Next Wave announces Kickstart Helix artists

Next Wave Athena Thebus Kickstart Helix 2017 artistAustralia’s leading artist development organisation Next Wave has announced the latest cohort of participants in its prestigious and highly competitive development program, Kickstart Helix.

Following an unprecedented number of applications received from early-career practitioners nationwide, 17 artists, writers, curators, producers and collectives have been selected to participate in the program.

From fine printmakers, installation artists, curators and practitioners working in Islamic decorative arts through to Indigenous choreographers, zine-makers, queer performance makers and radical alter-egos, the selected participants represent a diverse cross section of identities, abilities and artistic practices operating in Australia today.

The selected participants are: Embittered Swish (VIC/NSW)Rosie Isaac (VIC)Luke Duncan King (VIC)Azja Kulpinska and Timmah Ball (VIC)Lady Producer Gang (ACT)Josh Muir and Adam Ridgeway (VIC)Zachary Pidd and Charles Purcell (VIC)Danielle Reynolds (VIC)Harrison Ritchie-Jones (VIC)Taree Sansbury (NSW)Zara Sigglekow (VIC)Sancintya Simpson (QLD)Brendan Snow (NT)Rhen Soggee (SA)Alex Tate and Olivia Tartaglia (WA)Shireen Taweel (NSW) and Athena Thebus (NSW).

Kickstart Helix is a year-long program of creative and professional development opportunities and intensive workshops, culminating in the presentation of bold and ambitious new work at Next Wave Festival in May 2018.

Having travelled across the country to meet with potential applicants during October and November 2016, Director/CEO Georgie Meagher and Creative Producer Erica McCalman are thrilled with the final selection.

“We say that a diverse conversation is the only conversation worth having – and this selection of projects is absolutely true to that,” said Georgie Meagher. “I couldn’t be more excited at the prospect of spending the next year with these great creative thinkers as they create some incredibly ambitious projects for Next Wave Festival 2018.”

“These 17 artists, producers, curators and writers are going to have an incredible journey with Next Wave over the next 18 months,” said Erica McCalman. “For the first time Kickstart Helix will have artists, writers, curators and producers learning, sharing and creating together. This provides an incredibly fertile place for participants to develop rich and challenging work, and revolutionise each other’s practice.”

Established in 1984, Next Wave is the most comprehensive platform in Australia for a new generation of artists taking creative risks. Next Wave produces unparalleled learning programs and a biennial festival which reflect a commitment to social and cultural diversity, environmental sustainability and inclusion.

Next Wave’s learning programs have launched the careers of some of Australia’s best and brightest new talent, including Barry Award-winning comedian Zoe Coombs Marr, four-time Archibald Prize nominee Abdul Abdullah, acclaimed dancer and choreographer Atlanta Eke, and Megan Cope – winner of the 2015 Western Australian Indigenous Art Prize for her Next Wave-developed work The Blaktism.

The next edition of Next Wave will take place in May 2018. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: courtesy of Athena Thebus – 2017 Kickstart Helix artist