Kick Start Your Career: Alison Plevey

Stories
Jan 15, 2014
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The Early Career Artists and Producers (ECAP) team ask past ArtStart recipient Alison Plevey how receiving the grant effected her practice and what’s in store from here.

What are you doing now?

At the end of 2013 I finished a three week development of a full length solo work I am creating entitled 100,000 frames. I was lucky enough to be an Artist in Residence at the Bundanon Trust and found the time incredibly rewarding and challenging, especially to have the opportunity to immerse myself in my practice and process in isolation. Though creatively drained and physically exhausted, I feel an untamable excitement from establishing some firm ideas and content for the solo to develop over the next year.

I am also undertaking significant producing, management and preparation for projects upcoming in 2014, including a Lingua Franca-directed piece for Catapult Youth Circus festival in Bathurst mentored by David Clarkson of Stalker, You Are Here and Art Not Apart Festivals in Canberra.

Lingua Franca, (www.linguafrancadancetheatre.com), the company I have established with Adam Deusien, has also been successful in receiving funding for a youth dance/theatre project ‘collective joy’ through the Regional Arts Fund. We will work with collaborator Alison Buckley and young people across the Cowra/Bathurst regions to create a site specific work interrogating the idea of the collectivity.

In January, Lingua Franca (is delivering workshops in Bathurst in dance/ physical theatre training and creative process and I am also leading workshops for fLiNG Physical Theatre in Bega before performing solo in Short + Sweet Dance Festival in Sydney.

How did Artstart allow you to do what you are doing today?

ArtStart has been instrumental in providing me the skills, confidence and resources to establish myself as an independent artist and has enabled the growth in identity and working capacity of our company Lingua Franca. Activities we’ve been able to undertake include building websites, producing promotional materials and the ability to produce and show quality work with the assistance of support structures such as rehearsal space, venue/producing advice, mentoring and festival/professional development.

My ArtStart activities have allowed platforms for visibility in the development and presentation of work and also in engaging in dialogue with other artists, producers and collaborators. I feel my skills base in managing my responsibilities as a business and as an artist, including finance/tax, producing, arts management, funding and promotional approaches, have all developed alongside my creative capacity as a performer and creator.

ArtStart has facilitated the opportunity for me to test my capacity as an artist and notice where my real strengths are and what I can achieve across a multitude of tasks. I have had the realisation that although I want to work as a regional artist and creator I want to maintain strong connections in metropolitan centres and continue to actively pursue collaborations here and work towards solo presentation of new work.

ArtStart has injected a richness into my work that is focused, professional and informed, enabling a momentum which can only be exciting and motivating!

What piece of advice would you give to yourself pre ArtStart application if you could?

Make sure you give yourself enough time in your year to invest properly in each of the activities you design. Time for important developmental work is so valuable and needs to be assigned and prioritised wisely around your other income earning activities. Or if you are lucky how can these integrate?

What’s the one piece of make or break advice would you give potential ArtStart applicants?

It’s really about strategy.

Really consider where you want to go creatively. What is your fascination as an artist? Consider how you can invest in your own development and make sure the budget and long term goals indicate this.

Lastly, finish the sentence, In five years I will be…

Touring Lingua Franca’s recent new work nationally with Performing Lines  (or similar touring initiative) and feature in a major Australian Arts Festival program such as Sydney Festival  or Perth Festival .