Thursday, March 29, 2007

crowd sea

watching how a crowd moves...
enjoyed a view from above.
especially at the big day out - bit over being amongst that many people...


I was walking through the city and stumbled across a free trapeze lesson. why not? third go and we were catching and spinning. height and air. two elements i love. good crack of the knuckles though....hmm bruises

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Catherine Sewell, Artist & Facilitator - Curriculum Vitae


Educational Background:

RMIT, Melbourne 2007
Masters of Creative Arts Therapy

RMIT, Melbourne 2005 - 2006
Graduate Diploma Creative Arts Therapy

Melbourne University & Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne 1998 - 2002 Bachelor of Creative Arts
Subjects included: performance, creative writing, sound, film, art, critical theory, arts marketing, dance, and medical anthropology.

VCE, graduating 1997
Tertiary Entrance Rank: top 5% of Victoria

Member of Australian Creative Arts Therapy Association (ACATA)

Additional Training & Skills:

2007 Masters Creative Arts Therapy – Training in facilitating creative workshops using any or all of the modalities of drama, music, storytelling, visual art or movement, for therapeutic benefit to a range of client groups. Thesis title: Fact and Fiction: Communicating in Narrative

2006-7 SPARK Mentorship Program – supported professional development in theatre & design
Mentor: Zoe Atkinson
Construction training – Malthouse Theatre Workshop, Well Theatre & Jack Shaw (building, metalwork, woodwork)

1999 National Institute of Circus Arts – 6 week intensive training

Physical Training - Kung Fu – World Win Chung Academy. Capoiera, Karate, Akido – Nepal, St Kilda, Melbourne University.
Circus, acrobatics – NICA, Melbourne University. Gymnastics – Victorian Gymnastic Association (10 yrs). Butoh – Tony
Yap, Yumi Umiumare, Nancy Sposato, Elan Abrahams. Bodyweather – Tess de Quincy, LAB training co-operative. Suzuki
– Peter Eckersall. Physical theatre – Paul Mognahan, Gekidan Kaitisha (Japan), various workshops. Dance – South Yarra
Dance School, Melbourne University, various workshops. Clowning – John Bolton.

Computer Skills – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Illustrator, Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, Internet research, basic music programs.

Environmental - Re-vegetation and upkeep of native gardens. Experience in living and traveling through remote and varied

Artistic Director Engagements:

2008 Cat & Mouse Productions The Playground – Co-Artistic Director, Designer, Workshop Facilitator.
On-going and in development for over four years, this arts project also includes community development and arts
advocacy. Focussed on researching the way we play, as artists, individuals and societies, the project has many outputs,
including workshop facilitation, theatre shows and interactive installations.
2006 Bird Girl & Catinhere Wonderland (short film) - Co-artistic Director & Project Coordinator
2006 Bird Girl & Catinhere Masque 2, Masquerade Ball - Production coordinator. A staged event incorporating music and
performance at WesleyAnne Bar & Restaurant.
2005 Bird Girl & Catinhere Masque, Masquerade Ball - Production coordinator. A staged event incorporating music and
performance at WesleyAnne Bar & Restaurant.
2004 UrbanArt Inc. – Artist collective creating public art projects
1998 Drama Victoria VCE Excellence – workshop facilitator

Community & Facilitation Engagements:

2011 The Song Room – Teaching Artist – 6mth contract at TRY Kindergarten, South Yarra
2011 The Song Room – Professional Development Workshop on Working with Puppetry
2011 The Song Room – Teaching Artist – 6mth contract at Holy Child Primary School, Dallas
2010 The Song Room – Performance facilitator at annual show at Melbourne Town Hall
2010 The Song Room – Teaching Artist – 3mth contract at Northern School of Autism
2010 The Song Room – Professional Development Workshop on Working with Children with Special Needs, focusing on Autism
2010 ECCPA - Presenter at the 14th Annual Childhood Conference of Performing Arts
2010 Murdoch Childrens Research Centre & Northern Metropolitan region of DEECD – Consultant for the Families Learning Together Program, developing information and workshops for school, children and parents on cognitive development and play-based learning - Gladstone Park Primary School and Glenroy Central Primary School.
2010 The Song Room - Teaching Artist – 6mth Contract at Holy Child Primary School, Dallas
2009 Murdoch Childrens Research Centre - Administration support developing a key resource pack for researchers
2009 The Song Room – Professional Development Workshop with Associate Professor Jill Sewell on Early Childhood Development & the Arts for Generalist Teachers
2009 The Song Room – Development and Filming of Resource Activity
2009 The Song Room – Professional Development Workshop at Ascot Vale Special School
2009 The Song Room – Workshop facilitator Starlight Room, Royal Children’s Hospital
2009 ECCPA – Invitation to present at 13th Annual Childhood Conference of Performing Arts
2009 The Song Room – Mentor Teaching Artist – Contract at Ascot Vale Special School
2009 The Song Room – Teaching Artist - Contract at Glenroy West Primary School
2008 The Song Room – Teaching Artist – Contracts at Debney PS , St Brendon’s PS, Meadowbank PS
2008 The Song Room – Professional Development Workshop at Western English Language School
2008 The Song Room – Developed and published resource for membership website
2008 The Song Room – Workshop facilitator Starlight Room, Royal Children’s Hospital
2008 ECCPA - Presenter at the 12th Annual Childhood Conference of Performing Arts
2008 The Song Room - Teaching Artist at Debney PS and St Brendons PS
2007 The Song Room - Teaching Artist at Debney Primary School
2007 Aborginial Community Elders Centre - (Masters placement) Creative Arts Therapy Workshops
2007 Berengarra High School - (Masters placement) Creative Arts Therapy Workshops
2006 Art Projects Australia – Art studio/gallery for people with disabilities - volunteer
2006 McDonald Family – Private Childcare
2004 Gymbus Entertainment - Gymnastics instructor, entertainer (children)
2004 Collinwood Children’s Farm - volunteer
2003 Wetlands Ecosystems Australia – Field worker
2001 Kennedy Family – Private Aged-care

Design & Art Direction Engagements:

2011 What Am I Supposed To Do by Sietta, music video, Stylist
2011 Zombie Monologues , television series, Dir. Andy Lane, Style Consultant
2011 Aphids – Void Love Launch at Speigletent, Production Designer
2010 Plot Media – OZITO TVC, Art Director
2010 Reelheads Productions – Moondance, short film, Dir. Jonnie Leahy, Design consultant
2010 Reelheads Productions – RUN, Feature Trailer, Dir. Jonnie Leahy, Production Designer
2010 Plot Media - Misery Loves Company, Feature Trailer, Dir. Dan Koerner, Prod. Designer
2009 Reelheads Productions – Last Drinks, short film, Dir. Jonnie Leahy, Prod. Designer
2009 ANAT – Void Love series shoot. Directed by Willoh S Weiland, Art Director
2009 Film Construction – True Live music video. Dir. Dan Koerner. Art Director, Location Manager
2008 Film Construction – If I Dance Will it Keep Me Warm Dir. Dan Koerner - Art Director (Short film)
2008 Dudeio Studios – TZU Mondays Video Clip – Production Designer, Costume Designer
2008 Fabricated Theatre Ensemble – Monkey Magic: Demons are Humans Too, as part of Melbourne Fringe Festival - Co-costume designer
2008 Dudeio Studios – Beautiful Ugly by Muph & Plutonic (Obese Records) - Production Designer (Music Video Clip). Dir. Anto Skene
2008 Interfusion Films - Living With Dementia – Art Director
2008 A Room Within – design and content consultant for theatre production season in 2007 and pilot film series 2008
2007 Incident on Drab Street¬ – Short film Dir. Elizabeth Keyishian Wilks VCA – art department & production assistant
2007 Strange Fruit Productions Spheres - Costume construction
2007 'Mittens' Short Film by Kitty Green - Art Director
2007 Strange Fruit Productions Field - Costume Maker & repairs
2006 Strange Fruit Productions Neptunes - Costume Consultant
2006 Strange Fruit Productions Spheres - Costume repairs & maintenance
2006 Dudeio Studios Walkin’ Tightropes by Muph & Plutonic (Obese Records) - Production Designer (Music Video Clip)
2006 Forget The Rules Pty Ltd Forget The Rules - Production Coordinator - wrap up,
2006 Tim Spicer Film & TV PTY LTD Everybody Hates You When You’re Popular by Tex Perkins & Tim Rogers - Art
Department (Music Video Clip),
2006 Tim Spicer Film & TV PTY LTD In Front of Me by TZU (Liberation Records) - Production Designer, Art Director
(Music Video Clip)
2006 Swish Black Cat P/L Delhi VIP Fashion Parade Melbourne - Dresser, Stylist
2006 Love Match - Assistant Art Department (Australian Feature Film)
2005 Forget The Rules Pty Ltd Forget The Rules - Production Designer, Art Director, Wardrobe Head (Interactive television
series: Nominee and winner of Cannes Digital Television awards
2005 Catfish Productions Australian Air Express Advertisement - Stylist, Wardrobe
2005 Catfish Productions M&M Advertisement (Dubai) - Art director
2004 Titanick Theatre Co. (Germany) Treibgut – Assistant Costume design, Titanick, Insect - construction technician (touring
Germany, Poland and Portugal)
2004 Catfish Productions Slim-er-ator (short film) - Art Director
2004 Catfish ProductionsForget the Rules (pilot series) – Art Director
2004 (since 01) Clothing label “Catinhere Designs” – stocked at boutique clothing stores
2003 Out of the Blue, by Louisa Renard (short film) – Art Director
2003 Sustainable Living Festival (Federation Square) La Familiar (physical theatre, stilt walking) – Costume Designer
2002 Forgets to Blink Theatre Co. The Half Light (cross-disciplinary collaboration) – Costume Designer, Performer
2002 The Sticks by Marcus Shutenko (Australian feature film) – Wardrobe Department
2002 Forgets to Blink Theatre Co. The Jimanan at the Adelaide Fringe Festival – Costume Designer
2002 Wandering Woman by Jodi Woman (short film) – Costume Designer
2000 Endgames, by Samuel Beckett, dir. Meredith Sutton (performed in the underground car-park, Melbourne University) – Costume Designer

Performance Engagements:

2010 Anna’s Go Go Academy – Thrill The World, Carlton Gardens - dancer
2009 Anna’s Go Go Academy – So You Drink So You Dance, Melbourne Comedy Festival - dancer
2008 Die Rotten Punkt – Rock Bang video clip - dancer
2008 Danceathon 6000 – Melbourne Fringe Festival - dancer
2008 Fabricated Theatre Ensemble – Monkey Magic: Demons are Humans Too, as part of Melbourne Fringe Festival - performer
2007 The Memory Priest by Willoh Wieland at the Living Museum of the West - performer
2007 Mutual Ghosts by Anita King at Platform Gallery CBD – physical theatre performer
2006 Masque Masquerade Ball at WesleyAnne Bar & Restaurant - dancer
2003 Arts Nova Productions, Centacare Catholic Family Services, Big Trouble- voice actor (lead role)
2003 Out of the Blue by Louisa Renard (short film) – actor (lead role)
2003 Sticky Planet Theatre Co. Melbourne Moomba Parade, CBD - physical theatre performer
2002 Forgets to Blink Theatre Co. The Half Light at Red Box Studios – physical theatre performer
2002 Once Upon a Fox by Lee Murray (short film) – actor (lead role)
2002 Something Unspeakable dir. Georgie Boucher at RRR Rooftop – physical theatre performer
2002 The Meeting dir. Paul Mognahan (return season) at The Open Stage – physical theatre performer, sound design team
2001 Auto:Motion by Mike McEnvoy & Madeline Davies (short film) - dancer
2001 Wandering Woman by Jodi Woman (short film) – solo role
1999 Crunch Theatre Feet, part of the Melbourne International Arts Festival (State Library courtyard) – outdoor physical
theatre performer
1999 Melbourne University (youth events) Cybertrek 5,– promoter, performer
1999 Crunch Theatre Crunch Festival, ‘Fall Out’, at The Open Stage – dance theatre performer

Grants, Awards and Exhibitions:

2008 Omnific Assembly – Totem Exhibition, group show at Federation Square, Oct

2008 Platform Artist Gallery – Play Pins, Solo exhibition, Sept

2007 Project Development grant – Supported by: SPARK Mentorship Program, Youth Arts Queensland, Australia Council for the Arts, Australian Government

2005 International Web Exhibition (Travel Photography) at

2004 Exhibition (Travel Photography) at The Foundry, Clifton Hill (Melbourne Fringe Festival)

1998 VCE Excellence: TopCats at the State Theatre (Drama category) - actor

1997 Premier’s Award for VCE - Art

Music (in every form) and Travel (destinations include Antarctica, Galapagos Islands, Jamaica, Pakistan, Nepal, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Martinique, Western Europe, Poland, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea)

Friday, March 23, 2007

Program for Playground Open Studio

Photograph: Rachael Perry

(we asked the people there to give us as much feedback as they liked - the program was just a little background of the project)


Performance/Installation looking at the way adults play...
Play is escaping and imagining. No in-turned eyes on yourself. Appreciating the here and now.

To develop the performance aspects of Playground over the past two years Nancy has facilitated performers through physical theatre workshops. These sessions where about delving into the performers personal imagination and through the body exploring what play means to them. Nancy was aiming to find physicality that had a pure quality of Play.

The design of The Playground focuses on ways that objects, space, colour and costume can instil a sense of play in the participant. In its entirety, The Playground is an interactive installation. The recent development of the design element has focused on altering levels, depth of field, scale, frames/opacity and placing surprising objects together, as a way to promote imagination and play.

Music is an important element of Playground. We are fascinated by how it arouses performer and audience. We are curious about how music might assist an image. Music effects the imagination, emotions and reveals narrative meanings.

Past developments have also focused on how performers can guide audience towards taking part. But at this stage we want the audience to sit back and to observe the playful act. When the performer reveals the private is it exciting?

This open studio is the culmination of a one-week intensive development of The Playground project. It was aimed at exploring how a performer and designer can work side by side in a creative space.


• Explore repetition through the relationship between movement and design
• To return to the basics of creating theatre; working with a set frame, creating narrative in space and designating where audience is seated.
• Performer: create 3 movement sequences that evoke Nancy’s personal sense of play.
• Designer: create 1 image (still or life) that captures play – analyse what elements are present
• Fuse the performance and design process: must incorporate the swing structure and popular music and the swing

Thanks to the Spark team, Bernard and the staff at Cubby’s, Strange Fruit, Fitzroy Town Hall, Paul Mognahan, Mark, Ben, Ness, Amy, Anita, Corey, Fraggle, Rachael and all those involved in the project so far!

Playground design 2005

This Playground design is a circular structure with a central tower (steps leading up on all sides). There is also a side climbing platform with a bridge across to the central stage. There is a swing and a seesaw around the edge of the space. A bed, a walk-in wardrobe, an oversized cardboard box with a card table and chairs and a dancing room with a dress up box form the sites that performers inhabit and return to.


I decided that lighting was to be the main way to affect the space. Some simple props were added. On the thurs night we had a play with lighting and the space came to life more at night – could really use the depth of field. This element made it worth using the playground. Was great to have some large structures – the swings – to create movement. And the mounds, the logs – to experiment with what you can and can’t see.

Photograph: Rachael Perry


After the town hall, we were keen to somehow create a frame in this large outdoor space, and I ended up using 40m of black weed plastic and a staple gun to make a small, close-up space at the beginning, which was then opened up on one side to reveal the length of the playground. The trajectory of the performance then became moving from close to the audience to 5m away, to 15m away, to 30m away…. All we had to hope for was that the rain on Friday held off, which it thankfully did.

photograph: Amy Alexander


It was much more difficult when we moved to the playground space. Part of this was we had two mornings and one full day to put something on and we didn’t have anything definite down. But also because it was outside; distractions, uncontained and messy in comparison to the theatre space. It took me a while of being in the space to have any ideas at all…..


it was really interesting actually working side by side – performer and designer – from scratch. What is my design process? Nancy’s performative process is very well honed. After the first day I was able to implement more design ideas. It was great to have the performer there, experimenting with action within my design ideas.


we were talking about animating the inanimate – to open the imagination. In Italian the word ‘anima’ means to give something soul. To breath life into something. So you can animate objects, but also a space…


Working in the town hall was a beautiful space – so nice to have a frame again, to really limit what an audience can see. We began playing with the game that’s already set up in that space –the theatre - where an audience suspends reality and sits and watches. It satisfied our urge to find clean, succinct images. We both like clean lines, in design and movement. How to marry this with the edgy and euphoric?


This was a 5 day intensive – 2 days in huge town hall, 3 days in playground space - between a designer and a performer

On the Ist day, we went back through all the playground stuff we have gathered over the years – text, play diaries, stimulus images, notes & images from previous developments, grant applications – and pulled out things that still resonated when we imagined Playground. These were a way to enter into doing stuff on the floor – started by trying to find gestures/movement sequences and objects/spaces inspired by our own play diaries, then put them together.

Playground design march 2007 reverse

Playground design march 2007

Here’s images of a scale model 1:50 I did of the very basic structure of the Playground I have been thinking of (minus all the smaller walls and equipment).

Greeted, you enter a shallow room with a ceiling 2 levels high, on the walls are pictures of people playing, some obscured behind tiny sliding doors. Through a doorway, the next room is a 360 projection of an outside space (the sky, the grass, the beach) with a single chair in the centre. Another doorway and the room is getting smaller, a white space with many pens hanging, waiting for you to add your writing to the walls. As the spaces get smaller along the ramp, you pass through a sensory melange – textures and sounds – to ready you for play. The rooms end and you find yourself overlooking a large space in the round. The ramp you are on winds its way around the edge till it reaches a top centre stage where a band is playing. Along the ramp, people are climbing up and down poles/nets. Further on someone is being winched up by three people on stationary bikes. Under the centre platform are two long swings. To the side is a spiral staircase and a slide to the bottom level. There are four rooms underneath the spiral ramp, inhabited by performers – the dancing room (empty with a dress up box), the boudoire (a four-poster bed), the cardboard box (a card table and chairs) and the walk-in wardrobe (a single light globe with polaroids of people all over the walls). The centre area on the bottom level has a mound in one corner and a chequered dancing floor. There are hammocks and beanbags and old-fashioned chairs around the edges. From below you can see new people enter the space and winding around the ramp above you. You stay a while, a short performance happens in the central space. To exit you are led past the side of the swings and out into the night…

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

build an old

tools are endlessly interesting. my power tool fetish extends to the old hand held...

playground development

playground development at the town hall.
performer: Nancy Sposato

how to create a space that inspires play?

Thinking about design and play - how to create a space that inspires play. It is unbelieveably more about stimulating an audience/participant's imagination?

Play space = surprising things are put/used together
= scale is affected – small, large spaces
= levels – how are you in relation to others?
= peepholes/opacity – how much can you see/imagine?
= repetition – playfulness/absurdity in numbers ie Mexican waves

EXPLORING & DISCOVERING – expanding sensation

some words on play

play is: imagination, risk, surprise, choice, simple, articulate, learning, rehearsing, joy/beauty, incongruous, freedom, testing, contradictory, ambiguous, not innocent, has stakes, heightened, participating, adventure, trying, releases, irregular, euphoric, not malicious, perspective, unexpected, not self-conscious, not self-reflexive, present, satisfying, experimenting, showing off, excitement, mystery…

check out playground research images at