Drop Into Shopfront (Make Something Beautiful)

Hey y’all,

How are we? Well I hope. ‘Kissed By A Rose’ is playing and the sunlight is streaming through my balcony doors. It’s Monday and the builders across the road are certainly giving their bandsaw a workout but everything could be much worse.

I have lots of exciting things to tell you about and to invite you to! If you are Sydney you need to have a read and come along and get arty with me at Shopfront, they have some super cool, free, opportunities for creative winners just like you. Excited? Good. The first thing is the ‘Machine Atlas’ workshops which have just began. Basically, the new major project ‘Machine Atlas’ needs some more emerging artists to join their core ensemble who will be creating, work-shopping and eventually performing in the show in August. I am doing 8 weeks of creative development with the ensemble, I started last week AND I can’t tell you what an amazing experience it was. Ok, I will. But first, go and read some more stuff about the Project Description and have a crack at The Machine Atlas Blog.

So last week (in almost freezing temperatures) the ensemble was joined by Caitlin, the Shopfront AD and project Director, Victoria Hunt, the project’s movement coach, Katja Handt, the project’s designer and ‘Machine Mentor’ and designer, Joey Ruigrok Van der Werven. We warmed up with Victoria – a must, I could see my breath in the theatre, not good, and then Joey gave us a run down of his theatrical history and his experience with making machines with young artists. If you haven’t heard about Joey, you can read a little about him here. We watched some amazing videos from companies all over the world who engage with making practices that may or may not involve puppet making and puppeteering, set and object focussed theatre and elements of installation. Some of the images were amazing. I particularly loved seeing a short clip of a woman walking up a spiral staircase that was structured like a double helix, when she reached the top she began to walk down to the bottom of the structure again as it turned. When she reached the bottom she would climb to the top again. It was like hamster in a wheel meets Duchamp’s ‘Nude Descending Staircase’. Chilling.

The workshop was centred around ‘Cause and Affect’ and we did a lot of exploration individually and in small groups surrounding how objects effect bodies, how bodies effect the space, how space affects objects and how bodies affect objects. We began working with kinesthetic response in direct relation to using objects. It was nice, Joey and Victoria would collaborate, fusing different aspects of exercises together so that we got to physically and materially explore what cause and effect does, what it means and how it makes you feel.

At the end of the workshop we chose an element from the wall. These elements were collated by Caitlin and pertained to certain chemical or chain reactions in physics, for eg: infect, dilute, evaporate, ignite. We then chose a few random objects from the prop tables and constructed a new machine with an imaginary purpose. There were some wonderful results, I created a small infection machine that I imagined could poison the Earth through releasing a highly toxic chemical vapour directly onto the ground’s surface. I had heaps of fun, was challenged and would really recommend that if you are free, you should come along. We’d love to have you. Here are the details in full yo:

What: The Machine Atlas Ensemble Workshops
Where: Shopfront Contemporary Arts, 88 Carlton Parade, Carlton
When: Wednesday night’s from 6pm – 9pm
Cost: FREE!

The next super exciting thing happening THIS SATURDAY at Shopfront is the AGM and Big Lunch. Shopfront’s Annual General Meeting isn’t like all the other boring AGM’s you’ve heard about and have had to sit through because one of your parents was on the board of something. Oh no. Jenna Hutton and I are running a poster making workshop with over head projectors, collage and a rich plethora of imagery. It’s gonna be really exciting. Come on down, eat yourself retarded, make something beautiful and meet the crew. All the images you guys make will be in the running to be selected for company poster’s in 2012. That’s sweet. There’s more details here, the Facebook event is here and below is the letterhead image I knocked up. Starts at 12pm. Deets for RSVP-ing below too.

Busy, busy, busy. Put those dates in your diaries and I hope I can see you down at Shopfront. ‘Twould be lovely. I think that’s it for now. Special shout out to Tim and Jodi. They gave my site snaps so I give you winners virtual shout outs. I’ll have some more very soon about ‘The Seagull’. The marketing images are almost done, the press release is looking sexy. You can join the group on Facebook here and check out some pics and the trailer. It’ll be stuffed with goodies and linked to a Twitter account very soon, so keep your eyes peeled! (Squawk). I’ve also updated the ‘theatre’ and ‘exhibitions’ section on the site. If you haven’t had a look lately get over there and get up inside that business. Ooh. And look, I got quoted on the AADA website. I wonder if people see my serious, dark and brooding expression and read my words in a sort of Christian Bale Batman/ Deadwood drawl?.. I hope so.

I like you.

And you.

And jewels.

Tom x

About T o m C h r i s t o p h e r s e n

Actor. Artist. Atrocity.
This entry was posted in Projects I Help With, Shopfront Arts, Theatre, Visual Art and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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