Judith Wright Centre Director Ruth Hodgman today announced the next crop of Fresh Ground artists, who will take up short-term creative development residencies, valued at $10 000 each, at the Centre from March to June 2011.

“We are delighted to announce our third intake of artists-in-residence as part of Fresh Ground, our initiative to grow independent Queensland artists and new Queensland work across a diverse range of genres,” Ms Hodgman said.

“Fresh Ground is about giving artists the space, equipment and expertise to explore and imagine creative ideas. The focus is on projects that have the potential to inspire and connect with audiences, and challenge ideas about arts processes, practices and directions.

“We’re looking forward to seeing what comes out of this crop of artists. In the past we’ve been amazed with the work created. There isn’t the pressure of having a performance deadline and, as a result, artists have made ground breaking discoveries in trialing their artistic ideas within the very supportive environment. “

Fresh Ground doesn’t end with the residency. We hold networking gatherings for all Fresh Ground alumni – it’s a chance to celebrate ongoing progress and success at festivals and tours across Australia and beyond.”

The latest crop of successful Fresh Ground artists and their projects include:

BRENDA MONAGHAN – SLOW A new cross disciplinary theatre piece, Slow is a raw, visceral, non-narrative work that combines movement, text, sound and visual/ installation art. In today’s fast-paced society, our obsession with time is taking its toll on our relationships, communities, mental and physical health and work. We have become addicted to achieving, to cramming more into every minute so that every moment feels like a race against the clock, an obsessive need to arrive, to attain, to be fulfilled. This piece investigates our blind dedication to time and how living in fast-forward is not really living at all.

DAN EVANS – OMFG OMFG is a two-act Australian musical set inside the confines of a super-spiritual Christian high school called Children of Christ’s Kingdom. OMFG takes aim and fires at organised religion, conspiracy theorists, big-Broadway musicals and environmental agencies. It is musical satire with a large heart. It’s about faith, nature, hypocrisy and absolute power. It’s about what we – as human beings – need or want to believe in to give substance and base to our lives. OMFG is a musical made for the spiritually-disenfranchised and the sci-fi nerds amongst us. It’s Hillsong meets Glee with a peppering of Spring’s Awakening via Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Island of Doctor Moreau.

ELISE MAY – 101 WAYS TO STRIP! The Brisbane community will be called upon to submit ideas and help shape this experimental digital arts performance project. An online website created in the style of an instructional manual will invite community members and artists to submit individual interpretations of how to uniquely remove an article of clothing or accessory. This online material will provide stimulus for the concept and direction of the performance framework. The line between participant and audience will become blurred as dance, movement, theatre, circus, music and art jostle for attention in a vibrant exploration of how to undress!

EMMA CHE MARTIN – JOURNEY Public and private communication – in our media saturated society – will go under the microscope in this new theatre piece. Combining dance, multimedia and interactive digital technology, Journey will investigate the blurring line between public and personal interactions and the impact on our relationships.

LOUISE DELEUR – DANCING WITH BACH Cellist Louise King and choreographer Louise Deleur, along with dancers from Lucid Dance Theatre’s Rising Stars program, will collaborate to develop choreographic material and themes influenced by Bach’s cello suites. The cellist’s playing and movement work will be captured and explored by film. The project aim is to create and present a series of ideas to seek feedback and industry support.

Now in its second year, Fresh Ground has provided short-term residencies for 12 artists across music, theatre, circus, dance, writing, visual and multi-disciplinary arts, with the aforementioned artists to be added to this list.

Fresh Ground alumni includes young emerging artist Andrea Jenkins (Kurunpa Live Arts), who will present her Fresh Ground work The RoCK later this year in Melbourne; Dawn Albinger, who won Best Solo Performance from Perth's Blue Room Awards for her Fresh Ground work No Door On Her Mouth; the music collaboration SuperCritical Mass, which has received interest from London, and Andrew Veivers, who launched his new DVD and book on Flamenco Guitar techniques.

The Judith Wright Centre's Fresh Ground artist-in-residence initiative is made possible through Arts Queensland. The Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts is a Queensland Government initiative operated by Arts Queensland, the state agency supporting arts and cultural development.

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