Auslan Creative

Auslan Creative

Auslan Creative is a major project working with the Northern Rivers Deaf community and multi-artform partners. Over three days in September 2022, the Auslan Creative Festival will hold workshops, exhibitions and events engaging both Deaf and hearing participants.

The official festival launch event will be held at Elevator ARI on Friday the 23rd at 5pm also opening the exhibition ‘Streetlight: Meet Me There’. Stay for a drink and a special sensory sound experience with DJ Shemozzle.

Download Festival Program

Festival Events – 

Alter Boy – Hailing from Perth, Alter Boy is led by hard of hearing artist Molly Priest, and feature an Auslan interpreter front and centre. Alter Boy continues to influence a greater understanding of how deaf/hard-of-hearing individuals experience the power of music through their dark, shiny pop hits all performed in Auslan. Alter Boys combination of Chaotic live performances feature transgender, disabled bodies and carefully considered, unique uniforms serve the bands collective motivation to challenge the music industry’s status quo and influence a new relationship with music.

Join us and dance the night away on Saturday the 24th September at Lismore’s much-loved City Bowls Club. Tickets on sale Friday 26th August. Local support to be announced in the coming weeks! 

Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) – Artist Educators Angie Goto and Cara MacLeod will lead a professional learning program focusing on the development of accessible programming for staff from the regional gallery and museum network of the Northern Rivers. Offering insights into MCA Access programs, participants will learn some basic Auslan signs in a deaf awareness session and experience Streetlight: Meet Me There, a collection of 4 Deaf Artists and Orchid House, by Danni Zuvela. The session outcome will include a toolkit of strategies to deliver accessible and inclusive experiences for audiences and connect to the Deaf and hard of hearing community in museum and gallery settings.

Streetlight: Meet Me There – This exhibition shines a light on the work of four Deaf visual artists. ‘Streetlight’ is a symbolic recognition of the importance of visibility for communication, counteracting the distorting and silencing effect that darkness has historically had on visual communication and access to our world, both built and natural. The works explore themes of connection- to nature, to ourselves, to each other. Held at Elevator ARI the show opens to the public in collaboration with Danni Zuvela’s ORCHID HOUSE on the 10th of September, with the Official opening and Festival Launch on the 23rd September. 

Workshop Program– Workshops will be held across the entire weekend with a range of activities to suit the whole family. Come down to the Deaf lounge at the Lismore Quad and join in on one or all of these exciting workshops run by some of our amazing Deaf community creatives including; Walking Tour of Lismore CBD, Visual Vernacular Workshop, Auslan Storytime, Art Table and Community Collaborative Painting.

Film Night – to finish off the weekend of joyful creative brilliance an open outdoor film night will be open to the whole community, short films made by, with and for Deaf people will celebrate the diversity Deaf history and culture has to offer. Announcements will be made in the coming weeks, watch this space!

Project History – 

This project responded 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 engaged both Deaf and hearing participants through music, visual arts, performing arts and screen.

Staggered due to the impacts of Covid-19, the project began delivery in 2020 and over the past years has delivered a creative development program aimed at exploring models for collaboration and practice development between artists of diverse lived experience and cultures, as well as a community forum to inform and inspire the next stage of the project. 

Programming for the screen based explorations commenced on the 30th July in 2020 with Screenworks delivering a series of film writing workshops. The intimate lab series worked with two local participants on developing a factual-based film project. The participants were 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 were 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 engaged Deaf contemporary dancer and choreographer Anna Seymour to deliver Ritual, Re-Route, Re-Connect. The movement-based workshop was supported by NORPA by hosting the event in Lismore City Hall in August 2020. Ritual explored participatory models of working with Deaf and hearing participants through movement and dance.

Arts Northern Rivers received funding to deliver this multi-arts project through the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund and by the NSW Government through Create NSW.

September 23 – 25, Lismore

Download Festival Program

Auslan Creative is a fully accessible Festival. All events will be wheelchair accessible and interpreters will be available at all times. If you have any specific accessibly questions or needs, please email


Image | Alter Boy. Photograph by Trech Ivory


Auslan Video