On the Couch with Gabrielle Leah New

Gabrielle Leah New AAR On the CouchWho is Gabrielle Leah New?
A dreamer, a visionary, a creative, a glass half full person with an adventurous spirit and a passion for life, learning, healing, and transformation.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I currently have two careers that I love. I am an Occupational Therapist and am privileged to work with people supporting their mental wellbeing and I am also an artist.

If I was to do things differently, I would never produce another show without secured funding because it is incredibly stressful and means that the artists end up doing everything, because there is no money to pay other people.

I love the balance between my careers and they are both very creative but if I were to have a different career maybe I’d be a philanthropist so that I can support artists to bring their visions to life, which would be very fulfilling.

Who inspires you and why?
The Knitting Nana’s: an international disorganisation that embodies the Archetype of the Crone. It’s an activist organisation that comes together to ensure that our land, air, and water are preserved for future generations. They fight the good fight against the greed and short-sightedness that is destroying land and dividing communities.

They use their craftiness; knitting, chatting over cuppas, and coming together peacefully to protect the planet and the future for all beings on Earth. I love them as they are the living embodiment of the ‘Crone Archetype’ we explore in our latest show, and offer us an example of how we can do things differently.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
If I had a magic wand I would dismantle the patriarchy, create a leadership structure that is shared between a diverse range of people (including the wise old women), end war, introduce a universal basic income, take real action on looking after the planet, and support healing and transformation for all. That’s the dream!

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Any holiday is good for me as long as it feels adventurous. I have spent a lot of my life living overseas and I love to travel. I try to get away regularly and usually have a big trip every two years for at least six weeks, but often longer. Many of my best friends live far away, so visiting them and spending time with them is a favourite thing to do.

I spent a number of years living in India during my formative years, so India holds a very dear place in my heart. If I could go tomorrow I would. It’s a massive and diverse country and there is always somewhere new to explore.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I live on the Mornington Peninsula so when friends visit they always want to go to the hot pools, which I am totally up for. I live by some of the most beautiful, amazing beaches in the world (and I’ve been to a few) so I take them for walks to the national park and the bay.

I love going to the Moonlit Sanctuary and doing one of their night tours because you get to pat and feed some of Australia’s most iconic native animals. Another highlight with overseas visitors is Healesville Sanctuary.

If I’m in the city we will go to art galleries and eat from Melbourne’s incredible selection of restaurants, usually ones that offer vegan food because I have a plant-based diet.

What are you currently reading?
I have just finished reading The Choice by Edith Egar. I don’t usually read things about the Holocaust, but this book jumped out at me. It is very hopeful, and I think we all need to feel hopeful in these challenging times.

What are you currently listening to?
I have recently discovered The Emerald Podcast and loved the two-part episode on Intuitives. It is very poetic – steeped in story, and myth, and well produced.

Happiness is?
…a walk on the beach, a long chat with a good friend, a beautiful meal made with love, cuddles from my cat, adventuring in new places, a good cup of tea, the awe of natural world and feeling loved and supported and being able to love and support others.

What does the future hold for you?
Lots of good shit, I hope! Including (but not limited to) art, travel, adventures, love, friends and healing, a big rest after the Reclaim the Crone season at Theatre Works with some mini getaways, laughs with friends, and time to regroup and get clarity about the future direction of my arts practice.

Gabrielle Leah New presents Reclaim the Crone – which will be produced by The Space Between Performance Collective at Theatre Works (Explosives Factory) from 17 – 27 July 2024. For more information, visit: www.theatreworks.org.au for details.

Image: Gabrielle Leah New (supplied)