• arts & culture

24 October 2018

From virtual reality practitioners to writers, filmmakers and choreographers, 24 Victorian creative talents are set to take their careers to a new level with support through the second round of the Creators Fund program.

Mama Alto performing on stage

Mama Alto performing on stage


The Creators – individuals as well as collectives and small companies – will embark on intensive research, development and experimentation that will set the foundation for career-defining new work in the years ahead. Collectively the recipients will share in $900,000 worth of funding.

Developed in response to extensive sector consultation, the Creators Fund is a fellowship-style program that provides grants of between $20,000 – $50,000 to Victorian creative practitioners or collectives to work intensively for a period of between three to six months.

Creators Fund activities for 2019 include research by fashion designer Courtney Holm into zero-waste technology for the fashion industry, and musician and composer Anthony Pateras’ exploration of the links between sound and medicine.

Several projects will see creatives – including multimedia artist Oscar Raby and filmmaker Jessica Barclay Lawton – meeting with experts, mentors and creative leaders, while others will allow the recipients to embed themselves in a new region or community as they build networks and undertake research.

Filmmaker and curator Tony Briggs will investigate, and take part in, international First Nations film festivals, and writer Lia Hills will base herself in the Mallee to research a new novel.

The recipients will also pursue new ways of working. Game developers Ahmed Galea and Finn Morgan will develop algorithms to enhance game development, while architectural designer/artist Jack Mitchell and writer/artist Thomas Dudley will explore how First Peoples’ cultural knowledge can enhance urban development.

Read more about the Creators Fund

Meet the 2019 Creators

Jessica Barclay Lawton, CARLTON NORTH, $43,830
Writer and filmmaker Jessica Lawton will undertake a six-month period of intensive practical research exploring what 'the Australian dream' means today. Working with mentor and leading social researcher Pamela Souvlis, director of photography Alex Cardy, casting agents and refugee community support groups, Jessica will connect with people from a range of backgrounds. Her learnings will inform the concept for a new hybrid feature film We're Getting a Pool.

Jacob Boehme, BENTLEIGH EAST, $39,000
Over six months dancer and choreographer Jacob Boehme will undertake research to develop ethical and curatorial frameworks for presenting stories by, for and about people living with HIV. Through workshops, consultations and collaborations with HIV+ community members and HIV+ artists, the new frameworks he develops will form the basis of a new community-led performance installation called The Blood Library.

Tony Briggs, CAULFIELD NORTH, $50,000
Filmmaker and curator Tony Briggs will research the latest in First Peoples filmmaking and attend film festivals in New Zealand and the Arctic Circle to view films, participate in events and develop networks with First Peoples filmmakers, curators and programmers.

Sarah Firth, BRUNSWICK EAST, $30,000
Artist, writer and creative entrepreneur Sarah Firth's six-month project will inform the development of her debut graphic novel Stop Making Sense, an innovative, essay-style graphic work. Sarah will undertake intensive research into issues such as gentrification, death, vanity, perception, cognitive bias, addiction, sex and environmentalism as well as philosophy, science and social and psychological theory before entering into a writing period and thumbnailing stage. She will also explore a range of distinct visual styles aligning with each topic.

Ahmad Galea and Finn Morgan, FAIRFIELD, $36,000
Game developers Ahmad Jacob Galea and Finn Morgan will undertake research and development focused on non-player characters (NPCs) in games. NPCs are characters controlled by the computer rather than the player and are often limited to pre-programmed, repetitive interactions and behaviours. Over six months, they will work to create a series of algorithms to be applied to non-player characters in order to bring them life in games with unpredictable, ever changing environments.

Lia Hills, UPWEY, $24,249
Experimental author Lia Hills will undertake a period of research and experimentation to inform a new literary novel set in the Mallee. Lia will undertake interviews with a range of people living in the Mallee region to get a sense of the community and will also record the landscape. She will then use voice-recognition software which will take the nature recordings and translate them into words and language patterns. Transcripts from her activities will be used to develop her novel Love Songs for a Mortal. Lia will connect with a range of practitioners, film makers, musicians and visual artists to explore new techniques throughout the process.

Courtney Holm, FITZROY NORTH, $50,000
Fashion designer Courtney Holm will undertake research into the areas of zero waste, technology and customisation for the fashion industry. Courtney will explore advancements in robotics that are working to achieve zero waste in knitting as well as compostable stretch fibre. Her research and experimentation will inform the development of a new conceptual fashion collection.

Jonathan Homsey, GARDENVALE, $36,280
Dancer and choreographer Jonathan Homsey's 14-week project will explore how choreography and movement can create a sense of belonging within public spaces and connect diasporas, particularly in the LGBT+ and Asian communities. Jonathan will undertake creative research focussed on pedestrian movement, social dance and improvisation and undertake mentorships with leading choreographers. He will also travel to the US to attend events during Seattle's Pride month and undertake research with US Skinner Release Technique specialist Stephanie Skura. Connecting with Asian and queer choreographers and cultural leaders, Jonathan will explore how dance connects both trained and untrained dancers and will test his research through a series of public workshops and gatherings.

Lyndal Jones, FLEMINGTON, $41,400
Multi-disciplinary artist Lyndal Jones's four-month project will see her working with artists, horticulturalists and space experts to learn about the prospect of human colonies on Mars. It will commence with a residency at the Living Museum of the West where Lyndal will work with artist/writer and Mars specialist Annalea Beattie and set designer and special effects expert Paul Garry who has worked on films such as Star Wars.

Parisa Latifi and Reza Latifi, $37,997
Artists Parisa and Reza Latifi's four-month project will involve intensive research into the lives of Iran's LGBTQIA+ diaspora communities living in Turkey. They will then work with choreographer Tara Jade Samaya and with mentors Amiel Courtin-Wilson (filmmaker and artist) and Roslyn Oades (theatre maker) to explore new ways of telling these stories.

Jo Lloyd, ST KILDA EAST, $47,000
Over four months choreographer Jo Lloyd will seek to expand her choreographic method by undertaking research into new dance methodologies. She will work solo and with a composer and team of established and emerging dancers. Jo will also develop a form of notation that captures her choreographic method and could be used as a way of archiving her work so it can be remounted or further developed in the future.

Mama Alto, FITZROY NORTH, $35,000
Over six months, cabaret artist and musician Mama Alto will undertake intensive research into the concept of the 'Diva' and society's relationship to ideas of womanhood and performance. This will include historical research and interviews with leading performers, as well 'in progress' showcase events to test and trial new theatre, musical and cabaret works that draw on the research.

Luke Miller, FITZROY, $27,620
Game developer Luke Miller will undertake a 13-week research period exploring new filmmaking and game development processes to inform the development of a new artistic game concept. This will include experimenting with bandwidth volumetric capture, where footage is captured that can be viewed on flat screens as well as 3D and VR devices, and passive interaction where the character in the scene reacts to the player based on their location rather than anything they do with their controller. Luke's process will be shared via articles and the code behind his low bandwidth volumetric capture footage will be made available for other developers and filmmakers to access.

Jack Mitchell and Thomas Dudley, BRUNSWICK, $38,000
Architect Jack Mitchell and writer and artist Thomas Dudley will explore how urban development can benefit from cultural knowledge, with a focus on exploring First Peoples' relationships to water. They will conduct research and engage with Melbourne’s creative sector, First Peoples community organisations, design professionals and government bodies. They will create a podcast that shares cultural knowledge about water and highlights how these learnings can be incorporated into Melbourne's future urban development.

Justin Olstein, ST KILDA EAST, $25,897
Filmmaker Justin Olstein's five-month project will see him undertaking intensive research into Orthodox Judaism's stance on homosexuality. He will consult with community members including rabbis, scholars and LBGTIQ advocates to enhance his understanding of a range of perspectives. He will then work with actors in a workshop environment to test potential story and character ideas. This process will inform the development and writing of a feature film treatment.

Anthony Pateras, THORNBURY, $32,706
Musician and composer Anthony Pateras will undertake a three-month period of research and experimentation exploring the links between sound and medicine to inform a major new electro-acoustic composition. Anthony will explore the many and varied physiological and psychological ways the ear, the body and the mind can react to sound and how to incorporate his discoveries into his music.

Oscar Raby, DOCKLANDS, $39,815
Over six months, multimedia artist Oscar Raby will explore the notion of control and user agency in virtual reality storytelling. Oscar will speak with world-leading experts on interactive narrative including video game designer Dan Pinchbeck (Dear Esther), game developer, VR filmmaker and writer Navid Khonsari (GTA), and director/writer David Cronenberg (Existenz). He will also undertake a series of VR experiments and conduct research at the National Theatre in London to explore how actors inhabit their characters. The project will inform a future work that bridges VR and stage performance.

Lisa Radford and Yhonnie Scarce, EAST MELBOURNE, $37,745Over three months, artists Lisa Radford and Yhonnie Scarce will travel to historical sites, museums and memorials across America, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Japan and Australia that commemorate genocide and/or nuclear destruction. They will undertake research and extensively document these sites and their learnings will inform the development of new visual art works and a publication.

Emma Roberts and Ben Andrews, COBURG NORTH, $38,598
Over four months, creative producer Emma Roberts and virtual reality designer Ben Andrews will explore the creative possibilities of multi-sensory virtual reality (MVR). They will research MVR technologies and develop and test a series of virtual reality prototypes that seek to produce, recreate or amplify feelings of awe for audience members.

Efterpi Soropos, WEST FOOTSCRAY, $33,000
Over three months, cross-practice designer Effe Soropos will conduct research into the development of purpose-built artistic environments, or 'access spaces', that allow people with diverse neural and cognitive abilities to access performative, visual and sound-based art works. During this time Effe will interview leading access and engagement specialists in both Sydney and Melbourne, experiment with current technologies in immersive environments and spend time reading, writing and formulating the basis for her new concept that will inform her work for future projects.

Alexander Swords, FITZROY, $49,300
Writer and narrative designer for games, Alexander Swords will undertake research over five months to develop a framework for designing and writing games narratives. He will work with practitioners from a range of game genres to develop and test the framework which will ultimately be made available to any creative wishing to work in this emerging interactive space.

TeePee Studios, DOCKLANDS, $22,716
Digital media production company TeePee Studios will spend three months investigating ways to improve and streamline their workflows to increase productivity and efficiency as their film and games development workload increases. This will include researching and testing new software, hardware and tools, training to expand their technical skills and a redesign of their internal network to reduce the impact of time-intensive processes such as rendering. They will share their learnings with other companies working in the VFX and digital games space.

Jessica Wilson, HEIDELBERG HEIGHTS, $31,000
Theatre maker Jessica Wilson will undertake research and development for a new work that will explore how children from a broad range of cultural backgrounds relate to landscape and place. This collaborative project will be developed in partnership with Aboriginal anthropologist Suzi Hutchings, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Artplay and the Boon Wurrung Foundation.

David Woods and The Small Collective, BRUNSWICK, $50,000
Over six months, multi-disciplinary artist collective The Small Collective will work with renowned directors and choreographers to explore diverse performances practices ranging from theatre to comedy to contemporary dance. The process will support the group to refine their performance style and showcase practical and democratic ways of developing inclusive performances.