What’s the Story? Creative Arts Pop-up

Artist Residency, Balaklava 

March 17 – 25,  2014.

John Romeril at Balaklava High School visit

John Romeril at Balaklava High School visit

Visiting creative artists hosted free cultural events at the Balaklava Town Hall. The artists are visiting Balaklava as part of a creative residency for an international cultural and arts program, and include playwright John Romeril, Director Teresa Crea, and photographer Jessie Boylan.

One of the free community events was a workshop exploring the theme ‘What’s the Story?’. Participants had the opportunity to hear how the visiting artists use their different creative practices to tell stories through photography, writing, digital media, theatre, film & oral history. Time was dedicated to sharing local stories too.

The workshop was followed by an informal film screening of One Night the Moon (MA15+) showcasing the work of visiting artist John Romeril, who co-wrote the script and worked on the film with Paul Kelly and a number of other talented Australian artists. The film is set in the Flinders Rangers and is an eloquent and moving example of storytelling through film.

In addition to the public events, other residency activities included photography of local landscapes and a portrait series of local business staff; school visits to Balaklava High School; script development; shopfront pop-up exhibition; partnership meetings; and archive development and training.

At Balaklava High School visiting artists talked to students about their roles and creative practices in photography, writing and direction with the group of over forty Year 8, 11 and 12 students. The artists also worked closely with senior drama students to creatively workshop their current school projects. Students are working on two drama projects applying their knowledge of American Film Director Tim Burton’s style and techniques to create an original dramatic performance, and an adaptation of the film Edward Scissorhands. The session allowed students to draw on the artist’s rich experience and generate new ideas and approaches.

It is estimated that over 150 local participants and/or community members engaged directly with the visiting artists.

Plans are under way for future residencies to follow up on the interest generated during the March visit. For example, photographer Jessie Boylan plans to return to the region later in the year to work with interested community members and the Youth Advisory Committee on photography skills development and a regional co-created photography exhibition.

The creative residencies are endorsed by Wakefield Regional Council and supported by the Australia Council for the Arts & Arts SA.

Jessie Boylan's photography displayed in Balaklava shopfront, March 2014

Jessie Boylan’s photography displayed in Balaklava shopfronts, March 2014

Jessie's art displayed in local cafe

Jessie’s art displayed in local cafe