Performance Space is Australia’s leading organisation for the development and presentation of experimental art. Their upcoming Liveworks Festival is a boundary-pushing program of art, performance, dance and more and as part of this exciting festival, Performance Space and Accessible Arts are co-presenting an In Conversation event – Live Futures: Access.
This exciting panel will feature experimental artists Eugenie Lee, Riana Head-Toussaint and Wart (aka Jen Waterhouse) and will be MC’d by Debra Keenahan as they celebrate the diversity of artists across the Pspace archive and program, and explore the rich contribution of artists with disability or who are d/Deaf to experimental practices.
Artists with disability are at the forefront of experimental art practices, pushing boundaries and challenging traditional notions of what art is and how it can be created. Through a range of mediums including performance art, installation and digital media, these artists are exploring disability identity, embodiment and the nuances of lived experience. By creating art that is both accessible and thought-provoking, they are changing the landscape of the art world and opening up new possibilities for creative expression.
Learn about these talented artists’ experimental practices and the impact they’ve had on the broader disability arts and culture movement. Their work is a testament to the power of art to challenge societal norms and expand into innovative and dynamic futures.
Where & When
Live Futures: Access
Sunday 22 October
4pm – 5pm
Track 12, Carriageworks, 245 Wilson Street Eveleigh
Tickets $25 and Concession $20 (plus booking fees).
This wheelchair accessible event will be Auslan interpreted and captioned.
Liveworks Festival Program
For more details about the full Liveworks Festival program of events, click here.
About the Speakers
Eugenie is an interdisciplinary artist with a conceptual focus on persistent pain whose work is informed by scientific research, creative technology and disability studies. She investigates pain-related perceptions and experiences through various media and technologies that often stem from collaborations with pain scientists, creatives and people with disability. Her works are expressed in the form of participatory interactive performances, installations and paintings. She is a recipient of various grants from the Australia Council for the Arts, ANAT, Accessible Arts, Create NSW and has exhibited at arts institutions and museums in Australia and overseas. Eugenie graduated with First Class Honours from Sydney College of the Arts in 2012.
Riana Head-Toussaint is an interdisciplinary disabled/crip artist of Afro-Caribbean heritage. Her work often crosses traditional artform boundaries, and exists in online and offline spaces. She frequently straddles multiple roles across her projects; employing choreography, performance, film, sound design, immersive installation and audience activation to create works that interrogate entrenched systems, structures and ways of thinking; and advocate for social change. Her work embraces play and danger, risk and rest, lo-fi, DIY aesthetics and unconventional processes. It rejects convention, traditionalism and arbitrary formal notions of what art can be. Her practice is deeply informed by her movement language and embodied-experience as a wheelchair-user, her self-taught artistic background, and her training as a legal practitioner. Riana has enjoyed various artistic commissions and successes across her emerging career, and is privileged to have collaborated and organised with many other creative people. As well as more individualised creative pursuits, her practice also involves broader curatorial/space-making projects, aimed at increasing artistic opportunities and fostering connection between traditionally sidelined artists. Riana is a qualified Solicitor, Access Consultant, and DJ (Aquenta). She lives and works on the unceded lands of the Eora Nation.
Wart (aka Jen Waterhouse)
Wart is an artist, performer and poet based on Gadigal Land, Sydney. Working across artforms for over four decades, her works are held in Australian collections including Artbank, Powerhouse Museum, Wollongong Art Gallery and The National Gallery of Australia. Wart’s art crosses boundaries, mediums and disciplines. She engages with communities across arts and culture, health and disability. Her work is playful, funny and political. She brings vulnerability to the fore creates spaces for trust and empathy.
Debra Keenahan (MC)
Debra is a multi-disciplinary artist working between video, performance, identity and social engagement. Her new work ‘Othering’ premiered as part of the 2023 Sydney festival and her work ‘Smashing’ screened last year as part of the Cannes Short Film Festival: Independent Films. Debra is also a psychologist, academic and author, and has been a consultant to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission on issues of Disability. Debra’s achondroplasia dwarfism informs her art by focussing upon the personal and social impacts of disability.
Image description: Scaffolding lines both sides of a dark space, upon which there are 8 musicians playing music under blue lighting. An audience is seated in the middle of the space and a large screen shows a golden sun setting among a clouded sky. Night Songs, Liveworks 2022. Photo by Prudence Upton.