Over the last few weeks, a group of WEYA’s senior emerging artists have been involved in an exciting new creative development with Westside Circus.
I asked Simone Liew, one of WEYA’s emerging artists, about the creative development process so far for the show that has the working title Quarter Acre Block. The first stage of the development involved three emerging artists from WEYA and three from Westside Circus, as well as one lead artist from each organisation guiding the process.
‘It’s been very interesting and a little bit challenging’ was Simone’s opening summary.
‘The theme that we are touching on is the great Australian dream’ she explained.
And it sounds, from her description, like the creative development involved some pretty rigorous debate and thrashing out of this classic topic, from fresh angles.
‘I related to the idea of the great Australian dream as a migrant’ says Malaysian born Simone, who is currently studying a Bachelor of International Studies at RMIT. She went on to explain more about their exploration of the topic:
‘We talked about the property market, and housing and belonging, and what the Australian dream really is and how that affects people coming to Australia. It’s interesting to hear everyone’s perspective on the topic and learn more about that. We shared a lot of personal experiences and memories as well. It was really interesting cos I hadn’t thought about these things from the perspective of people with other backgrounds. People have had really different experiences.’
We also talked about the collaborative aspect of the development:
‘It’s cool that we’re incorporating circus into it cos it’s the first time I’ve done anything like that. It was a new kind of facilitation as well. Very different to what I’ve done before. We did really cool things like incorporating circus acts as well as drama ideas: juggling and game shows; houses out of cardboard boxes; the metaphorical property market. A lot of different themes and tones throughout the narrative.’
Simone has been involved with WEYA since she was in year 7 in 2009, at Mt. Alexander Secondary Collage. She has worked as an emerging artist facilitator on several of WEYA’s school residency programs over the last few years. This year she has been working on the Wittington Primary School Residency Program, and is a member of the Phoenix Edge ensemble.
Article by Kendra Keller, Western Edge Youth Arts
The Quarter Acre Creative Development has been made possible with the support of Australia Council for the Arts.