Announcing the 2022 Kolyang Artist Lab

We are thrilled to announce and welcome a new cohort of artists into our 2022 Kolyang Artist Lab.

This will be the third year the Lab has been delivered. In our first two years we focussed on emerging culturally diverse artists. In 2022 we have invited ten emerging disabled artists, working in any genre or medium, to join in the alumni of this important sector development initiative.

“To continue the legacy of this initiative, we wanted to extend the impact and outcomes to other diverse communities of artists within our sector. As a fiercely proud disabled man myself, I couldn’t think of a better intervention than this – 10 incredible artists in the formative stages of their artistic and creative careers with lived experience of disability coming together to explore new ideas and concepts as a cohort. The Lab provides each artist a fee, space, resources and the time to collaborate or work independently in a safe environment. shared Performing Lines WA’s Senior Producer, Jeremy Smith.

Taking place at The Blue Room Theatre from 1 to 5 August, the Kolyang Artist Lab assists disabled artists to hone their creative voice and craft, discover a cohort of peers, and build support for them to smash through critical barriers to sustain their practice.

Following the Lab, the participating artists will also be invited to join the 3-week Creative Hub at Subiaco Arts Centre (Aug 8-26) to further broaden their networks, share their knowledge and experience with other artists and develop their personal practices.

We can’t wait for you to meet these exceptional artists. Read on to learn more about them and their work.

My Studio / My Place WA Ltd. is pleased to support the development of Western Australia’s independent artists’ ecology through the Kolyang Artist Lab and Creative Hub.

A group shot featuring 17 people who were part of the Artist Lab, posing in front of a black background with five people sitting in wheelchairs at the front.

During the Kolyang Artist Lab, Performing Lines WA and The Blue Room Theatre will host two free events which will be open to sector peers and colleagues – offering important opportunities to engage in topics related to access, equity and justice in the arts.

The sessions will be:

A presentation and conversation with Caroline Bowditch

Monday 1 August
5:00pm for a 5:30pm start.

Hear from the Lead Mentor of the 2022 Kolyang Artist Lab.
Places are limited, register here.


Accessibility as Dramaturgy

Friday 5 August
6:00pm for a 6:30pm start

A panel discussion co-moderated by Jeremy Smith (Performing Lines WA) and Caroline Bowditch (Arts Access Victoria) as part of The Blue Room Theatre’s Winter Workshops and Talks series.
More information and RSVP

Our lead mentor & ally artists

This year, we are excited to host the formidable and incredible Caroline Bowditch as our lead mentor for the Artist Lab. Caroline Bowditch is the Chief Executive Officer/Artistic Director of Arts Access Victoria and the Creative Lead of the Alter State Festival at Arts Centre Melbourne.

Caroline is known globally as an ambassador for change within our sector. She centres artistic practice, champions agency and self-determination and describes herself as a performer, maker, teacher, speaker and mosquito buzzing in the ears of the arts industry in Australia, the UK and further afield.

Caroline and the cohort will be supported by a group of ‘ally artists’ including Sam Fox, Laura Boynes, Geordie Crawley, Sam Nerida and Laura Hook. This continues the Artist Lab’s commitment to connect cohort members with non-diverse allies to build new connections, enable reverse-mentoring and facilitate authentic learning, understanding and change for not just this cohort – but our industry at large.

A woman with fair skin and dark short hair wearing a bright red jacket and a black top sitting in a wheelchair Caroline Bowditch

About Caroline Bowditch

Caroline enjoyed an acclaimed career in the UK for over 16 years as a performance maker and industry leader. Caroline was Scottish Dance Theatre’s Dance Agent for Change (2008-2012). She was an Director of Dance with Paragon Music (Glasgow), Dance4 (Nottingham) and Imaginate (Scotland), and was Visiting Professor at Coventry University. She has been a regular consultant on accessibility and inclusive practice to Skånes Dansteater, Sweden, and the British Council.

Caroline’s performance works include Leaving Limbo Landing (2012), an Unlimited festival commission for the Cultural Olympiad, Falling in Love with Frida (2014), which was awarded a prestigious Herald Angel award, and children’s works, The Adventures of Snigel and Snigel and Friends (2016) which was nominated for a Total Theatre Award, Edinburgh Festival (2017).

Caroline returned to Australia to lead Arts Access Victoria. During her tenure, Caroline has developed strong partnerships with Arts Centre Melbourne, Regional Arts Victoria, MAV (formerly Multicultural Arts Victoria), Melbourne Fringe Festival, Music Victoria and many more. Caroline’s strong advocacy has resulted in significant reform of funding programs for Deaf and Disabled artists. Caroline has overseen the development of a new Strategic Plan at Arts Access Victoria and led the organisation through a successful transition to hybrid delivery throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Arts Access Victoria’s vision is cultural equity for all Deaf and Disabled people. Caroline’s leadership is grounded in delivering on this vision in the years ahead.

The Participants

 Introducing our 2022 Cohort 

Patrick Carter

(Boorloo | Perth)

Performance, Screen, Visual Art, Music

I am keen to collaborate with other artists and make work about family and country/boodja using multiple artforms.

An indigenous young man with down syndrome, wearing a black knitted poncho with strips of yellow and red. He is also wearing a knitted black, red and yellow plaited headband
A young man with short curly hair, wearing a grey coat and black t-shirt and sitting in a wheelchair

Hugo Flavelle

(Walyalup | Fremantle)

Performance, Screen, Sound

I am interested in telling a story about going out ‘ON MY OWN’ and have started storyboarding what this might look like.

Adam Kelly

(Walyalup | Fremantle)

Performance, Writing

I love performing in shows and creating my own work (or at least attempting to do so). I find art really sets my imagination alight with possibility.

of a young man with short brown hair, blue eyes and a small moustache, wearing a blue jumper and posing in front of a black background

Sam Kerr

(Walyalup | Fremantle)

Performance, Screen, Music

I am a 29-year-old artist and have worked in and on performance across comedy, drag and my own online series.  My interests are film, music and installation art.

Grace King

(Boorloo | Perth)

Performance, Screen, Music

I am a fierce advocate for inclusion of disabled people as performers and audience members in all forms of art with a specialty in access for blind people.

A woman with long brown hair wearing a black jumper and standing in front of a white cabinet

Crystal Nguyen

(Boorloo | Perth)

Performance, Singing, Writing, Screen

I want to make work that celebrates sitting in the in-between spaces of discomfort, art as escapism and healing, and seeing an incidental representation of queer and disabled joy on stage.

Naomi Lake

(Kinjarling | Albany)

Performance, Writing

I would like to explore storytelling through dance. I think this is a very powerful medium to express emotions and ideas. 

Ella Peeters

(Boorloo | Perth)

Performance, Playwriting, Screen, Music

My theatre experience began with WAYTCO, where I worked several of their recent productions. I have been thinking about a new solo work incorporating dance and boxing, where I feel my most free and strong. So long as I’m writing from a scar, not a wound.

Sarah Pollard

(Kaprun country | Southern Cross)

Performance, Screen, VR

I live on a wheat farm in Southern Cross with my parents and I love animals, music and art.  I am interested in various art forms including Virtual Reality, pencil drawing, digital animation, storytelling and creation of art in any medium.

Sam Ren

(Boorloo | Perth)

Performance, Screen

I want to explore live and screen performance and how supportive technology such as powered wheelchair and head switches can transform into superpowers.

Performing Lines WA would like to thank our partners who have made the 2022 Kolyang Artist Lab possible including the Department of Local Government, Sports ad Cultural Industries, The Blue Room Theatre, Circuitwest and My Place.


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