SAM Alumni Residency 2017

20 Jul 2017

We are thrilled to announce the recipients of the SAM Alumni Residency for 2017.

Now in its third year, the SAM Alumni Residency supports our recent graduates in their professional creative endeavors. This flexible residency program is designed to support the development of a creative project and is open to Alumni from all disciplines in the School of the Arts and Media. With a record number of applications this year and a strong collection of projects, the selection panel decided to share the residency betweem two groups: a musical project from Sonya Holowell and Elia Bosshard; and a participatory theatre piece with Nick Atkins, Kevin Ng and Ryan McGoldrick.

These artists will be given access to SAM facilities and resources including rehearsal spaces, recording studios, audio-visual equipment, workshops, and props and costumes stores. They will benefit from access to the expertise of the staff in the UNSW Creative Practice Lab (CPL) and the UNSW Arts & Social Sciences Technical Resource Centre. This includes technical and production advice, access to industry networks, and design advice. A grant is awarded to the resident artists to help their developing project become a reality.

Read below for more about the two succesful projects and arists. We look forward to welcoming our alumni back into our spaces in August and December, and to sharing their work. 

With thanks to the selection panel: Tulleah Pearce, Adam Hulbert, Mel Holcombe, Paul Matthews.


Nick Atkins, Kevin Ng, Ryan McGoldrick: ‘Little Business’

It’s none of yours but it’s all of ours.

Filibuster is a next-generation political theatre company from performance-makers Nick Atkins, Ryan McGoldrick and Kevin Ng. We tell stories for the mini-masses in order to remember, re-mobilise and re-materialise the modern political mess.

Filibuster is hosting four Long Table performances from August to November at Customs House as part of City of Sydney’s Late Night Library series. These performances bring 12 participants into dialogue with 3 artists curated on a monthly basis. Hosted by the Filibuster team, each performance ambitiously seeks to ‘fix’ democracy and documents the groups inevitable failure. These are the people. This is our table. At the conclusion of The People’s Table we will have; audio recordings, written materials, testimonies and provocations from the participants as well as carry between us a gut instinct on the state of democracy in the city of Sydney.

We want to make a new show. After listening to the electorate and gathering our data, the Filibuster team plans to hack its way through the first stage development of a new performance informed by the findings of The People’s Table. What form this performance takes is up for grabs. We’re inspired by Version 1.0, Roslyn Oades, pvi Collective and Punch Drunk. In search of form and function we plan to riff on materials from The People’s Table - organising the texts we’ve gathered, writing new material off the back of it, experimenting with the audio content captured and distilling the lessons learned. 

Three Voices

Sonya Holowell & Elia Bosshard: 'Three Voices'

We are developing the musical work Three Voices by Morton Feldman, to be performed within a theatrical, concert framework. There will be 3 performances at Sydney Fringe Festival in mid-September 2017. The performance will be documented to develop a media package that will be presented to potential host venues for a national tour of the work in 2018.

Three Voices is a rarely-performed work of 50 minutes duration for 1 live singer & 2 pre-recorded vocal parts. Our performance explores how sudden life events can deeply affect the human psyche & alter our perception of the world. We are inspired by the delayed entry of the lyrics “Who’d have thought that snow falls,” & Sonya’s personal discovery of her Australian Indigenous heritage. Both cases involve a collision of known & unknown worlds, histories & identities, and evoke questions of reconciliation.

The venue provided by Sydney Fringe Festival is a unique space. It is a 1600m2 commercial warehouse to be used as a flexible black box space. The acoustics are a phenomenal addition to the work’s concept, allowing the 3 voices to resonate across the cavernous space.

Our wider artistic objective is to revolutionise the stigma of 20th-21st Century classical music as being a foreign & niche listening experience, by reforming concert structure, challenging & subverting conventions, audience relationships to & perceptions of classical performance.

This performance will be a notable signifier of our long-term artistic intentions & will be an important addition to our portfolio of work. Considering its earnest reception so far & the sizeable undertaking of this project, we feel 'Three Voices' has strong touring potential, also giving it a deserving longevity.