It’s nearly here: BRINK Festival!!!

We’ve been planning this since September last year and soon it will be a reality (COVID allowing – fingers-crossed). I was recently asked how I felt about the Festival. As a creative person, I see my task in life as making ideas into tangible events or objects. A story becomes the printed word, or a play; a deep emotional dive becomes a poem; I sometimes even try to re-vision the world through photos and painting. 

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Bringing together a festival feels different. It’s a collaboration with artists across many artforms to support their visions, their creativity. In some ways this is harder than creating myself, as I feel we must do everything we can to help them realise their shows. 

But the best part of BRINK is that we know each and every one of the artists involved supports our vision: one where we imagine a future where the arts are funded ethically, one that respects and supports diverse communities and cultures, that puts the artist at the centre.

Now more than ever, BRINK is needed. Artists often have little to no choice about working for organisations funded by fossil fuel profits. To reject this as a source of income takes immense moral courage with the possible outcome of having to abandon  the profession altogether. 

BRINK can’t possibly provide all WA artists with the chance to perform. We can’t solve the problem, but we can attempt to highlight the issue and join in the conversation. Because we are not alone in thinking the arts are compromised. For many years, artists around the world have been questioning the corporate capture of the Arts by fossil fuel giants through sponsorship. If you think about it, it’s hard to say no to such a windfall when government support is so paltry. Compared to the billions of dollars in subsidies the fossil fuel giants receive from taxpayers for their multi-billion-dollar enterprises, the arts receive mere crumbs. 

When you consider that the arts employ vastly more people than the fossil fuel industry, it begs the question ‘Why are our priorities for sharing the public purse so skewed?’

COVID shone a light on the essential nature of artistic and creative work through film, TV shows, books, music and left many longing for the shared experience of theatre, opera, dance and live music. And when it was revealed that thousands of artists had been left out of COVID relief funding, it showed how precarious our profession is. 

Now, it could be argued that the sponsorship is what is enabling so many to be involved in the arts. Yes, of course, any money will increase the production and the reception of the arts. But we must think about where this extra money comes from and how it aligns with our values. 

To support our fossil fuel free festival please DONATE to BRINK through the Australian Cultural Fund

or join us at our BRINK Festival Fundraiser on 21 March 2021

BRINK Festival 25-29 March in Fremantle WA


Richard Walley’s SIX SEASONS with Junkadelic Collective 28 March at Freo Social

Mum’s Voice

My first creative non-fiction piece was published online last year in the Centre for Stories ‘Journal’. I don’t usually write so directly about myself and my life experiences, preferring to universalise them, or at least, attempt to! However, 2020 was a difficult year for me personally. It began with the rapid decline of my mother’s health and her passing, the funeral and the house clearing, sibling tensions exacerbated by grief, and then the pandemic…

As with any death, a reckoning always follows; a processing of what life is now that this person is no longer there. I wrote my piece too soon to answer all the questions that are still sitting quietly at the back of my mind; too soon to answer the big questions that have challenged philosophers forever. I will most likely never really understand the question, let alone the answer. As I continue to try to process how life has changed for me, some insights will find their way into my other writing, the poems, prose and plays that I can’t help but keep creating.

This piece is a small glimpse into this time in my life. Please take from it what you will, but I hope you enjoy the read.

Mum’s Voice is online here