R&D TIME LINE
28 August to 4 September 2017: a multidisciplinary crew of creatives, led by Stalker Theatre Company’s creative director and Big Skies Collaborator David Clarkson, spent a week together as artists-in-residence at historic Bundanon, near Nowra, NSW, to workshop an immersive theatre event for the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing in 2019.
This was our first R&D gathering, but one of many we’ll participate in over the next two years as we develop this show. That’s some of us in Danielle Bluff’s photo at the top of the page: from left, artist/curator Djon Mundine OAM; new media interaction artist Andrew Bluff, from the Creativity & Cognition Studios, UTS; designer/producer Annamarie Dalziel; dramaturg Margie Breen; Stalker‘s artistic director David Clarkson; interaction/software designer and musician Andrew Johnston, also from the Creativity & Cognition Studios, UTS; animator and programmer Boris Bagattini (aka Chris Wilson); and writer Merrill Findlay. Absent from this photo are artist Julie Vulcan and animator Simon Rippingale, who also participated in the Bundanon workshops, as you’ll see in the photos below.
Our 2019 production will be set in Wiradjuri Country in inland NSW, so our next R&D excursion will be to Bathurst, Parkes (including the Parkes Observatory) and Condobolin. Lots of ideas and some very lofty ambitions … but we need to do much more talking, research and planning before we can tell you anything more.
April 2017: Big Skies Collaboration‘s co-founder Merrill Findlay visits Sydney to see Stalker’s Creature: Dot and the Kangaroo at the Opera House and attend a reception hosted by Stalker board member Professor Emerita Di Yerbury AO.
November 2016: Stalker Theatre and Creativity & Cognition Studios showcase some of the outcomes of their recent collaborations in the UTS Data Arena, a 360-degree interactive data visualisation facility in Ultimo, Sydney. As the university’s web site explains, “Viewers stand in the middle of a large cylindrical screen, four metres high and ten metres in diameter. A high-performance computer graphics system drives six 3D-stereo video projectors, edge-blended to create a seamless three-dimensional panorama.” Some of the prototypes showcased at this event will be integrated into our Big Skies production in 2019.
October 2016: Writer Merrill Findlay meets David Clarkson beside the Macquarie River in Dubbo the morning after a performance of his 2012 work Encoded, at the Dubbo Regional Theatre.
Read Merrill’s blog post, Doing the Arts/Science/Techno Thing in Inland NSW, about this meeting and the making of Encoded.
15 April 2016: A year after discussing the Big Skies Collaboration concept with composer Peter Kennard back in 2015, Merrill finally pitches her ideas to Stalker Theatre’s David Clarkson and other potential collaborators at Carriage Works, in Eveleigh, Sydney.
April 2015: Writer Merrill Findlay and composer/musician Peter Kennard meet in a Canberra cafe between performances of Monkey: Journey to the West at Canberra’s Playhouse Theatre, to discuss the Big Skies concept. Peter was Monkey’s composer, songwriter and musician at the time. He was also working with Stalker Theatre — and one day mentioned Big Skies to his old mate, Stalker’s creative director David Clarkson. Many emails and phone conversations later ….
All photos on this page by Merrill Findlay unless otherwise stated in the captions.
Page created by Merrill Findlay on 3 September 2017. Last updated 8 September 2017.