On the Couch with Marcia Ferguson

Arts Review On the Couch Marcia FergusonWho is Marcia Ferguson?
The Artistic Director of Big West Festival.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
This would be a great question for after Big West Festival closes! Right now we are working rigorously on the logistics and marketing of a curated program composed by Western suburbs communities and artists. We’re also taking some leaps of faith – ordinarily you wouldn’t expect to be pitching into the wind with only three weeks to go, but our HOUSE Project continues to surprise us!

Who inspires you and why?
Right now, the phrase ‘Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts’ (Winston Churchill) is grounding. I’m currently working with some amazing ladies who have a very precise working methodology – Julie Reilly, Anita Hopkins, Judy Buchan, Mary Crooks, Jeanette Large, Caroline Larcher… they are enormously inspiring and my first real role models in strong leadership by women.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Build a low cost demountable HOUSE for homeless women and children, around a sustainable production line. We are running a prototype version of this aim right now and looking forward to a case study exploring its ongoing viability!

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Camping in any quiet, grand landscape with my family. Why? It restores the basics – hunt, cook, really listen. Being able to see the stars.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
A long talkative dinner outdoors in the vegetable garden followed by dessert at Brunetti’s and browsing at Readings.  I get my ‘art hit’ by living, eating and breathing the 70 amazing shows in this year’s festival!

What are you currently reading?
The Monthly, The Guardian, The Age and especially, First Dog On The Moon. He/she always gets it right.

What are you currently listening to?
Hildur Gudnadottir. For many years her compositions have been my solace and inspiration. And right this second, The Good the Bad and the Ugly on the piano as practiced by my eleven year old.

Happiness is?
A soft bed at night; enough and no more; two happy healthy children; and always, forever, doing something new.

What does the future hold for you?
I don’t know!

Marcia Ferguson is a director, writer, deviser and curator of contemporary performance with a particular interest in experimental, hybrid and community arts. Marcia worked at Back to Back Theatre since 2000 as a freelance director, and as Artistic Associate since 2007 collaborating with artists, schools, communities of all ages and abilities, and the ensemble, on numerous productions and projects such as Ganesh versus the Third Reich.

Marcia taught at VCA for many years, and at the Small Companies and Community Theatre Course at Ballarat Uni. Her work has toured widely with Arena Theatre and independent theatre companies, and she has directed works in Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, England and USA with Back to Back. Marcia Ferguson has been the Artistic Director of the Big West Festival since 2012.

The Big West Festival is the leading community-based, contemporary arts festival in Melbourne’s West and runs 20 – 28 November 2015. For more information, visit: www.bigwest.com.au for details.

Image: Marcia Ferguson