Creative State Commissions – Round Two Shortlist Revealed

Back to Back Theatre Ganesh Versus the Third Reich - photo by Jeff BusbyA diverse selection of trailblazing creative ideas has been shortlisted for the second round of the Creative State Commissions program – groundbreaking projects that will boost Victoria’s reputation as a creative state, attract tourism and make a lasting impact on creative careers and the wider community.

Drawn from a field of twenty-five submissions, the shortlisted projects will each receive a $20,000 grant for further concept development and testing, including undertaking detailed feasibility studies. The shortlist ranges from major public art programs to augmented reality and film-based projects. Several projects have a statewide remit while others will work to connect towns and communities in key areas across the state.

In addition to the eight project shortlisted for the latest round, SIREN – a project along the Great Ocean Road shortlisted in the first round of the program, will take up its grant for concept development and feasibility work. Shortlisted projects have until late September to undertake their development and feasibility work, after which one to three projects will be selected to receive between $300,000 and $1 million to bring their creative ideas to life.

In July, the first Creative State Commission was awarded to ILBIJERRI Theatre Company, in partnership with Boonwurrung Custodian Caroline Martin (Director and Founder, Yalukit Marnang) for Bagurrk (woman) – a major three-year theatre project. The multifaceted project will celebrate the untold stories of Victorian Koorie women from before colonisation to the present day and will forge new methods for making art based on First Peoples history and experiences.

Creative State Commissions – Round Two Shortlist:

Monash University on behalf of Brian Martin – $20,000
To develop the concept for, and explore the feasibility of, a major project that will bring artists Brian Martin and Daniel von Sturmer together with the Geelong-based Aboriginal-owned company Wathaurong Glass and Arts. In collaboration with Custodians and registered Aboriginal parties across the state, the project seeks to create glass and light-based sculptures that would be installed near eucalypt trees at significant Indigenous sites across Victoria. The sculptures would be a visual signpost to Country and would help to promote awareness and engagement with Aboriginal conceptions of Country, knowledge, kinship and connection.

Back to Back Theatre – $20,000
To undertake a feasibility study and develop the concept for adapting the award-winning production Ganesh Versus the Third Reich into a feature film. Using the existing stage script as its starting point, the Ganesh feature will incorporate the story of how the work made it to the stage, including public discourse around the question of representation in the work, and discussions that reflected on who has the right to tell a story and who we give voice and power to in our community.

Her Place Women’s Museum Australia – $20,000 
To undertake a feasibly study and develop the concept for a portable pavilion inspired by the form and symbolism of the conch shell that could travel around Victoria, presenting the programs of the Her Place Women’s Museum to diverse audiences.

Swinburne University on behalf of Troy Innocent with Millipede and one step at a time like this – $20,000 
To undertake a feasibility study and develop the concept for 64 Ways of Being – an interactive digital and augmented reality mobile experience. This new work will transform Melbourne into a playable city through an inventive blend of live art, game design and public art. It will connect people and place across 64 urban environments while exploring Melbourne’s identity through its creative, linguistic, cultural, social and urban diversity.

Not Yet It’s Difficult – $20,000 
To develop the concept and undertake a feasibility study for XV – a major project led by David Pledger, that will bring together a culturally diverse team of artists, writers, filmmakers and programmers with community members to create a mass public artwork that will explore the many characteristics, identities, narratives and communities of Melbourne’s metropolitan rail network. Commencing with a series of films that explore the diversity of Melbourne’s suburban train lines, the project will grow to create an interface that empowers any train traveller to create their own digital story that reflects on their experience on one of the 15 train lines.

Auspicious Arts Projects on behalf of Dan Koop, Jamie Lewis and Erin Milne – $20,000 
To develop the concept and undertake a feasibility study for SALT WATER BAY – a project that will celebrate the various ways the water connects communities around Narrm/Port Phillip Bay. The project will bring artists together with six different bayside communities to create major new contemporary artworks inspired by the unique cultural and environmental qualities of each location. The project would culminate in a year-long program celebrating local arts and culture, geography and science, recreation and leisure.

Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation – $20,000 
To develop the concept and undertake a feasibility study for TINKER, RUMBLE, SPLOSH! – a statewide series of interactive installations and performances for children, designed by a team of multi-disciplinary artists and world-leading paediatric health experts from the Royal Children’s Hospital working in partnership with children. Part public artwork, part performing space, part play space, each installation will be designed to be fun and interactive for all children but it will also be designed to be used by paediatric health professionals as a therapeutic tool for children with disabilities and medical conditions who require specialist care, intervention or rehabilitation.

Arts Centre Melbourne and Robert Walton – $20,000
For creative development of The Child of Now – an interactive live and augmented reality spectacle generated from the faces, gestures and hopes for the future of 15,000 Victorians. The 100-meter tall augmented reality ‘Child of Now’ would inhabit the city for 10 days, connecting participants with an imagined ‘future Melbourne’ 100 years into the future. This project has also received support from the City of Melbourne.

Geelong Art Gallery Incorporated on behalf of Lisa Sullivan – $20,000
To undertake a feasibility study and develop the concept for an immersive art journey along the Great Ocean Road. SIREN is conceived as a major winter encounter by Emily Sexton and Gideon Obarzanek, in partnership with Geelong Gallery. Large-scale works spanning sound, installation, light and dance will require visitors to undertake an artistic pilgrimage along this unique and dramatic coastline.

For more information about the Creative State Commissions, visit: for details.

Image: Back to Back Theatre to develop Ganesh Versus the Third Reich into a feature film – photo by Jeff Busby