ADL FF – Sue Austin’s live underwater event to make exclusive splash at 2018 festival

September 11, 2018

In her first visit to Australia, acclaimed British multimedia, performance and installation artist Sue Austin will present the Southern Hemisphere premieres of her underwater live art event ‘Creating the Spectacle!’ and immersive VR project Flying Free, Fledgling Flights as an 2018 Adelaide Film Festival (ADL FF) exclusive event.

ADL FF – Sue Austin’s live underwater event to make exclusive splash at 2018 festival

In her first visit to Australia, acclaimed British multimedia, performance and installation artist Sue Austin will present the Southern Hemisphere premieres of her underwater live art event ‘Creating the Spectacle!’ and immersive VR project Flying Free, Fledgling Flights as an 2018 Adelaide Film Festival (ADL FF) exclusive event.

Austin will also sit on the jury for the AFTRS Virtual Reality Competition together with Kim Batterham (AFTRS) and Google’s Mathew Tizard. Australia’s first festival VR competition, the ten titles in the running in 2018 include 4 Australian Premieres: Borderline, Kobold, Rooms and The Unknown Patient.

‘Creating the Spectacle!’ is a ground breaking, evolving and ongoing underwater live art and film event originally commission for the Cultural Olympiad, a celebration of the arts leading up to the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games. For the event, Austin invented and helped create the world’s first self-propelled underwater wheelchair with a team of diving experts and then staged a series of stunning underwater scuba performances.

Across two nights at the 2018 ADL FF, Thursday October 18 and Friday October 19, audiences will have a unique opportunity to engage with the artwork in real time as Austin takes her wheelchair underwater at the Adelaide Aquatic Centre, to perform a stunningly beautiful work that is an exploration of aspirational movement.

Viewers will be able to watch the performance underwater in scuba gear or poolside, from above and via a live projected video screen.

In a local exclusive, the award-winning Adelaide-based dance company, Restless Dance Theatre, will accompany Austin, performing poolside as part of this exclusive event. This collaboration celebrates the empowerment of art informed by disability and performed by artists with a disability.

Shaped by her experience of disability and an extension of Austin’s ongoing art practice using her wheelchair, ‘Creating the Spectacle!’ aims to change perceptions on disability and accessibility and challenging how we think about disability. Austin’s art opens up debate around societal attitudes to disability through the presentation of empowered and empowering images.

The project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body, with support from the South Australian Film Corporation, The Dive Shack, the City of Adelaide and Adelaide Aquatic Centre and the Lifetime Support Authority, for the first time Australian audiences will be able to experience this unique, thought-provoking and immersive live-art event.

Austin’s immersive work in progress VR project, Flying Free, Fledgling Flights will be available to experience as part of the ADL FF VR Lounge. Participants will be able to gain an immersive experience of flight training as Sue Austin undergoes the rigorous process that will ultimately lead to the next iteration of ‘Creating the Spectacle!’, a wheelchair that flies free.

ADL Film Fest has cemented a reputation for supporting the development of local talent and taking creative risks through adventurous programming. Sue Austin’s visit and works are a key programming feature of the 2018 Adelaide Film Festival.

Sue Austin: “To be invited by the Adelaide Film Festival, who have been amazing supporters, to bring ‘Creating the Spectacle!’ to Australian audiences, is very exciting. It’s a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with Michelle Ryan and the amazing Restless Dance Theatre and present something really unique. ‘Creating the Spectacle!’ places the audience in the artwork, and they become part of the live art event. It’s an extremely immersive and fun experience but also hopefully acts as a thinking space that might transform people’s preconceptions around disability.”

ADL Film Festival: Sue Austin’s work is an artistic treat that is visually stunning, interative, creative, technologically groundbreaking and inspiring. It is precisely the kind of unique artistic offering that the Adelaide Film Festival strives to bring local audiences, who in this case can literally immerse themselves in the experience, underwater.’

Australia Council Arts Practice Director for Dance Adrian Burnett: The Australia Council is proud to support the Adelaide Film Festival in presenting this poignant and powerful work. Sue Austin’s work is a multi-art form project which involves collaboration with local artists including Restless Dance Theatre, and is a great example of how art can challenge and transform traditional ideas around disability.”

Restless Dance Theatre Artistic Director Michelle Ryan: “Restless is excited to be involved in such a unique event with the internationally renowned artist, Sue Austin. The Adelaide Aquatic Centre provides a surreal environment for the live art performance to unfold. The collaboration promises to be engaging and unforgettable for Adelaide audiences.”

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Sue Austin

Sue Austin is a multimedia, performance and installation artist with a socially engaged practice shaped by, and emerging from, her experience of disability.

By representing her experience as a wheelchair user in quirky, unexpected juxtapositions – Austin brings a sense of empowerment to the discussion of disability and difference.

Austin has used her performance and platform to engage a wide audience in her project of transforming perceptions around disability. Her TED talk about her work has been viewed over 2 million times and her artwork has been viewed by over 433 million people globally since 2012.

 

‘Creating The Spectacle!’

  • Two shows only – Thursday 18 October at 8pm & Friday 19 October at 8pm – North Adelaide Aquatic Centre, Fitzroy Terrace & Jeffcott Road, Adelaide
  • Tickets on sale from now – General Poolside Admission $22/$18 (concession) & Premium Underwater Admission from $140

Visit adelaidefilmfestival.org for event and booking information

Restless Dance Theatre

Founded in 1991, and led by Artistic Director Michelle Ryan, Restless Dance Theatre is Australia’s leading dance company working with people with and without disability. Restless Dance Theatre works collaboratively with its artists to create outstanding inclusive dance theatre informed by disability. The company presents real, raw and uninhibited dance theatre across multiple mediums that’s speaks eloquently to everyone. Restless has achieved national and international acclaim for both its performance and film work.

Adelaide Film Festival

Celebrating 15 years in 2018, The Adelaide Film Festival (ADL Film Fest) has secured a reputation around the globe as an essential screen culture event and was named in Variety Film magazine’s 50 Unmissable Film Festival list. With a distinctively curated program of Australian and international screen culture, special events awards and forums, the festival continues to be regarded as a premier destination for new and exciting screen projects.

Australian screen industry icons Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton are patrons of the festival.

ADL Film Festival runs 10-21 October 2018.