Applications open for the 2016 SAM Alumni Residency Program

2 May 2016

Applications are now open for the 2016 SAM Alumni Residency Program

Returning in 2016, the SAM Alumni Residency Program is an initiative aimed at supporting recent graduates from the School of the Arts & Media (SAM) in their professional creative endeavours. The residency supports the development of a specific project, and is open to alumni from all disciplines in the school. Residents can use the school’s rehearsal spaces, recording studios, audio-visual equipment, workshops, and props and costume stores, all with access to the expertise of the staff in the Creative Practice Lab.

Along with access to facilities and resources the selected artist(s) will be awarded a grant up to $5,000.

Last year's SAM Alumni Resident artist Anya McKee, who graduated from UNSW with a BA Arts (Dance), took up a three-week residency with SAM in November 2015. As part of the program, Anya collaborated with aerialist dance artist LeeAnne Litton.

Anya reflected on her time and process at the residency:

"Coming together, our aim was to create a duet that combined the thoughtfulness of contemporary dance, the sensitivity of a contact improvisation duet, and dynamism of aerial dance to flesh-out the multifaceted relationship the female body has to power.

Our joint vision began with the agreed strength of an image with two women 'leashed' to their structural surrounds. Its strength we discovered was in its simplicity. Two separate rigging points set side by side, long enough so the harnessed performer could walk unrestricted, short enough so she could be suspended if the limbs are withdrawn. This created a double-edged sword of freedom and restriction. It was fertile ground to explore physically and comment on the chosen theme and its social implications.

We discovered that though contemporary dance, aerial and contact have many physical similarities, there are an equal amount of differences. There was much to learn about each other's processes for generating work. On a purely physical level we negotiated different relationships to gravity, engaging with tasking, physical endurance levels and how we organise the day to optimise our energy levels in and out of the harness. On a technical level, we problem solved around the myriad of options and requirements for fusing these styles, choosing appropriate set ups that could be explored within our time frame. On a creative level, we began to discover each others' processes for making and communicating and how they might marry with the theme that we had given ourselves. We where certainly never short of things to do in this beautiful gifted space at UNSW.

The SAM Alumni Residency Program gave us the time, space and most importantly support needed in order to try something new. A new creative partnership, a new idea, a new way of thinking about and potential for making work. The residency allowed us to generate a vocabulary and creative process to allow us to continue working going forward. There is no doubt that this could be the beginning of something beautiful. We found out during our time at UNSW that we were successful in securing a STRUT SEED Residency, fortunate enough to be travelling to Perth WA to continue our creative partnership in 2016."

Visit the SAM website for information and to download the application form.

Applications close 12pm, Monday 6 June 2016.


The SAM residency is supported by the UNSW Creative Practice Lab and UNSW Arts & Social Sciences.