Inaugural Assemblage Artist in Residence at Flinders

Leading South Australian creative artist Kate Power has been selected as Flinders University’s inaugural Artist in Residence for the new research centre, Assemblage Centre for Creative Arts.

The Assemblage Artist in Residence program is available to practitioners from all art forms, providing funds to work with industry leaders, academics and students in developing trans-disciplinary creative work.

Power’s practice embraces video, performance, textiles, sculpture and installation – and the performance project being worked on during her residency will draw on the writings of philosopher Sianne Ngai, poet Claudia Rankine and queer theorist Sara Ahmed to inspire a mesh of movement and sculpture.

“I’m thrilled to be selected as the inaugural artist-in-residence at the new Centre for Creative Arts, Assemblage. There are such exciting people working here and the time to deep dive into my new project, while being part of a diverse community, is an incredible opportunity to expand my knowledge and creative approaches,” says Power, who explains that her new work asks how patriarchal control is processed and stored in the body.

Assemblage, the new Centre for Creative Arts in the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at Flinders University, has been developed and driven by a multidisciplinary team including Dean of Research Professor Penny Edmonds, Garry Stewart (Professor of Creative Arts and Director of Assemblage Centre for Creative Arts) and Professor Maryrose Casey (Deputy Director of Assemblage). Under their guidance, new dynamic possibilities for research into innovative artistic enquiry and art creation are being offered.

Assemblage Artist in Residence Kate Power (centre) meets with HASS HDR students at Flinders this week.

Professor Penny Edmonds, a leading scholar in arts and cultural studies, has a professional background in heritage, and provides strategic leadership to advance the pursuit of high quality, vibrant, and creative research activity within the College and University. Professor Stewart is renowned for pushing dance performance in extraordinary new directions as the acclaimed artistic director of Australian Dance Theatre, having forged radical collaborations with neuroscience, physics, digital and motion capture technologies, architecture and robotics.

Professor Maryrose Casey is a leading creative arts scholar and practitioner who has published widely on Australian theatre and performance. She is a member of the AusStage board, an accessible research facility which records information on live performance in Australia, generating new knowledge that enables a richer assessment of the contribution live events make to the nation’s cultural vitality and international image.

The Assemblage team is fuelling new creative arts research through bringing together Flinders University’s existing creative arts disciplines in fresh collaborations. Simultaneously they are engaging new connections with other academic fields to promote innovative trans-disciplinary research with such areas as engineering, robotics, artificial intelligence, motion capture, virtual reality and health sciences.

Professor Stewart says Kate Power is a fitting example of the calibre of visionary and multifaceted creative arts researcher that Assemblage Centre for Creative Arts aims to support. “Assemblage is a research facility that connects disparate thinkers and practitioners working in collaboration with our students, staff and researchers,” he says. “It’s a structure that facilitates transdisciplinary arts practices, forging partnerships across exceptionally diverse fields to address complex issues our society faces.”

Kate Power has been awarded the Constance Gordon-Johnson Sculpture and Installation Prize, Carclew Professional Development grants and Helpmann Academy grants.

Professor Edmonds agrees. “Assemblage is an arts incubator and an epicentre of creative arts production at Flinders. It aims to build strength and focus, based on Flinders’ outstanding long record of excellence in creative and performing arts research and teaching. We seek to bring our students along with us, exposing them to cutting-edge, practice-based research and creative arts practitioners, along with Arts industry leaders and companies.”

Professor Edmonds notes that an overwhelming response from applicants for the inaugural Assemblage Artist in Residence indicates that Flinders is offering vital support at a time when COVID-19 has hit the Arts particularly hard. “We hope we have signalled our strong commitment to supporting emerging, transdisciplinary arts practitioners even in challenging of times – a time when the arts and creativity must be nurtured more than ever.”

This year, the Centre also announced the generous Hanlon Larsen Screen Fellowship, to support a South Australian screen-practitioner who embodies the creative spirit of the late Cole Larsen, with funding to create an innovative screen-based work. The initial five-year screen fellowship has been established by SA Film Corp chair Peter Hanlon. Assemblage is also offering two $5000 Honours bursaries in the performing arts for 2021.

The first facility at Flinders University’s Bedford Park Campus nurturing new collaborations is The Void, the largest virtual reality and motion capture lab in South Australia, being run by Business Development Manager Dan Thorsland.

This large-scale, fixed facility is being used by lecturers, researchers, students and industry partners to collaborate on a variety of motion capture performances and projects for films, television and experimental games. It enables directors to work with trained performers to capture computational data in 3D space in real time and load it straight into a game engine as content toward the final product.

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