Read more about Groundwork
An initiative to nurture, support & shelter artists
Groundwork is a significant arts incubation, development and curatorium initiative working with artists to create new work, platform new work to audiences & engage in critical response and review. The initiative supports the development and presentation of multidisciplinary contemporary arts practice for 6 artists across a 3-month intensive incubation program, offering a safe space for artists to be nurtured, supported and sheltered. To empower them to embrace risk and engage in rigor.
Groundwork is a financially and creatively supported opportunity for artists to develop their creative practice & their arts business acumen while developing a body of work or at least the conception of a body of work. An outcome-based development program, recognising the need for support and opportunity to develop outcomes that can be celebrated and used as launch pads or stepping stones to secure additional pathways and opportunities. Each of the 6 artists will receive their own studio space and a weekly fee to support their participation for the duration of the program.
Groundwork is artist-led – it is for each artist to self-determine the outcome they seek and the current need in their creative practice. Groundwork is an outcome-based program however rather than presenting a set framework that can be limiting for artists, we are trusting artists to tell us what it is that they need next.
Groundwork has been developed in response to the significant gap within the Western Australian arts sector for structured outcome-based capacity building for artists across disciplines.
2022 Groundwork Artists
Jack Ball lives in Boorloo/Perth and works with sculptural and collage processes to create photographic images, which are often bodily, performative, intimate and saturated with colour.
In 2021 they had a major solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of Western Australia titled Wind Chill that brought together images spanning 10 years of their practice, including works held in the State Art Collection. In 2021 they also had a solo exhibition with sweet pea gallery and had work featured in group exhibitions the pleasurable, the illegible, the multiple, the mundane (Artspace Sydney, curated by Talia Linz) and Love in Bright Landscapes (PICA, curated by Annika Kristensen).
For Groundwork, Jack will undertake archival research into trans magazine histories, which will inform new large-scale photographic and sculptural installation work. Through collage and abstraction, their work will explore themes of anonymity, pleasure, intimacy, and critically engage with narratives that shape trans lives.
Rachael Dease’s artistic practice encompasses art music, dance and theatre scoring, installation and songwriting. Graduating from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, she won the inaugural Martin Sims Award at Fringe World, the Melbourne Fringe Music Award and received critical acclaim at New York Fringe Festival for her contemporary song cycle City of Shadows.
Her composition and sound design for theatre include the Helpmann Award nominated It’s Dark Outside (The Last Great Hunt), City of Gold (Sydney Theatre Company /BSSTC), The Bleeding Tree (Blue Room Theatre) and Mary Stuart (Perth Festival). Installation includes Vespers (Fremantle Biennale), Black Mass (PICA) Winter Feast 2018-2022 (Dark Mofo), Museum of Water (Perth Festival), and Like Embracing Ice (Fremantle Arts Centre).
In 2020 Dease was Prelude Composer in Residence at Gallop House, Western Australia where she wrote her first solo album Hymns for End Times which was performed with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra in February 2021 for Perth Festival. Dease has recently returned from Sweden, fulfilling a two-year collaboration with Maxine Doyle and Es Devlin on Here Not Here for Gothenburg Opera Dance Company.
For Groundwork, Rachael will incubate a new large-scale sound work, dedicating time to creative and technical research.
Yabini Kickett (Esther McDowell) is a descendant of the Kickett and Hayden families of the Bibulmun/Noongar Nation. Having grown up with an artist and poet mother, as well as a photographer and land conservationist father, her practice is heavily rooted in language, endemic plants, family, totemic relations and found objects from country.
In the past four years while working with Noongar Youth part time, Yabini has focused on mediums including textiles, eco dye, found object as well as film and digital photography. Her work comes back to place and orienting herself within disturbed ground.
In 2021 her work I want to go home but they killed her (2020) and Kalaak dress (2019) were acquired by the Art Gallery of Western Australia as part of their COVID-19 Stimulus program. Since then, she’s been exploring curation and portraiture, predominantly working in oil and chalk pastels.
For Groundwork, Yabini will explore portraiture and more abstract illustration on a much larger scale.
Adelina is an award-winning Swedish/Mexican choreographer, curator, producer, and educator. She works and lives on the land of the Wadandi people – the traditional custodians of Wooditjup/Margaret River, WA.
She trained at Stockholm University of the Arts, DOCH and CODARTS, Rotterdam. Since moving to Australia in 2007 she has worked in remote and regional communities and choreographed for performing arts companies presenting at Melbourne International Arts Festival, Federation Square, The State Theatre Centre of WA, Australian Institute of Sport, The Canberra Theatre Centre, PICA, The Lock Up, and Fremantle Arts Centre.
During Groundwork, Adelina will develop the installation and audience-centred part of her project Min folkdans / ihtotia mahcehua (My Folk dance). The work explores themes of identity, politics, and nostalgia through the histories of Adelina’s dual cultural heritage.
Bennett works across sculpture, installation, video and performance. He has a background producing works for the gallery, but increasingly also develops ‘living sculptures’ for festivals and outdoor contexts.
Since 2010 Miller’s Dachshund UN has been presented in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Birmingham (UK), Toronto and Montreal (CAN). In 2012 Miller was included in New12 at ACCA, Melbourne and was a resident at Australia Council’s Greene St Studio in New York. From 2013-2016 Miller presented four consecutive iterations of his fake Amish community at Splendour in the Grass Festival in NSW.
In 2019 Miller presented Behavioural Ecologies (Red) as part of the Fremantle Biennale and he is currently undertaking a residency in Mt Barker for the Spaced 4: Rural Utopias program. For Groundwork, Bennett will develop a new series of performances and associated sculptures within FAC’s grounds.
Taonga is a poet, multimedia storyteller and workshop coordinator. Currently her primary focus is community, specifically creating space for other BIPOC artists to share their work. As a Black femme, her work is determinedly and fiercely vulnerable, focusing
predominantly on grief, nostalgia, rest and other small revolutions of the heart.
After her debut at the Western Australian Youth Slam in 2017, she has since featured at the Perth Poetry Festival, National Young Writers’ Festival, and facilitated workshops for Curtin University. In 2021 she was granted the Tina Kane Emerging Writer Award during the Mildura Writers Festival and in 2022 she participated in the Centre for Stories Hot Desk Fellowship.
For Groundwork, Taonga will explore her multimedia project June Rain and allow herself to explore new avenues as an emerging artist. The process will be documented through film photography, poetry, and audio-visual notes.
GROUNDWORK PROGRAM OVERVIEW
Groundwork offers real and meaningful organisational support around the creation of new work.
The safety and wellbeing of participating Groundwork artists is Fremantle Arts Centre’s first priority. As the host and key facilitator of the program FAC is ultimately responsible for checking in with each artist to ensure they are getting a quality experience.
An initial pre-Groundwork “consultation” will take place for each artist to develop a customised plan for their Groundwork program. Following this they will have scheduled weekly touch points with FAC Director and Curator and / or other FAC staff at artists request following the consultation and the specific support and expertise they require has been determined. This could be across arts business acumen, writing, profiling, platform creation, installation and construction, producing and presentation considerations.
In addition, across the three-month period of incubation each artist will have access to the following:
Socialising of space
The program will be curated to ensure multiple opportunities for Groundwork artists to engage with each other and the broader creative community at Fremantle Arts Centre. Artists will be offered multiple networking opportunities with other sector professionals throughout the program and at scheduled social and formal networking occasions.
Local and national provocateurs will run collective think tanks. Each Groundwork artist will experience being at the centre of a “tank” at least once – immersed in a conversation about culture, politics, technology and our environment and reflecting on their work within this context. Developing dynamic and relevant practice and responding to environment.
FAC’s existing network of provocateurs is extraordinary from our amazing internal staff through to our state – and nation-wide connections. As part of their application artists will have the opportunity to nominate who they may like to work with as a provocateur – FAC and the selection panel will make the final decision dependent on the mix of artists and artforms selected. It is anticipated at least one provocateur will be engaged from outside WA depending on the COVID and border control environment.
Connection to Country
All conversations, performance and development at Fremantle Arts Centre take place in Walyalup on Whadjuk Nyoongar Boodjar. FAC is committed to ensuring all Groundwork artists are provided with access to custodians of Nyoongar culture to inform their practice and ensure they evolve as artists carrying with them the necessary knowledge and respect. At the commencement of the program FAC will facilitate a Welcome to Country and a culturally grounding experience to contextualise each artist on Country. Budget is set aside for additional cultural consultation and/or to provide additional support for participating First Nations artists as required.
Access for All
Fremantle Arts Centre celebrates difference and diversity. Groundwork artists will be provided with access to focus groups and/or industry practitioners to engage with them about how their work can be accessed, experienced and interpreted for all. Ultimately understanding how to communicate their work to people with different abilities.
Critical Response and Review
Recognising the importance of generating writing and scholarship around practice FAC will support one piece of long form writing in response to or around each artist’s practice and their work. The author may be one of the artist’s choosing or FAC can connect a writer to the artist. Informed critical writing about emerging arts practice is currently missing from our arts ecology, especially in Western Australia. FAC will work with the artist to locate the best author, engage the author and work with journals to find publishing opportunities.
While critical writing is also missing in the WA ecology, access to formalised critical review sessions is also missing to artists post-university or study. A collective critical review will take place each moth – comprising a monthly studio visit of 4 arts and culture professionals who would review and respond to the artist’s work in development. 6 pieces of published critical response is considered part of the 12 “creations of work” outlined in this application in addition to the 6 Groundwork artist outcomes.
FAC’s existing expertise in this area will also be offered to Groundwork artists via FAC’s specialist Communications and Marketing team.
OUTCOMES FOR ARTISTS
Facilitated outcomes for Groundwork artists include:
Site and space
Supported by the City of Fremantle’s broader arts and cultural programs, artists are provided with the opportunity to work within the Fremantle Arts Centre site and across the city of Fremantle.
Utilise the digital residency platform with the support of the FAC Marketing department.
Opting to engage in a salon opportunity such as solo exhibitions or sharing / showing opportunities across FAC controlled sites & spaces.
FAC will facilitate broad sector invitations to ensure representation from galleries, institutions, festivals, producers and artistic peers. Or the option for a larger group show with other Groundwork artists about contextualising practice
A packaged portfolio of photography, videography and critical writing that can be utilised to gain further opportunities.
We are committed to assisting each artist to secure pathways or support to progress their work. The purpose of Groundwork is to workshop ideas for a body of work – at the conclusion of their 3-month incubation artists could opt to apply for their own residency at FAC via our Studio Program – which is a standalone self-led residency program. Artists may secure space free of charge for a further 3, 6, 12 months subject to availability.
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.