Auslan Creative

Auslan Creative

*Please note this project has been impacted due to COVID-19 restrictions. Updated dates will be released when appropriate*

Arts Northern Rivers have begun delivery of Auslan Creative, a major project working with the Northern Rivers Deaf community and multi-artform partners. The project will deliver a creative development program aimed at exploring models for collaboration and practice development between artists of mixed abilities and cultures.

The project responds to an approach made by Lismore-based Deaf arts worker Sigrid MacDonald, who identified a gap in creative opportunities for the Deaf community in the Northern Rivers region. By bringing together the deaf community and creative partners in workshop-based development opportunities, Auslan Creative will engage both Deaf and hearing participants through music, visual arts, performing arts and screen.

Programming for the screen based explorations commenced on the 30th July with Screenworks delivering a series of film writing workshops. The intimate lab series is working with two local participants on developing a factual-based film project. The participants will be mentored weekly through to the 10th of September by award-winning short filmmaker, Karenza Ebejer, who has a talent for finding unique stories and bringing them to screen. During the workshops, the participants will be given the opportunity to explore creative storytelling ideas with the outcome of producing a concept document, script and teaser for a short film. 

Exploring performing arts, Arts Northern Rivers has engaged Deaf contemporary dancer and choreographer Anna Seymour to deliver Ritual, Re-Route, Re-Connect. The movement-based workshop will be supported by NORPA by hosting the event in Lismore City Hall on Saturday the 22nd of August. Ritual explores participatory models of working with Deaf and hearing participants through movement and dance. Booking details will be released early August. 

Originally scheduled to commence in April, the delivery for Auslan Creative has adapted to a staggered approach, as we continue to face challenges relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. The scheduled screen and performing arts workshops are adhering to safety guidelines and continuing with limited participants. While the dates for the music and visual arts components are yet to be confirmed, an exciting program has been revealed featuring partnerships with the Northern Rivers Conservatorium and the Museum of Contemporary Art ​Australia (MCA).

To connect with the music community, Arts Northern Rivers and the Northern Rivers Conservatorium have commissioned music educator, Karen Kyriakou, to deliver two workshops; Making Music Accessible and Exploring Music Making. Once travel restrictions ease, the workshops for both the Northern Rivers Deaf Community and music educators will take place at the Northern Rivers Conservatorium.

Working with the Lismore Regional Gallery, MCA will deliver two workshops for the visual arts program. The Access and Deaf Awareness professional development session will be delivered by MCA artist educators, Cara MacLeod, Angie Goto and Sue Wright, focusing on the development of accessible gallery programming within the region. The Auslan Tour of the Lismore Regional Gallery will be delivered by Sue Wright and Angie Goto, giving deaf adults and their families opportunities to engage with artworks in the Gallery and experience contemporary practices in an art-making session.

Arts Northern Rivers has received funding to deliver the multi-arts project through the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund and by the NSW Government through Create NSW. Arts Northern Rivers Executive Director, Peter Wood, said;

 “Arts Northern Rivers is thrilled with this funding outcome and looking forward to delivering an innovative skills and professional development opportunity for the Deaf and non-Deaf communities in the Northern Rivers. The project will feature creative collaborations with significant arts and cultural partners as well as the wider Deaf community in the Northern Rivers region  – who will all contribute to the success of this important project ”

The project will culminate with a forum that will interrogate the outcomes of the creative development program. These outcomes will inform further funding applications aiming to present a large-scale multi-arts festival event. The event will aim to expand on the multi-arts workshops delivered through Auslan Creative project and will include creative development participants, creative leaders and emerging leaders for the Deaf community.

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Auslan Video

Image: Anna Seymour ‘Collisions – The Delta Project’. Photograph by Pippa Samaya.