the here and now. Throughout its almost 30-year history, the AAO has always incorporated voices from a wide range of culturally diverse artists in its ensemble. Now led by Artistic Director Peter Knight, the AAO seeks to break down barriers separating disciplines, forms and cultures, imagining new musical forms to reflect the energy and diversity of 21st century Australia.

Project start-end dates: October 2021 – December 2022

Country: United Kingdom

Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grant: $60,000

Website: https://www.aao.com.au/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theaustralianartorchestra/

Twitter: @AustArtOrch

Instagram: @australianartorchestra

Youtube: https://vimeo.com/306922359

Rewards for the Tribe

Rewards for the Tribe is an ambitious collaborative dance work by Chunky Move and Restless Dance Theatre. The work weighs in on idealism as a principle of the humanist project, asking: Is there such a thing as utopia by design?

Rewards for the tribe. Photo: James Wright (NON Studio)

Sector: Performance

Grantee: Restless Dance Company and Chunky Move

Project description

Rewards for the Tribe is an ambitious collaborative dance work by Chunky Move and Restless Dance Theatre. Created by Antony Hamilton, Rewards for the Tribe is a co-production between Chunky Move and Restless Dance Theatre.

The work plays off notions of ‘idealism’ in art history. Is there such a thing as utopia by design? Certain epiphanies in art have become symbols of a physical and intellectual zenith, referring to mathematics and geometry as a representation of divine perfection. In contrast, the real world is wonky, filled with irregular forms, both living and inert.

In Rewards for the Tribe, images of so-called perfection collapse, bend and crumple in an unpredictable dance between humans and pliable objects. What is revealed as the world around the performers twist and warp, is the need for collaboration and creativity to enact the time-honoured ritual of image making- the means with which to construct a meaningful reality. Work on Display is ultimately a meditation on acceptance. It resists the tiered hierarchy that idealism sits at the top of. It’s about seeing the beauty in things as they are, expressed through the abilities of the performers that we as audience’s witness constructing a reality before our eyes.

Chunky Move plays a crucial role in driving the artform of dance forward in Australia. Artists and audiences are at the heart of the company, expressed in its program of major works, commissions, residencies, workshops and public classes.

Restless Dance Theatre is Australia’s leading dance theatre company working with young people with and without disability to collaboratively create outstanding inclusive dance theatre informed by disability.

Project start-end dates: September 2021 – October 2022

Country: United Kingdom

Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grant: $60,000

Website: www.chunkymove.com ; http://restlessdance.org/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CHUNKYMOVE/ https://www.facebook.com/RestlessDanceTheatre

Twitter: @ChunkyMove

Instagram: @chunkymove ; @restless_dance_theatre

Youtube: https://vimeo.com/508206798/ed9b8e620f

Art et al X 2021-2022

Art et al. X 2021–22 is a series of innovative curatorial projects and inclusive programming featuring neurodivergent, intellectually and learning-disabled artists internationally. Releasing a selection of virtual/in-person curatorial projects and opportunities, as well as exhibitions in Melbourne and London to further embed neurodiversity within contemporary art.

Artistic pattern of curved shapes
Alasdair McLuckie, Landscape 03 (The Snail), 2021, Archival Inkjet Print on Paper, 21 x 30 cm

Courtesy the artist and Art et al. This is a commissioned collaboration for Art et al.’s Peer/Peer Collaboration between Alsadair McLuckie and David James from Venture Arts, Manchester.

Sector: Visual art

Grantee: Arts Project Australia

Project description

Art et al. X 2021–22 is a series of innovative curatorial projects and inclusive programming featuring neurodivergent, intellectually and learning-disabled artists internationally. The series aims to further develop the practices of neurodivergent, intellectually and learning disabled artists in the UK and Australia. Central to Art et al. X 2021-22 are two international in-person exhibitions in Melbourne and London. These neurodiverse exhibitions include British and Australian artists featured on the Art et al. platform, including past peer to peer collaborations.

Art et al. is an international platform that connects artists from supported studios with their international peers, arts professionals and audiences. It promotes inclusion, access and equal pay in the arts for neurodivergent, intellectually and learning-disabled artists. Formed to expand the scope, role and definition of contemporary art, it does this through its global collaborations and partnerships.

Art et al. was conceived and developed by Arts Project Australia, Slominski Projects and Jennifer Lauren Gallery in partnership with the Australia Council for the Arts. Slominski Projects is a leading international curatorial platform and consultancy, with an interest in neurodiversity and self-taught practices in a contemporary art context. Jennifer Lauren Gallery is a highly respected UK-based gallery that champions, exhibits and shares voices from international self-taught, disabled and overlooked artists who create works outside the formal art world.

Project start-end dates: September 2021 – March 2022

Country: Online – Australia and United Kingdom

Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grant: $40,000

Website: https://artetal.org/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/artetal.org

Twitter: @Art_EtAl

Instagram: @Art.EtAl (founders: @slominski_projects, @j_lgallery, @artsprojectaust)

Climate House

Artist Keg de Souza will transform Inverleith House, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh primary exhibition venue, into Climate House. Climate House will inspire connections between artists, scientists, horticulturists, scholars, activists, policymakers and audiences in the UK, Australia and around the world.

Keg de Souza ‘Not A Drop to Drink’. Image credit: Bryony Jackson

Sector: Visual art

Grantee: Keg de Souza

Project description

Artist Keg de Souza will transform Inverleith House, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh’s (RBGE) primary exhibition venue, into Climate House. Climate House will inspire connections between artists, scientists, horticulturists, scholars, activists, policymakers and audiences in the UK, Australia and around the world – augmented by RBGE’s presence in 38 countries.

Keg de Souza is an artist of Goan ancestry who lives and works on Gadigal land and explores the politics of space through temporary architecture, food, mapping and dialogues. Influenced by lived experiences of her ancestral lands being colonised to now living as a settler on unceded land, architectural training and radical spaces through squatting Keg’s projects center voices from the margins, for learning about Place.

Project start-end dates: October 2021 – December 2022

Country: United Kingdom

Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grant: $40,000

Website: http://www.kegdesouza.com; https://www.rbge.org.uk/

Facebook: @RBGECreative https://www.facebook.com/RBGECreative & https://www.facebook.com/kegdesouza

Twitter: @RBGECreative

Instagram: @RBGECreative @fakinandkeggs

Brixton Music Map

Brixton Music Map explores how Indigenous Australians and Black Britons have experienced racism, resisted and been misrepresented. It highlights the role of music in expressing these experiences, offering healing space.  Through a permanent installation, inspired by Indigenous cultural practice, the project offers a lasting legacy.

Jessie Lloyd credit: Luke David Photography

Sector: Music

Grantee: Jessie Lloyd

Project description

Indigenous Australian musician Jessie Lloyd has been researching and reviving mission songs with senior Indigenous songmen and songwomen. For Border Crossings' ORIGINS Festival, Jessie will apply her Indigenous methodology to a creative music project with elders and youth in Brixton. The project commemorates the 40th anniversary of the Brixton uprising, and relates it to Jessie's grandfather's role in the 1957 Palm Island Strike. The songs she discovers and creates with the community will be made into a sound installation, enabling people to follow a route through eight specific sites of memory, each commemorated in a song.

Project start-end dates: September 2021 – December 2022

Country: United Kingdom

Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grant: $40,000

Website: www.originsfestival.com; www.bordercrossings.org.uk; https://jessielloyd.com

Facebook: @jessielloydmusic; @OriginsFestival

Twitter: @BorderCrossings

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