Artists visit for Community Meetings

Artists visit for Community Meetings

Playwright John Romeril and Director Teresa Crea visited Balaklava last week, for discussions with Wakefield Regional Council about a new creative arts project running next year in Balaklava.

“Our approach is to use collaboration between artists and community members to make new art works, which could be performance, or installations or website arts”, said Crea, a highly experienced community artist who set up Doppio Teatro in South Australia and has worked on many local projects.

“I am interested in the use of multiple art forms both conventional and new media to tell important stories and foster community development”, she said.

One such story is the history of 1950s nuclear testing in South Australia, seen through the eyes of Balaklava resident Avon Hudson. Hudson, a long time campaigner for recognition of what military personnel and aboriginal people went through at the time of the tests, has welcomed the project.  “It is a great way of passing the story down to new generations of Australians.” said Hudson.

Playwright John Romeril, renowned internationally for plays based on important Australian historical events, will work with Hudson and other community members to draw out the stories of scientific experiments that led to the nuclear tests, and the aftermath that continues to affect today’s and future generations. “This is an important Australian story with many dimensions that although hidden continue to affect us all.” said Romeril.

Also in the creative team is Paul Brown, Creative Producer for community arts company Alphaville, who is coordinating the project in conjunction with Wakefield Regional Council and its Youth Advisory Committee. Brown has put together an international network of creative artists from Britain, Japan, Australia and India, who will work over three years on a ‘Nuclear Futures Partnership Initiative’.

The work is jointly funded by the Australia Council for the Arts and Arts South Australia. Both funders have supported Nuclear Futures through their community partnerships grants programs.

Brown said “Apart from the stories of nuclear testing and the impact of long term radiation, the Balaklava project will see other local issues and community stories developed into multi-media workshops and performances. The aim is to provide a basis for on-going cultural development that draws on the skills, stories and priorities of the Wakefield region”.

The project’s Program Manager Ellise Barkley is also in Balaklava to begin the process of establishing local networks and logistics for the project as it unfolds next year. “It is very exciting that work we develop locally can link with creative endeavours in several countries”, said Barkley.

International touring of work developed in Balaklava is one long term aim for the project. “We are keen to hear from anyone in the area who wants to be involved in this year long creative process, to bring their interests and skills to workshops and to share with local and international artists working on the project.” said Barkley.


Project Partners

The project is driven by creative partnerships involving arts and non-arts organisations. To date, partners include:

Community Partners: Australian Nuclear Veterans Association; Wakefield Youth Advisory Committee (YAC).

Partner Institutions: Wakefield Regional Council, State Library of South Australia.

Funding Partners: Australia Council for the Arts, Arts South Australia.

Strategic Alliances: British Nuclear Test Veterans Association, Global Hibakusha Project, Hiroshima Peace Institute, In Place of War/Manchester University, Murdoch University, QUT.

Key Personnel: Teresa Crea (Director/Facilitator), John Romeril  (Playwright), Linda Dement (Digital artist) Jessie Boylan (Photographer), Paul Brown (Creative Producer, Alphaville), Ellise Barkley (Program Manager, Nuclear Futures) and Carly Friedrich (Admin Officer, Nuclear Futures). Additional creative artists from other disciplines will also be involved.

Visiting personnel included Ellise Barkley, John Romeril, Teresa Crea and Jessie Boylan (left to right)

Visiting personnel include Ellise Barkley, John Romeril, Teresa Crea and Jessie Boylan (left to right)