On the Couch with Libby McDonnell

Libby-McDonnell-AAR-On-the-CouchWho is Libby McDonnell?
I am a costume designer, choreographer and Circa’s Head of Design. For the last 11 years I’ve designed costumes for close to all of Circa’s productions. I’ve also led many of Circa’s engagement projects and co-created several productions. I’m also a new(ish) mum!

What would you do differently from what you do now?
I would stop eating whole blocks of chocolate nightly. I would avoid filling my online shopping cart with purchases I’ll actually never make  when I should be sleeping. I’d mow my lawn more frequently and include my neighbor’s lawn when I do it. I’d read more and would have begun collecting art.

Who inspires you and why?
People and their stories inspire me so thankfully that’s a limitless supply of inspiration. Women who are informing my work at the moment are;

  • Gisele Vienne, the Franco-Austrian Artist and her choreographic investigations into seeing and experiencing.
  • Miet Warlop, the Belgian artist for her ebullient approach to visual art and live performance.
  • Chafia Brooks, my friend and colleague from Melbourne for her choreographic and dance teaching practice based in movement therapy.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
There is so much to tend to globally. Being compassionate and generous is a good place to start. More specifically in my practice, over the next 5 years I aim to create costume design processes that create less waste by primarily accessing the reusable and recycled materials market for new creations. This is just a start.

Favorite holiday destination and why?
I love NYC. It’s dynamic.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Mt Coot-tha and QAGOMA because being in nature and close to art are so good for the soul.

What are you currently reading?
The first Astronomers and Where the Wild Things Are, about 3 times a day to my son!

What are you currently listening to?
Lena Dunham and Alissa Bennett’s podcast, The C-Word.

Happiness is?
My son falling asleep in my arms.

What does the future hold for you?
I’m taking my son on tour with me June – July this year. I’m looking forward to the travelling with him – the challenges and all!

Libby is the Associate Director & Costume Designer of Circa’s Peepshow – which will be presented at the Theatre Royal Sydney (20 – 23 April); Frankston Arts Centre (14th May); The Memo, Healesville (21 May); and the Ulumbarra Theatre, Bendigo (27 & 28 May). Libby is also the Costume Designer for Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus – which will be presented at the Theatre Royal Sydney (20 – 24 April).

Image: Libby McDonnell (supplied)