Festival Lab

A chance for emerging artists to be fully immersed in an international arts festival.

Festival Lab is an immersive development program for emerging arts practitioners. If you have a thirst for social investigation, an open and collaborative spirit and an interest in exploring new ways of working then we want to hear from you.  An annual cohort of ten participants from a range of disciplines and backgrounds will be selected to join the Lab.

Festival Lab provides a space for you to explore the broad and nuanced Festival program and to reflect on your work in the context of an international arts festival alongside a community of peers and provocateurs.

In the lead up to the Festival participants will be invited to engage with Festival staff and local arts industry leaders to gain valuable insight into the way a Festival is made and the context in which it operates.

During the Festival the Lab will engage with the Festival program – by attending performances and events, being invited behind-the-scenes and having the rare opportunity to engage with some of the world’s most creative minds in a series of facilitated sessions for exchange and critical enquiry.

Following the Festival the Lab will be invited to join the Festival Lab alumni and provided with a series of additional professional development opportunities throughout the year.

Perth Festival Connect is Supported by the Ungar Family Foundation.

2018 Festival Lab Participants

Susie Blatchford

Susie is a Perth-based photographer, documentarist and designer with 10 years’ experience working within creative industries. From working in the regional arts sector and her background in urban development, Susie’s artistic work harnesses creativity to build community capacity and inspire social change.

Susie’s photographic work has featured in group exhibitions in Shanghai and Perth. In 2016, Susie was nominated to exhibit at the World Press Photo Preview (WA) and was awarded Best Photograph at the City of Stirling’s Blink Photographic Awards. She was also a finalist in Perth Centre for Photography’s Uncover Award and Capture Magazine’s Australia’s Top Emerging Photographers 2017.

Susie has a passion for working with communities to deliver change. Last year, the City of Fremantle awarded her project, Blank Canvas, Winner of The Happiness Project. Her documentary film and photographic project, No Fixed Address, helped raise awareness for Homelessness Week in 2016 and displayed in Perth’s Cultural Centre. Susie has also been a mentor for YACWA’s Home is Where My Heart is to empower young people who have experienced homelessness to tell their story through photography.

Susie graduated from Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Photomedia and Creative Services, in 2016 and is currently undertaking her Honors at ECU.

Amelia Burke

Amelia is an emerging theatre-maker, actor and director. She is a current student in the Bachelor of Performing Arts (Performance Making) at WAAPA. In 2017 she devised and performed a solo, Every Song I Sing, I’ll Sing for You, and was co-creator of The Picnic as part of The Secret Project: Dispatch (dir. Barney O’Hanlon) at Wireless Hill. 

Before moving out West, she completed a Bachelor of Arts (English and Theatre Studies & Psychology) at the University of Melbourne. Whilst in Melbourne she performed in several productions including Sarah Ruhl’s In The Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) (dir. Matilda Dixon-Smith), Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shew (dir. Fiona Spitzkowsky) and The Tempest (dir. Matt Scholten). In 2016, she founded Balloon Head Theatre alongside her peers, a theatre company run for and by emerging artists.

The Balloon Heads presented two productions in 2016, Noel Coward’s Private Lives (dir. Amelia) and Raffles on Capri (dir. Seren Oroszvary) a new musical devised and performed by company members. In 2018 Balloon Head will present another new musical, Miss Westralia, Downstairs at The Maj for Fringe World. Amelia has co-written the book and will perform in this premiere season. 

Noemie Huttner-Koros

Noemie is an emerging performance-maker and interdisciplinary artist working primarily in the creation of devised theatre, site-specific works and intimate performance. Originally from Canberra, Noemie is currently completing a Bachelor of Performing Arts (majoring in Performance Making) at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.

In 2017 she undertook intensive training at the Intercultural Theatre Institute in Singapore studying the ancient Japanese dance-drama of Noh. Noemie is a co-creator of KAN Collective, an arts collective creating immersive and multi-sensory work with their debut work House of Joys premiering at Fringe World in 2018. She is also a member of Balloon Head Theatre, a theatre company dedicated to the creation of new Australian work.

Noemie’s solo show Borders created as part of WAAPA’s season of SOLO STAGE 2017 is being redeveloped as a durational piece performing in late 2018. She has also performed as a performance poet and musician at Artistry Bar in Singapore, the Literary Youth Festival in Perth and Tura New Music’s Improv series. She is inspired by clowning, puppetry, physical theatre, poetry, durational performance and her Yiddish Jewish east-European heritage.

Josten Myburgh

Josten is a Perth-based composer and performer, active in experimental and new music spaces. He is part of running the label Tone List, which represents exploratory music activities in Perth through releasing recordings and organising concerts, including the annual Audible Edge Festival.

He studied with electroacoustic musicians Lindsay Vickery and Stuart James (WAAPA) and Wandelweiser composer Antoine Beuger, and has also undertaken mentorships and emerging artist programs with radio artist Alessandro Bosetti and composers Perluigi Billone, James Ledger and Richard Barrett. He has performed at Supersense Festival of the Ecstatic (Melbourne), Klangraum (Düsseldorf), AudioArt Festival (Krakow), Cable#8 (Nantes), 101 Scelsi/Cage Festival (Palermo), KLEX (Kuala Lumpur), Tilde New Music & Sound Art (Melbourne) and the Totally Huge New Music Festival (Perth), as well as in concert series’ in Europe, South East Asia, New Zealand and Australia.

He is currently a PhD candidate at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, researching the intersection of contemporary philosophies of hope with experimental music curation. He has released music with Emmanuelle Waeckerle (Edition Wandelweiser), Emilio Gordoa & Michael McNab (Shame File Music), Jameson Feakes (Tone List) and solo (Flaming Pines, Ivory Tower Records).

Rebecca Riggs-Bennett

Rebecca is an emerging electronic sound artist, music producer, composer and sound designer for performance companies, artists and collectives. She has performed live and presented her work in several different programs, including Cirquepop (Fremantle Festival, 2016), Topographs: Milk, Moonlight (The Blue Room Theatre’s Summer Nights Program, 2017), Her Crown (FRINGE WORLD, 2017), Blueprint (The Blue Room Theatre 2017) and Claytime (Indefinite Articles Theatre Co. as part of Glastonbury Festival 2017).

Rebecca also combines sound production with theatre in order to create her own solo performance art works. She undertook a creative development with co-presenters pvi collective and PICA, which resulted in her first solo performance, bad noise, as part of KISS Club 2017. She recently self-produced and performed my sandman, which premiered at Crack Theatre Festival 2017 in Newcastle, NSW.

She also the co-producer, composer and editor for WA theatre and performance arts podcast ROUNDABOUT. She has recently finished her first residency with pvi collective. 

Howard Melnyczuk

Howard is a Bunbury-based artist whose practice explores technology as the site in which political structures are built and maintained, through video, photography, design, sound, writing and publishing. His work reveals alternative forms of understanding, problematise cultural norms surrounding technology, and unpack the false assumptions that re-enforce hidden operations of power and control. By combining video, photography, design, sound, writing and publishing with computational technologies and code, he brings out the commonalities in form and structure that provide an understanding of how cultural materials operate.

He has participated in group exhibitions at Forest Hill Warehouse, London (2015), Elephant House Gallery, Bristol (2016), Point Ephemere, Paris (2016), Heathcote Museum and Gallery (2017), and St. James Hatcham Church, Goldsmiths (2017). In October 2017 he exhibited Rrosetta, an intelligent system using individual’s data to create personalised zines, at Bunbury Regional Art Galleries. Howard received a Bachelor of Arts in Cinema and Photography from University of Leeds in 2013 and an MA in Computational Art from Goldsmiths, University of London, in 2017.

He was awarded a residency with the Victoria and Albert Museum for achieving the most outstanding results in his graduating class. He will undertake this residency in 2018, with the outcomes to be exhibited as part of the V&A Digital Design Weekender. Howard is now interested in how the creation, archiving and implementations of data structures are creating alternative realities.

Joshua Pether

Joshua is an independent creator of dance/choreography and performance art based in Western Australia. He is of Kalkadoon heritage and also identifies as having a disability. As a dancer, he has worked for companies both in Australia and New Zealand and has toured both nationally and internationally.  His work has been shown in Perth, Sydney, Brisbane and most recently at the Yirramboi Festival in Melbourne. His practice works within dance and performance art giving the audience a visceral, surreal and sometimes confronting experience.

He is interested in the aesthetics of the disabled body and also that of the colonized body and finds that the intertwining of these two cultures feed of each other to create new forms and ideas. His interest also lies within the bizarre and unseen and the corporeality that can be produced from the manifestation of the two.

Daisy Sanders

Daisy’s artistic focus is on expanding expectations of contemporary dance practice to include theatrical elements, innovative use-of-space, audience exchange and rest. She works collaboratively to create works that combine movement, text, and interactive/immersive elements to focus on cycles of energy, waste and rest within bodily and social ecologies. Rest is an aspect of movement often overlooked by contemporary dance-makers/audiences. Daisy’s dance practice has developed as the result of an extended personal experience with illness. This challenge led her to become deeply attuned to her internal capacity for intentional rest vs. activation, examine the physical demands placed on dancers and investigate chronic issues of burn-out in artists (and more broadly). Daisy is generating an embodied artistic practice that accounts for rest, listening and waste within the realm of movement and energy.

Daisy is a 2013 BA Dance WAAPA graduate. Her original works include Status Room (The Blue Room Theatre, 2014), PACES (presented by KAGE as an Australia Council Key Organisation Emerging Artist, DANCE MASSIVE, 2015) and A Resting Mess (Spectrum Project Space, 2017). Daisy was a 2017 Young People and the Arts Fellow (Culture and the Arts WA) and recently achieved a First Class Honours degree through artistic practice-led research. Daisy aims to continue developing artistic methodologies and presenting works that centre on practices of somatic listening, creating an aesthetic regard for rest itself as a way to promote sustainable action both in bodies and politics.

Olivia Tartaglia

Olivia is an emerging artist from Perth, Western Australia, exploring futurism, ecotechnology, and the Anthropocene through interactive installations, often alongside collaborator Alex Tate.

Olivia’s artistic practice involves designing sets and costumes for theatre productions, painting, illustration and installation, drawing inspiration from 70’s sci-fi concept art, classic biological illustrations and climate science.

Recently, the focal point of Olivia Tartaglia and Alex Tate’s collaborative art practice has been exploring the term meteoranxiety – a form of ‘pre-traumatic stress’, which Perth-born environmental philosopher Glenn Albrecht says we are experiencing as we witness world leaders, colleagues, friends and even ourselves ignore the obvious warning signs of Climate Change. They are currently working on a project to be presented at the 2018 Next Wave Festival. 

Mitch Whelan

Mitchell is a theatre maker and producer, with several season of independent theatre under his belt. Originally from Regional Victoria, Mitchell graduated from WAAPA with a Bachelor of Performing Arts (Performance Making) in 2017 and is now based in Perth. Mitchell is dedicated to contemporary works of theatre that examine intimate relationships, identity politics and the human experience. He is an advocate for Queer conscious works and fair representation of the LGBTI community and their stories. 

Recently, Mitchell was fortunate enough to receive support from Performing Lines WA and the Department for Culture and the Arts to attend the Australian Theatre Forum, and completed a six-month internship with Spare Parts Puppet Theatre as an Associate Producer. His works have featured at the La Mama Carlton Courthouse, Primary schools throughout Melbourne and Alice Springs, Monash University’s Container Festival, The Blue Room Theatre and a variety of venues across Perth’s Fringe World. He is currently a collaborator and the producer of Lazy Yarns, a Perth-based collective of contemporary story tellers.