Bold artists sought for new initiatives as Brimbank Council launches creative brand

Brimbank City Council has unveiled a bold new arts and culture brand that seeks to engage creatives to work within their diverse communities in Melbourne’s west.
Bold artists sought for new initiatives as Brimbank Council launches creative brand

Stark Place Mural in Sunshine with artist Katherine Gailer. Photo credit: Erin Lee

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Sabine Brix

Wednesday 13 May, 2020

With so many artists urgently needing creative opportunities, now is possibly the perfect time to launch an initiative that supports creatives.

The timing couldn’t be better for the launch of Brimbank City Council’s Creative Brimbank, a new arts and culture brand offering artists employment opportunities, grants and the opportunity to create bold new work.

‘We want to highlight the diversity of what Council offers in the creative area by supporting creativity in the arts and highlighting the value of artists,’ said Dean Michael, Arts and Culture Coordinator, Brimbank City Council.

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‘We commission public art, have a number of exhibition spaces, and support festivals and events that are run by diverse communities.’

CREATIVE OPPORTUNITIES IN THE WEST

Located in Melbourne’s western suburbs, Brimbank is a vibrant and diverse municipality, with some 43% of the population born overseas and 37% aged under 24. It’s this vibrancy which Council is keen to support through the Creative Brimbank initiative.

The program will support a range of artforms, including visual arts, with exhibitions housed across four spaces each year and featuring both new and established artists, together with a focus on professional development and cementing creative communities.

‘We have what we call the INfuse Artists Network that helps profile and connect artists.  It provides professional development by bringing in more established artists, giving them the opportunity to talk about and reflect upon their work,’ Michael told ArtsHub.

A number of employment opportunities for artists, as well as quick response commissions, are available for local artists and those who already have a connection with Brimbank.

Caliban by Western Edge Youth Arts. Photo credit: Jorge De Araujo.

BRIMBANK’S FAMOUS SON

One of Brimbank’s most important arts spaces, The Bowery Theatre, is named after the city’s most famous son – the queer performance artist, fashion designer and club promoter, Leigh Bowery.

Born in Sunshine, close to the theatre, Bowery’s provocative nature and artistic attitude has inspired Creative Brimbank’s residency series, Be Bold, which makes cash and in kind contributions available for artists – both for professional development opportunities and to make new work to be performed in the theatre.

‘If you come into our space you have the ability to be bold, to create some really challenging work, but it also has a social aspect as well where we’re saying anyone who comes into this space can be accepted for who they are,’ Michael said.

Artist: Ethereal Andy. Photo credit: Len Panecki.

Another of Creative Brimbank’s programs is Room To Move, a residency focused on dance, choreographers and physical theatre performers.

‘It’s really about professional development and giving young emerging artists the option to develop their arts practice,’ Michael said of the residencies.

Thus far applicants for the residency programs have come from theatre, comedy, dance and music, with residents generating ideas for webinars and interactive workshops.

Visit Creative Brimbank on Facebook to find out more about artist opportunities and for details of their new website, launching soon.

About the author

Sabine Brix is a writer, editor, podcaster and electronic musician with a specific interest in personal storytelling that captures the essence of why people create. She was the former Online Content Producer at Archer Magazine and editor of the LGBTI website Gay News Network.

She has produced sound art for BBC's Radio4  and composed music for the web series Starting From Now, which screened on SBS.

Follow Sabine on Twitter @sabinebrix