Margaret is half of production company, Jo Ze spArks.

She just recently completed her PhD at Monash University titled Caring for Saibai Island Stories: conducting research and creating a performative story in an ethical and culturally appropriate way. Her Torres Strait Islander bloodline is from Saibai Island and Bamaga - Ait Koedal and Samu clans – as well as English heritage. Working across the medium of live performance and film, she is passionate in reclaiming Indigenous narratives that supports the continued survival, dignity and well-being of a people based on the philosophy of Caring for story.

The project

USULAL is a First Nation's Woman's solo theatre work exploring the Indigenous female form through myths & legends of the Torres Strait, connecting with Margaret’s bloodline of Saibai Island.  Crossing between music/sound design, physical form and digital visual design. The dominant narratives of the Indigenous female form are represented as perpetrator, victim or secondary to the man's story: this theatre piece seeks to support the power, strength, and the resilience of the Indigenous female body, and to repudiate the attempted erasure of; our softness and vulnerability, our capacity to heal, our ability to transform, and our propensity to nurture the world around us.

What does being awarded a Creators Fund grant mean to you?

I am deeply appreciative of the opportunity that the Creators Fund grant affords me. Creation of an artistic project rarely has a set time added to the project timeline to truly explore the form best suited to tell the story.  It enables me to throw a lot of material into the playing space and edit to fine tune the process and the creative work.

How important is 'time' to you, as an artist/creative professional?

Time is an elusive concept for humans – we are always chasing it. Being able to fully immerse myself in my creative practice in a full time capacity over three months is something I am in massive gratitude for. I feel I am constantly in the development process of works. One finished work is the beginning of a new work. Time gives me improvisation, investigation and fuelling of the imagination.

What are you most looking forward to over the months ahead?

The collaborative process in this project excites and inspires me engaging all the senses to bring this work to life.   I look forward to exploring the relationship of the watcher and the watched in regards to time and space, making the relationship between the audience and the performer more complex, emotionally and politically.

How do you anticipate your career will develop as a result? Where would like to see yourself at the end of this process?

I would love to have the project close to a fully realised performance work. I am an advocate for the reclamation of the Indigenous narrative so strengthening and refining my creative practice around this is what I am working towards.   By the end of this process I would like to have established stronger creative relationships with my collaborators and reinforced the protocols in the transference of cultural knowledge of my bloodline in the creation of a new work.