Caitlin Mackenzie & Gabriel Comerford

Caitlin Mackenzie & Gabriel Comerford

Queensland-based dancer-choreographers Caitlin Mackenzie and Gabriel Comerford spent an Asialink residency at Rimbun Dahan in 2013, developing the duet work Uncommon Ground.

Gabriel and Caitlin studied together at Queensland University of Technology, where they were featured as a duo by various choreographers including Csaba Buday, Vanessa Mafe and Alice Hine. Since university they have established a professional partnership and work together on several platforms. They are founding members of emerging dance collective MakeShift, and were selected to perform in Backstage at the Ballet Russes at the National Gallery of Australia, performing an excerpt of an adaptation of The Ballet Russes’ Petrushka. They have choreographed for QL2’s Chaos project and have performed in Toowoomba, in the Ausdance Queensland Bell Tower II Series, the Brisbane Festival, and at the Judith Wright Centre for Contemporary Arts.

 

Uncommon Ground is a cross-cultural, interdisciplinary work that depicts a story of two identities coming together in one place, transitioning through friction, destruction, compromise and progression, concluding with something that extends beyond the sum of its parts. This concept speaks to an internal and external landscape; a personal struggle to discover and understand oneself and the realities of living in a diverse and ever-changing society.

Uncomfortable within your own skin.
Uncertain of the land beneath your feet.
A place to call home.
Indigenous to where.

 

Uncommon Ground was performed on Wednesday 4 December 2013 at the Fonteyn Studio Theatre in Petaling Jaya. A site-specific version was presented at the Melaka Art + Performance Festival. The performance included live music by Malaysian musician Gideon Alubakhan Chen.

This is an Asialink Arts Residency Project supported by Arts Queensland and the Australia-Malaysia Institute.

Julie Ryder

JulieRyderArtist’s statement:

Julie Ryder is a textile designer and artist who lives and works in Canberra. Initially trained in science, Ryder graduated from the Melbourne College of Textiles in 1990, and completed a Master of Arts (Visual Arts) degree at ANU, School of Art in 2004. In 2005, Julie was awarded the inaugural ANAT Synapse New Media Artist in Residence at the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra. She has been the recipient of many awards and grants, most notably the Gold Medal at the 1997 International Textile Design Competition in Taegu, Korea, the 2004 CAPO Singapore Airlines Award, a 2006 Australia Council VAB New Work Grant, and several grants from artsACT. She has undertaken several artist residencies, including Hill End, Iceland and Bundanon and is a 2013 Asialink Visual Arts Resident at Rimbun Dahan.

During her 3-month stay at Rimbun Dahan Julie will be completing work for an upcoming solo exhibition later this year, and will be starting new work using the plants growing here as dye sources for both paper and textiles. She will also explore traditional textile and fibre techniques to inform future work.

She has exhibited in many solo and group exhibitions, both nationally and internationally, and is represented in the collections of the NGA; NGV; Powerhouse Museum; AGSA; BRAG; Textile Museum, Tilberg, Netherlands; Tamworth City Gallery, CSIRO, and many other public and private collections worldwide.

See Julie’s blog of experiences at Rimbun Dahan on her website: www.julieryder.com.au

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Lina Limosani

Lina Limosani

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Australian dancer and choreographer Lina Limosani undertook an Asialink residency at Rimbun Dahan in 2008, during which time she developed and presented the full-length contemporary dance work A Delicate Situation. Lina returned in 2012 for a short redevelopment of the work, with Australian dancer Carol Wellman-Kelly.

About the Artist

Lina Limosani graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts in 1999 and became a member of the Australian Dance Theatre (ADT) from 2000-2005. In 2003 she was awarded the Emerging Artist award by the Adelaide Critics Circle for her works in ADT’s in-house choreographic seasons of Ignition. In 2004 Lina was nominated for a Green Room Award for her performance in The Age of Unbeauty at the Melbourne Festival. She also featured in Anton’s dance film When You’re Alone, which was a finalist in the 2004 Reel Dance International Dance on Screen Awards.

After leaving ADT Lina worked with artists including Narelle Benjamin, Lucy Guerin and Gideon Obarzanek. She has since maintained a performance career both in Australia and New Zealand, and gone on to create her own works independently. Lina’s works are known for their fast, aggressive movement style, as well as their humour, and use of speech and theatre.

Below: Suhaili Micheline rehearsing for the redevelopment of ‘A Delicate Situation’ in the studio at Rimbun Dahan.

Residency in 2012

Australian choreographer Lina Limosani has returned to Rimbun Dahan on a short redevelopment of the work A Delicate Situation, which she created at Rimbun Dahan in 2008.

Accompanied by Australian dancer Carol Wellman-Kelly, and reconnecting with Malaysian dance Suhaili Micheline Ahmad Kamil who was involved in the original work, Lina reformed A Delicate Situation to confront different cultural approaches to death, dying and the afterlife.

The original work investigated Malaysian superstition through the story of the pontianak, a female vampire ghost believed to have died at childbirth. The redeveloped version is also set in Malaysia, but is the story of a Western woman’s struggle to come to terms with death surrounded by a culture saturated in legend, myth and superstition.

“What I found compelling [with the pontianak] is the seemingly universal necessity for humans to personify death,” says Lina. “This tendency became central to A Delicate Situation and it was through the character of Death that I invite the viewer to be deeply drawn into the work. Death, its personification in the lore surrounding it, and the fear that accompanies it remain fundamental in A Delicate Situation.”

The finished work will premier in the inSPACE program at the Adelaide Festival Centre in August 2012. Lina Limosani and Carol Wellman-Kelly’s residencies at Rimbun Dahan in May 2012 are supported by Arts SA.

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Below: Lina Limosani, Carol Wellman-Kelly and Suhaili Micheline learning the classical Malay dance tari inai from Malaysian dancer Hasmizan Abdul Hamid from ASWARA.

Residency in 2008

Lina was resident at Rimbun Dahan from September to December 2008, with the support of a performing arts grant from Asialink. During her stay, she created a new contemporary dance work for performance in December 2008. She collaborated with physical theatre artist Al Seed and costume designer Eve Lambert who were resident at Rimbun Dahan for short periods.

Lina Limosani worked with four accomplished local dancers — Elaine Pedley, Suhaili Ahmad Kamil, Low Shee Hoe and Rathimalar Govindarajoo — to create A Delicate Situation, a full-length performance with a strong visual and emotional impact, which was performed at Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre in December 2008.

Rebecca Stevens

Rebecca Stevens

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Bec Stevens undertook a three month residency at Rimbun Dahan in 2012, in association with Asialink. Bec is a Hobart-based visual artist whose work is underpinned by studies in Architecture and Horticulture. She graduated from the University of Tasmania’s: School of Art in 2003 and School of Architecture and Design in 1999.

Her practice is site-responsive and inter-disciplinary, using a range of mediums as tools to respond to the social and historical nuances of constructed environments. More specifically she is interested in, and responds to public spaces that are left-over, in-between states or unplanned, often resulting in works that reflect on processes of development or entropy.

Bec frequently uses plant material within works, and during her time at Rimbun Dahan she intends to respond directly to the garden of indigenous Southeast Asian species. She is interested in the garden as an island of biodiversity in the context of the surrounding area of Kuala Lumpur, particularly in light of the rare and endangered species it holds; and in the social customs and specific relationships to botanic species. Alongside this she is interested in the rates of change, growth and decay in the region, in terms of the inherent maintenance required for living in a place that sits in close proximity to the equator, and she intends to use this as impetus for developing work.

Bec Stevens recent projects and exhibitions include: ‘STOP. REST. PLAY.’ (2011) commissioned as an activity of the CWA CBD Branch; ‘Lookout’ at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (2010) and ‘Canopy’ (2008) commissioned for the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. She has received funding from Arts Tasmania for numerous projects and in 2009 was the recipient of a New Work Grant through the Australia Council for the Arts. In 2010 she completed a Studio Residency at Contemporary Art Spaces Tasmania and she is currently the recipient of the Curatorial Mentorship through Contemporary Art Spaces Tasmania. She is an active member of the CWA CBD Branch, see www.cwa-cbdbranch.com.

Rob McHaffie

Rob McHaffie

Pave Paradise and Put Up A Pavilion. 2011, oil on board, 31 x 23cm. Contributed to the fundraising event Art for Nature 2011.

Australian artist Rob McHaffie undertook a 3-month Asialink residency at Rimbun Dahan in 2011.

“Each day at Rimbun Dahan I am making a drawing that responds to a verse in the Tao te Ching, Lao Tsu’s book of wisdom. The Tao could be said to be the way of nature and is a guide for people to live in harmony with the universe. Drawing inspiration form Malaysia’s fantastic but depleting wildlife and the spirituality of people living here I hope to find some interesting imagery and stories that will illuminate where we are heading and the possibility of living sustainable peaceful lives.”

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Biography

Rob McHaffie is a Melbourne based artist, having graduated from Victorian College of the Arts drawing department in 2002.The images in McHaffie’s paintings are often derived from shapes formed from roughly assembled and seemingly mismatched objects. Rather than paint from life, McHaffie chooses what could be described as the poor man’s life model, sculpting characters from modeling compound and adding scraps of fabric, discarded clothes and bric-a-brac to create imagined portraits and tableaus. This method contributes to an unusual mixture of pathos and amusement in the paintings. The scenes depicted might simply be laughable, if it were not for the fact that the artist has captured within each scene (and echoed within each title) certain life truths.

Rob’s daily practice consists of diary and journal work, and collecting found and personal imagery to form the basis of his drawing, painting and sculpture. Rob participated in exhibitions and residencies in Australia, New Zealand, France, and the USA and is represented by Darren Knight Gallery in Sydney, and Brett McDowell Gallery in Dunedin.

Daniel Jaber

Daniel Jaber

danieljaberAustralian choreographer Daniel Jaber undertook an Asialink residency at Rimbun Dahan in 2010, with Australian dancers Jessie Mckinlay and Madeline Edwards. He created two works during the residency: WG-Spiel, with Jessie and Madeline, and Poetic Structure, with Malaysian dancers Lau Beh Chin, Hii Ing Fung, Stephanie Lim and Darius Lim Chee Wei. The works were presented at Fonteyn Studio Theatre in Petaling Jaya, from 19-20 November 2010.

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WG-Spiel (50 minutes)

WG Spiel delves into the lives and living habits of 3 housemates coexisting in close living quarters. Set to a vibrant and energetic electronic soundtrack, the work charges forth through images of domestic duties, working life, claustrophobia and relationships.

Performed by: Daniel Jaber, Jessie Mckinlay and Madeline Edwards.

poeticPoetic Structure (20 minutes)

Poetic structure redefines traditional choreography in the context of a modern world. Cyberspace, chartrooms and MSN form the communicative dialogues of the performers as they engage in wickedly abstract choreography created by CSS and HTML coding formulas. Commenting on communication, technology and digital engulfment in the 21st century – Poetic Structure is a sophisticatedly structured short dance work created by Daniel Jaber and featuring four outstanding Malaysian dancers.

Performed by: Beh Chin, Hii Ing Fung, Stephanie Lim and Darius Lim Chee Wei.

This program was made possible through an Asialink – performing arts residency and funded by The Government of South Australia through Arts SA, The Australia – Malaysia Institute, Carclew Youth Arts and Rimbun Dahan.

Anthony Pelchen

Anthony Pelchen

Asialink Resident Artist, 2010

Australian visual artist Anthony Pelchen spent three months at Rimbun Dahan on an Asialink residency in 2010. During his stay he contributed works to the 2010 Art for Nature exhibition, and helped to produce the Melaka Art & Performance Festival 2010. In 2013 he presented the exhibition Kuang Road Prayer at the Horsham Regional Arts Gallery in Horsham, Australia, with works inspired and begun during his time at Rimbun Dahan.

Anthony Pelchen in his studio at Rimbun Dahan, photographing Shima, who lives and works at Rimbun Dahan.

Anthony Pelchen in his studio at Rimbun Dahan, photographing Shima, who lives and works at Rimbun Dahan.

Kuang Road Prayer

Kuang Road Prayer - work in progress, Malaysia, July 2010 C type print, 29.9 x 42cm.

Kuang Road Prayer – work in progress, Malaysia, July 2010 C type print, 29.9 x 42cm.

In 2010 on an Asialink artist residency at Rimbun Dahan, Malaysia, Pelchen witnessed life in the balance and produced the foundation of a body of work titled Kuang Road Prayer.

Through reflection and continued artistic engagement with Malaysia, Pelchen has expanded this evocative body of work. Issues of change, vulnerability and resilience, at the core of  Kuang Road Prayer, are explored in this exhibition through drawing, photography, video and sculpture.

The exhibition entitled Kuang Road Prayer was opened by Angela Hijjas at the Horsham Regional Arts Gallery on 18 August 2013 — read the opening speech here. For more about Kuang Road Prayer, see Anthony Pelchen’s website.

Biography

Born 1960 in Horsham in North West Victoria, Anthony Pelchen studied Economics at Monash University and a decade later painting at the Victorian College of the Arts.

Common to all his work is an overriding interest in the fine lines and shifts between physical and psychological states and how a dominance of one inevitably points to the absence and potential of another. This has involved work across media – painting, drawing, photography, video, sculpture and installation – all incorporating elements of repetition, austerity and subtle change within set structures.

Throughout the 1990s he lived in Melbourne and exhibited widely in artist-run, institutional and alternative spaces. He has exhibited twice in Osaka and has been represented in various surveys of painting and drawing over the past twelve years. He has had numerous residencies in Australia and Japan and has been the recipient of Arts Victoria grants for new work, presentation and international cultural exchange.

Since 1998 he has periodically collaborated with Melbourne-based performers Yumi Umiumare and Tony Yap in gallery, church, landscape and performance environments in Australia, Japan and Denmark. Between 1999 and 2007, he jointly conducted Butoh/drawing workshops at his base on the Wimmera River, west of Horsham. In 2007 he continued a biennial use of the local Natimuk Lutheran Church as an installation space, collaborating with 222 local and Japanese children.

In 2008/9 he participated in Drought – Cross Cultural Collaborations. Curated by Lella Cariddi,  it resulted in new solo and collaborative work being presented in 2008 in Melbourne at the National Gallery of Victoria, Australian Centre for the Moving Image and Federation Square. In 2009, installation work was commissioned for the Murray Darling Palimpsest #7, Mildura, and the Gold Mining Exchange Building in Ballarat.

His work is represented in collections including the National Gallery of Victoria, John McBride Collection, Australian Print Workshop and Artbank.

Since 2000, he has lived back on land on the Wimmera River in NW Victoria.

Patricia Sykes

Patricia Sykes

Australian poet and librettist Patricia Sykes spent her 2006 residency at Rimbun Dahan working on the libretto for a full-length opera, The Navigator, a collaborative work with composer Liza Lim. Sykes travelled through Malaysia and to Cambodia’s Angkor Wat researching culture and society in order to enrich her libretto and develop the theatrical aspects of the opera. Sykes is the author of two poetry collections and has edited four books of poetry.  Her work focuses strongly on the interactions between people and their contexts and her residency helped explore how a host culture nurtures itself, its people and the environment.

Supported by the Australia Council.

Suzanne Ingleton

Suzanne Ingleton has been at the forefront of political cabaret and stand-up comedy since the mid-seventies, touring widely in Australia and overseas, writing and producing for television and community arts projects.  During this residency Ingleton completed a play dealing with the Malayan Emergency of the fifties, Flower of Malaya, and visited local communities in Kelantan to undertake field study and research into shamanism and performance which will feed into her book Being There in Spirit.

Jayne Fenton Keane

In 2005, Australian poet Jayne Fenton-Keane spent an Asialink residency in India, Singapore, and at Rimbun Dahan in Malaysia.

Jayne Fenton-Keane is a poet, new media artist and composer who takes poetry to different spaces with her poetry-sound fusions, installations and performances. The author of three poetry books, Torn, Ophelia’s Codpiece and The Transparent Lung, Keane is an award winner in several genres, is completing a doctorate on embodiment and spatial poetics, and the founding Director of National Poetry Week. During her residency Keane explored pilgrimage as a creative method for inviting new knowledge into her writing. Activities included a residency at Rimbun Dahan in Malaysia, a residency at the Singapore Poetry Festival and appearances with the CGH Earth Chain in India.