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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 Season for Australian organisations in the UK continues until December 2022.  The Season took place in Australia for UK organisations from September 2021 until March 2022.

The artistic program ranges across theatre, film, visual arts, dance, design, creative technology, music, literature, museums and public engagement and explores and celebrates  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 has been 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.
 

Who are we now?

The theme, 'Who are we now?' has provided 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 has been 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.

You can see the full program on the UK/Australia Season website, ukaustraliaseason.com. The Australia in the UK program is also outlined in our Season brochure.

October Highlights

SCCI Architecture and Fashion Hubs

Woman clothed in orange, lying on her back in an orange sleeping bag
SCCI Architecture and Fashion Hubs

Dates: 28 October - 6 November 2022
Location: The Design Museum, London

From one of Australia’s foremost cultural philanthropists and advocates for contemporary design, Dr Gene Sherman AM, The Sherman Centre for Culture and Ideas (SCCI) reshapes your understanding of fashion and architecture as forms of cultural expression.

Presented at the Design Museum in London the SCCI Fashion Hub (28-30 October 2022) and SCCI Architecture Hub (4-6 November 2022) connect these areas of design to conversations enriching the worlds of art, activism, film, philanthropy, publishing, diplomacy, commerce, speculative futures and more. The two weekends feature leading creative voices from the Australian fashion industry, architecture, design and the applied arts and showcase some of the most interesting talent and ideas from the Oceanic region.

Speakers include futurist and ‘body architect’ Lucy McRae; artist and La Prairie Art Gallery of New South Wales awardee Atong Atem; First Nations fashion leader Grace Lillian Lee; and Ninotschka Titchkosky, who is leading the completion of the world’s tallest hybrid timber skyscraper as co-CEO of prominent Australian architecture practice, BVN.

SCCI Architecture & Fashion Hubs at The Design Museum - British Council

The Child Artists of Carrolup

Kids seated in the classroom and adults standing at the back
The Child Artists of Carrolup

Dates: 6 October - 11 November 2022
Location: The Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery Chapel, Glasgow

Hundreds of artworks created by Aboriginal children at the Carrolup Native Settlement in Western Australia were sold in the UK in 1950s. The truth of this story is shared through the children’s drawings and words. Displayed alongside historical documents and archival photographs, they tell a powerful story of survival.

This exhibition connects Noongar culture with UK communities, shining a light on our shared histories. It offers hope for renewed relationships between Australia’s First Nations peoples and the United Kingdom. The exhibition invites you to be part of the healing journey of the descendants of the child artists, the people of the Noongar Nation and help to recover these precious artworks and reconnect them with Noongar families.

Tracing the Art of a Stolen Generation: The Child Artists of Carrolup - British Council

The Shadow Whose Prey The Hunter Becomes

Man on the couch, in singlet and boxers, shying away from a stuffed tiger with antelope heads mounted on shields on wall behind him
The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes

Dates: 19 October - 5 November 2022
Location: London, Brighton and Leeds

Internationally acclaimed, Back to Back Theatre’s ensemble of artists with disabilities weaves the personal, the political and cosmic – their stories challenging the notion of what is possible in theatre.

The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes is a sly theatrical revelation inspired by mistakes, mis-readings, mis-leadings and misunderstandings, SHADOW reminds us that none of us is self-sufficient and all of us are responsible and poses the question: how do we come together to make decisions that are in the best interest of a civic society? This is a play about individual and collective responsibility.

The Shadow Whose Prey The Hunter Becomes - British Council

Mapping Brixton Through Song

Woman happily seated with her guitar
Mapping Brixton Through Song

Dates: 19 October 2022
Location: Border Crossings' ORIGINS Festival, Brixton Library, London

Indigenous Australian musician Jessie Lloyd has been researching and reviving old mission songs through consultation with senior Indigenous songmen and songwomen since 2016. The huge success of her Mission Songs Project has led to an invitation to London from Border Crossings’ ORIGINS Festival, to apply her Indigenous methodology of working with communities in an international context, to a creative music context with elders and youth in the Black community around Brixton with Tony Cealy from 81 Acts of Exuberant Defiance.

The project explores the commonalities of experience between Indigenous Australians and Black Britons, using music to commemorate a specific heritage and emphasise its place within global histories of racism and emerging processes of reconciliation. 

Mapping Brixton Through Song - British Council (ukaustraliaseason.com)

Gina Williams & Guy Ghouse

Singer on the left and guitarist on the right, standing amongst audience seats
Gina Williams & Guy Ghouse

Dates: 24 - 30 October 2022
Location: Glasgow, Manchester and Cardiff

Ancient language, contemporary music, stunning vocals, poignant stories and guitar brilliance. Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse use music to bring healing and highlight one of the most beautiful and rare languages on the planet; the Noongar language of the southern corner of Western Australia.

With less 400 speakers of Noongar language left (it is considered critically endangered), their work has always been about what connects. You don’t need to understand the words; love, loss, joy all means the same things no matter how you say it.

Koort: Gina Williams & Guy Ghouse - British Council

Australian Chamber Orchestra at the Barbican

River on the right and tree roots on the left
Australian Chamber Orchestra at the Barbican

Dates: 27 - 29 October 2022
Location: The Barbican Centre, London

The Australian Chamber Orchestra returns to the Barbican for a three-day residency as part of the UK/Australia Season 2021-22.
Led by Artistic Director Richard Tognetti, the ACO is known for explosive performances, adventurous cross-artform collaborations and dynamic programmes that embrace celebrated classics alongside new music and commissions. They bring their trademark virtuosity and artistry to three very different programmes across Milton Court and Barbican Hall.

Their three concerts include Beethoven and Bridgetower - exploring the radical music of Beethoven and its influence; River - a powerful, provocative cinematic and musical odyssey through the world’s great waterways; and Indies and Idols - celebrating the influence of 20th century Polish classical music on the boldest sounds in 21st century culture.

Australian Chamber Orchestra - Residency at the Barbican - British Council

Congress

Woman at lectern on stage
Congress

Date: 29 October 2022
Location: Salisbury Cathedral

Presented in the Salisbury Cathedral, a place redolent of power, CONGRESS is a citizens’ assembly; a series of first speeches from voices often unheard; personal visions for our collective future

Taking the form of a ritualised performance, intersected with community and cultural dance, CONGRESS unashamedly encourages citizens to agitate for change and transformation.

Created by All The Queens Men (one of Australia’s leading independent, community-focused arts organisations), CONGRESS makes its international debut in the magnificent Salisbury Cathedral presented by Wiltshire Creative.

Congress - British Council

November Highlights

Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival

Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival
Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival

Dates: 18 - 27 November 2022
Location: Huddersfield

A showcase at the UK’s largest international festival of new and experimental music with performances by the Australian Art Orchestra (AAO), chamber ensemble Decibel and Speak Percussion.

Highlights include the UK Premiere ofFresh Water – Salt Water,a bilateral collaboration between the AAO and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, to present four new works by Australian and UK composers performed in both countries. The ensemble features Yolngu traditional songmen, David Wilfred and Daniel Wilfred from Arnhem Land (Northern Territory). AndSpeak Percussion presentPolar Force – Array, an eight-channel sound installation expressing the experience of a remote Antarctic research station through the convergence of sound, site and performance.

UK/Australia Season at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival - British Council

December Highlights

A Winter's Journey

A Winter's Journey
A Winter's Journey

Dates: 7 - 8 December 2022
Location: Barbican Centre, London

Winterreise is an emotional charged song cycle written by Schubert. Using the poems of theGerman writer Müller, Schubert created an emotional journey of a man trekkingacross frozen rivers and snowy landscapes, lamenting his lost love. It isindeed a winter’s journey (Winterreise), full of images and metaphors of love,loss, nationhood.

A Winter’s Journey bringstogether celebrated British tenor Allan Clayton with pianist Kate Golla, andaward-winning director Lindy Hume. Videographer David Bergman (Sydney TheatreCompany’s The Picture of Dorian Grey) animates huge digital screens with worksfrom the late Australian painter Fred Williams.

A Winter's Journey - British Council

UK/Australia Season Funding Round 2021

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

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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