Geelong Arts Centre announces next round of Creative Engine grants for development of new works

GAC-GR-The-Devils-GripFollowing an overwhelmingly positive response to the launch of their 2021 Creative Engine grant round in June, Geelong Arts Centre is thrilled to announce the nine recipients of their 2021 Creative Engine Ignition, Place To Make and Jump Start grants.

The grants, both financial and in-kind studio access within the arts centre’s landmark Ryrie Street building, are designed to directly benefit local G21 artists and other artists with strong connections to our community in their pursuit to develop fresh, innovative, and exciting work.

The selected projects span multiple artistic disciplines, including dance, magic, theatre and docu-film, but share in common their ability to meet the program’s three selection criteria: connection, innovation and thoughtfulness.

In 20/21 Geelong Arts Centre’s Creative Engine provided over $69,000 though cash and in-kind contributions to artists to pay them to spend time on their new creative work. This supported local Geelong companies such as Geelong Lyric Theatre Society, Essential Theatre, The Space Company and Bravo Arts.

“We are proud to provide grants to a number of phenomenal local G21 artists, across a diverse array of disciplines,” said Geelong Arts Centre CEO & Creative Director, Joel McGuinness. “We take pride in being able to enable these artists with the space, guidance, and support to develop works that are unique and bold in concept.”

“The beauty of Geelong Arts Centre’s Creative Engine grant program, is that not only will these brilliant creatives receive project-specific support, they now also join a community of likeminded artists who will undoubtedly mould and shape their project development and broader artistic practice.”

Having originally set out to award six grants in 2021, Geelong Arts Centre, due to the outstanding quality of submissions received, was delighted to award grants to nine successful applicants totalling $86,000 consisting of cash and in-kind venue access.

Creative Engine will continue to offer regular grant rounds to invest in emerging projects produced by those with a strong connection to the Greater Geelong region, with the next due to be announced early next year.

With a new grant round, exciting events and artistic development opportunities on the horizon, stay up to date with what’s happening at Geelong Arts Centre’s Creative Engine by visiting and signing up to the e-newsletter.

For more information about all works supported by Geelong Arts Centre’s Creative Engine, visit: for details.

Image: The Devil’s Grip – courtesy of Gavin Roach and Geelong Arts Centre

Geelong Arts Centre’s Creative Engine Recipients:

Ignition Recipients:

Rattus is an urban thriller by writer and director Elias Jamieson Brown, set in the industrial heartland of Geelong. The play blends real history with folklore to explore trauma, privilege, and the intersection of addiction and faith. Rattus is inspired by the Barwon Heads cancer cluster, and Elias plans to conduct interviews with local activists, and families whose lives have been affected by contamination. Elias is looking to develop this project with a trusted dramaturg, and three local actors. The play will be designed to tour effectively with minimal reliance on set and props.

Bec Goring’s Sounds of Olfactory aims to redefine the boundaries and challenge the constructs of what we consider live performance to be. The work will explore to what depth a multi-sensory live performance can connect with the community. This project aims to redefine the boundaries and challenge the constructs of what we consider live performance to be. The themes of ‘Mindfulness, Chaos and Affluence‘ will be explored by local visual and sound artists working across a range of mediums.

Jump Start Recipients:

Perfect Pairing
is an original collaboration between Attitude Dance Company and The Hot Chicken Project, by director/choreographer Xavier McGettigan and wine expert/presenter Laura Viva. The project is a wine tasting with an arts twist: pairing wine with food? No, they’ll be pairing wine with dance! Professional dancers, wines, and original dance pieces will be developed with a focus on local wines and creatives.

Roaring is a new immersive theatre experience that plunges its audience into 1920s Geelong. This development will be led by Geelong producer-and-actress, Libby Brockman, in collaboration with award-winning writer Fleur Murphy, seasoned-director Rachel Baring, and local Geelong actors. Artistically inspired by grand-scale immersive works such as The Malthouse’s Because The Night and London’s A Drowned Man, and bolstered by the team’s 10yrs+ experience in immersive and intimate theatre productions, this is an exciting work made by and for the Geelong community. The initial stage of research will see the team explore Geelong’s infamous stories, and, with a dash of creative licence, draw upon this city’s forgotten history to generate an array of charming suspects and a world of grit and excitement.

Magic Adventures by Dazzling Dan is an innovative, interactive video that enables the viewer to interact with the narrative/video-feed responding to questions asked directly by the actor on screen, interact with props in the video, and engage and take part in the direction of a dramatic narrative (akin to ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’). Not just a passive video, Magic Adventures is an immersive, interactive experience. The interface fuses pre-recorded video, interactive video software and alternative scripted endings. The audience is engaged and taken on a virtual magic trip around Geelong. The project was inspired in isolation, when Dan was thinking about how to deliver magic escapism via video, yet still make the audience feel like they were getting out and exploring the community, which is where Dazzling Dan loves performing most.

A Decorated Place is a dance work by performer and choreographer Caroline Meaden that takes its cues from films featuring wandering women. Women who take up residence inside other people – in their houses, workplaces, cars, diaries and dreams. It is a watery work that deals with the slippage between people and objects and landscapes, through a choreographic lens. This is an expansion of a piece that had its beginnings in lockdown last year, and will build on source materials, writing and sketches that were gathered at home. The dancer ‘plays’ at acting, and she uses language to move her.

Created by writer/performer/producer Gavin Roach and set in the Western District’s prized pastoral lands and rolling Barrabool Hills, the story at the centre of The Devil’s Grip is deeply connected to the Geelong area – investigating the murky mysteries that lurk beneath one of Victoria’s gruesome true crime stories – the triple murder of the Wettenhall family at the Stanbury Estate. Combining elements of Australian gothic storytelling and a documentary style narrative, the creative team will investigate innovative ways to construct each character and the world in which they inhabit, as well as integrating the unique sounds and scenery of the surrounding Geelong wilderness.

Place To Make Recipients:

is a first stage creative development for a new local dance theatre work made and performed by Helen Duncan and Zoee Marsh. Guided and facilitated by the performers, the work will offer audiences an innovative, gentle, immersive and sensory performance experience. Performers and audience will work together to stay connected, regardless of how far apart they may be, as they try to bridge the loss of experience distance has created.

Two women want to live, and a spacecraft is about to die. 20 years ago Pandi’s two children were kidnapped and murdered by their father. He died in prison without revealing their burial place. Kaz is an amateur astronomer, fascinated with the Cassini space mission. Now tracing Cassini’s final journey before burns up in the rings of Saturn, Kaz believes she knows where Pandi’s children lie. As Cassini transits final messages to those on earth, Kaz and Pandi form a bond, created by grief, cemented by hope, coming to understand the delicate harmonies of gravity, the ingredients of life. This project is presented by Christine Davey and Skin of Our Teeth Productions.