Some of Victoria's most innovative arts organisations are paving news ways to work overseas, leading to greater cultural exchange and economic opportunity, and enriched creative practice.
For many small to medium arts companies, international activity is part of their core business. Expanded audiences mean expanded earning potential, more opportunities to present work and opportunities for cost-sharing and other forms of production financing and resourcing. The traditional touring model sees shows transported, usually at significant cost, to foreign shores. But perhaps there are other ways to export our art?
Here, we investigate Victorian companies that have embarked on new experiments in international production. Working in partnership with local hosts, they have reduced costs, connected with new audiences and developed new creative relationships, using out-of-the-box means to bring their art to the world.
Snuff Puppets Journey from Java to Peru
Inspired by visiting Java in the wake of the deadly 2006 Pangandaran earthquake, Melbourne's Snuff Puppets returned to Indonesia several times over subsequent years, recruiting local artists for an Indo-Australian production called Wedhus Gembel. Read more
Australian Print Workshops' Antipodes
'We saw objects at the museum of archaeology and anthropology that were reportedly the only fully documented objects that Captain Cook 'collected' in Botany Bay. We went to the founder's library at the Fitzwilliam Museum, where we saw the Cook's Voyage books – 1st editions purchased in the years they were published,' says Anne Virgo, Director of Australian Print Workshop.
Chamber Made Opera's Wake
'The webs get deeper and more complex, the more time you spend overseas. It creates these snowballing opportunities. I could never have imagined that we'd be making work for the Limerick City of Culture before this project,' says Tim Stitz, Creative Director at Chamber Made Opera.
Malthouse Theatre's The Good Person of Szechuan
Working across Australian and Chinese theatrical practice, The Good Person of Szechuan also straddled languages.
Bus Projects' Put Up a Signal
In 2013, Bus Projects undertook an exploratory partnership with Ruang Mes 56 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.