We’re very excited to welcome WA artists Alex Desebrock and Tanya Lee to FAC to set up the Every Day Super Hero HQ this January. We caught up with the pair to find out more about this fun, playful family workshop.
Tell us about Every Day Super Hero – what is it?
It’s an antidote to the overwhelm of world problems.
It’s a place where adults and children are equally important.
A chance to play, create, collaborate & do.
A world of hope and bedazzled recycled materials.
This show is a 90 min experience that transforms adults and children into Every Day Super Heroes. We believe that adults and children have inner powers that can help save the world in small and big ways.
Adults select a world problem to work on, and children an inner power. We then step our “recruits” through a series of training stages that prepare them for Every Day Super Hero transformation. And when we say “training stages” they’re not hard or scary – they’re playful games.
Eventually, everyone completes some real world missions around Fremantle Arts Centre. These are small actions that make the world better. From hugging a tree, to learning a new Noongar word, to calling the Mayor and telling him what they’d like to see change.
We made Every Day Super Hero because we wanted to make something important, positive and fun for children. We think this work does this, and that adults have an equally rich time.
Who can take part?
Every Day Super Hero is for children aged 7 to 12 years, and adults. We’re proud to say that adults and children will both enjoy this experience.
You can book an adult & child ticket, a bundle for an adult & 2 children, or just an adult ticket. We need close-to-equal numbers of adults and children so, if you have more children you want to bring – your first mission is to find more adults!
How are you preparing FAC HQ for all the new recruits? What can participants expect?
The HQ is looking A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. We set ourselves the challenge of using recycled and borrowed materials when building the HQ. We talk about the aesthetic being a bit of DIY bedazzle. There are sparkly disco lights, a cubby made out of newspaper, console desks made out of coreflute, a sign-in system of scans & beeps and “latest technology”.*
*By latest technology we mean your imagination.
What do you hope people will take away from Every Day Super Hero?
We’ve done a lot of testing on this work & we find that:
Children are buoyed by the fun and immediacy of the work. They love becoming the agents of change in public space and their equal-ness to adults in the Every Day Super Hero world. Many ‘step-up’ to the experience and feel their voice is strong and valuable.
For adults, the opportunity to collaborate with a child they don’t know is a very special experience. They are often surprised by children’s astute understanding and perspective on important issues. Children also bring out the playfulness in adults and show them the world through their eyes.
As mentioned before, this is meant to be an antidote to our anxiety about the future for the next generation We hope it energises people to keep doing good and know that they aren’t alone.
If you had to sum up the experience in 3 words, what would they be?
Fun! Uplifting! Super-creative-amazingness!
About the artists
Alex Desebrock is an independent artist based in Perth. Her work spans interactive theatre, live art, installations, online and public interventions. Her practice focuses around empathy, connecting strangers, big questions and the child’s voice.
She is the lady behind Maybe ( ) Together which has presented works across Australia including Sydney Festival, Perth International Arts Festival, Come Out Festival, Awesome Festival, The Arts Centre Melbourne and ArtPlay.
Alex is passionate about creating high quality, insightful arts experiences for children and adults. Her work is described as “gently radical” using games and interventions to connect the ideas and opinions of children with stranger adults. Sharing the creative, brutally honest, playful, amusing, and guilt-inducing moments from future generations has become a long-term investigation, as she believes this is ultimately what the world needs to hear.
Tanya Lee is a WA artist based in Perth. Her cross-disciplinary practice works across sculpture; performance and drawing to glean absurd humour form the idiosyncrasies of everyday life.
Lee fabricates elaborate costumes in which she humorously attempts to engage in daily tasks and routines. These performances exist as both video documentation and often as interactive, live art experiences. Her performances construct incongruous, farcical and even futile narratives that subvert the protocols and politics of every day social environments.
Most recently Tanya has presented the large scale participatory performance piece Landing at swimming pools across Australia. A meditative swim articulating ideas around migration, arrival and offshore detention Landing has now been presented at the Festival of Live Art (FOLA) in Melbourne, Dark MoFo in Hobart and will be shown in both Perth and on the Gold Coast in the near future.