At PICA we recognise that we are situated within the unceded lands of the Whadjuk people of the Noongar Nation. We pay our respects and offer our gratitude to Elders past and present, and to those emerging leaders in the community. We acknowledge all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the importance of their care and continued connection to culture, community and Country.

Always was, always will be.

Our galleries are open today 10am–3pm. Our exhibitions are always free.

Restore Program

Restore Program

PICA and STRUT Dance
Restore
29 May – 1 June 2024

PICA and STRUT Dance present Restore – a triple bill of new and recent dance works from artists across the Asia-Pacific. Restore 2024 is a pilot program that spotlights restoration, connection and exchange in the region with an eye to sustainable creative choreographic practice. In 2024 Restore features a new commission from Boorloo (Perth) and West Australian premieres of existing works from Naarm (Melbourne) and Aotearoa (New Zealand). The three works express diverse perceptions of the world through different places, temporalities and roles.

LUSH

Created and performed: gemma+molly (Gemma Sattler and Molly McKenzie)
Lighting design: Giovanna Yate Gonzalez
Sound design: Jaxon Stickler

The harsh sound of a fruitless blender fills the space fleetingly, pulling an array of animate and inanimate performers into its expansive and whirring cycle of collaboration. Fruit poised for consumption, two femme figures complete the scene – each performing body finding itself as an illustrator of what has already begun. LUSH is a cyclical queering of time – a choreography performed by the animate bodies of gemma+molly and the inanimate bodies of a blender, fruit and fans.

Informed by Audre Lorde’s text, Uses of the EroticLUSH  references Lorde’s understanding of the erotic as ‘a resource within each of us… the power which comes from sharing deeply any pursuit with another person’. In an attempt to equalise the collaborative elements, each performing body indulges in Lorde’s words, allowing for an empowered and shared awareness between the animate and inanimate.

Composed of performative metaphors and vivid imagery, LUSH illustrates and indulges in the various cycles that occur within two femme bodies, their physical relationship, electrical objects, the ripening of fruit, an audience’s attention and how these cycles will repeatedly fall in and out of sync.

LUSH was presented by Dancehouse and the Melbourne Fringe Festival for its premiere season where it received the Festival’s ‘Best Dance & Physical Theatre’ award and a 5-star review in The Age. Critical Path, Lucy Guerin Inc. and Platform Arts supported the development of this project through creative development residencies.

Image: gemma+molly, Restore, STRUT Dance, 2024, photo: Gregory Lorenzutti

MANU MALO

Created: Ta’alili
Directed: Aloalii Tapu
Choreographed and performed: Ooshcon Masseurs and Jahra Wasasala
Sound design: Eden Mulholland & Oliva Luki aka SPEWER

MANU MALO, directed by Aloalii Tapu of the arts company Ta’alili, was conceived as a landscape of dreams and coexistence. It is a loose tapestry that illuminates the shared journey and the evolution of language from spoken words to embodied expression. Ta’alili’s approach to this expression merges with the natural elements of the ocean and sky, blending dance and spoken word in harmony with nature’s rhythm. MANU MALO translates from Samoan as the ‘strong bird’.

MANU MALO premiered in Hamburg, Germany during a choreographic residency at K3 – Tanzplan zentrum fur choreographie. Aloalii, one of three international resident choreographers, brought together Ta’alili friends and family from the UK, Germany and Aotearoa (New Zealand) to present a dreamscape of ancestral poems, design and dance, carving new memories during their fleeting togetherness. 

In excerpts of MANU MALO, Ta’alili showcases the presence of CONJAH, performed by ooshcon and Jahra Wasasala – pivotal artists not only in the development of Ta’alili but also in their generation of independent artists from Te Moana Nui a Kiwa (Pacific Ocean). The dedication to their craft and the exploration of realms through movement, text and talanoa (talk/discussion) are evident within MANU MALO. The performance guides audiences through realms of reimagined Jahra (memories) and the specular reflections of water.

These moments of breathing life into memories – whether they are cherished or longed for – offer CONJAH the opportunity to express their perspective through the languages they know best: the eternal spirit and its temporary body. 

‘These expressions deeply resonate with the historical and ongoing struggles of our indigenous peoples, their lands and the protracted battle against settler colonial projects that continue to profit from our suppression, suffering and deaths. We stand with the Kanak people fighting against the French settler colonial projects. We stand against and condemn Israel’s genocide of Palestinians and support the protestors worldwide and the measures implemented by the ICJ and ICC. Long live the caretakers of the land of Boorloo and native lands worldwide where innocent civilians have died at the hands of settler colonialism.’ – Aloalii Tapu.

We acknowledge our full-length MANU MALO fanau whose spirits, alofa and laughter we carry with us to Boorloo: Folasaitu Tapu, Sean Curham, Ken Vaega, Tavai Faasavalu, Joshua Faleatua, Tyler Carney-Faleatua, Tori Manley-Tapu, Talili Manley-Tapu, Gifty Lartey, Seidah Tuaoi and Sasha Gibb. 

Image: Ta’alili, MANU MALO, 2023, photo: Jinki Cambronero

What Came Before

Created: Emma Fishwick and Serena Chalker
Performed: Emma Fishwick, Serena Chalker and Michael Bullock
Lighting design: Peter Young
Sound design: Tristen Parr
Understudy & rehearsal assistant: Isabella Stone

Frameworks, infrastructure and future planning are commonly discussed as essential elements for addressing society’s most urgent issues. In a culture that reveres ‘honest work’ and manual labour, where does creative labour fit?

Serena and Emma playfully use What Came Before choreographically and architecturally to be creatively economical and draw attention to the labour of change. As natural resources dwindle, workforces are patched over and creative industries continue to remain precarious, what might two semi-retired dancers and a builder offer to this conversation? Both strive to create infrastructure and frameworks throughout the performance and both work with what already exists.

What Came Before aims to combine the simplicity of construction and dance within the same space and time, prompting the audience to reflect on their views of meaningful work, impermanence, permanence and their relationship to feminised work.

Thanks to Jo Pollitt and Sam Fox for the previous and ongoing conversations with this work.

Image: Emma Fishwick and Serena Chalker, What Came Before, 2024, photo: Emma Fishwick

    Artist Biographies

    gemma+molly

    gemma+molly (Gemma Sattler and Molly McKenzie) is a collaborative duo working as contemporary performance artists. Anchored by individual and shared experiences of dance, the duo’s practice relies on the necessary collaboration of their two bodies at work to conduct physical, durational and live installation research. Utilising queer approaches to making, gemma+molly attempt to equalise collaborative elements. Underlying their practice is a shared thinking towards cyclical time and the various ways and places in which this exists.

    In 2023 the duo premiered Our+ Anthem, a video installation and durational performance presented by Temperance Hall for Midsumma Festival. As recipients of an Ian Potter Cultural Trust scholarship, gemma+molly recently completed a professional development tour across Greece, France and Belgium. This tour included participation in the Marina Abramović Institute’s Cleaning The House Workshop. Gemma and Molly both graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2021 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Dance). Gemma was the recipient of the Orloff Prize and Molly the recipient of the Phillip Law Travel Scholarship.

    Ta’alili

    Since its inception in 2019, Ta’alili’s creative journey has been a voyage through the realms of Pacific futurism, anti-heroism, the yearning for paradise, reimagined dreams and the pursuit of coexistence. Through talanoa, workshops, design and active community engagement in the elements of dance, gallery art and theatre, they have enriched their bond with those who are dear to them: their communities and their distinctive perspectives.

    Guided by the visionary duo of Aloalii and Tori Manley-Tapu, Ta’alili’s collaborations encompass a range of dance styles, including street- dance and traditional Pacific Islands dance forms and oratory.

    The award-winning duo were supported by an Arts Foundations Springboard Award in 2021. They continued their research in their choreographic residency with K3 Tanzplan, Zentrum für Choreographie in Kampnagel, Hamburg, Germany from 2022–23. They continue to work as choreographers, researchers, guest lecturers and dancers for their close friends, independent arts groups and local festivals.

    Emma Fishwick and Serena Chalker

    Boorloo-based choreographer Emma Fishwick has an interdisciplinary practice that works across movement, digital media, writing, textiles and scholarship. She has worked extensively across Australia and abroad, and lectures in Dance History and Choreography and is an Honours supervisor at WAAPA. Between 2021­–24 Emma completed her PhD at WAAPA, Slow Choreographies, which examined how slow creative methodologies can interrupt everyday sexisms in Australian universities. In 2022 she developed From Here, Together through Co3 Australia’s In Residence Program and received the award for OUTSTANDING NEW WORK with Slow Burn, Together at the 2022 Performing Arts WA Awards. This work was commissioned by Perth Festival in 2021 and was performed at His Majesty’s Theatre, Karboordup. Other notable works include Dance, Quiet Riot (2018) and microLandscapes (2016). Between 2018­–23 Emma was a member of the STRUT Dance Board and has been a mentor for artists with disability via disability support provider, My Place. She has choreographed for the International Young Choreographers Project in Taiwan 2019 and has engaged in multiple projects and research residencies beyond Perth, including Bundanon Trust and ReadyMade (NSW), Tasdance (TAS), ACT Festival (Bilbao), Dance Nucleus (Singapore), Next Wave (Vic) and Dance Massive (Vic).

    Serena is an experienced arts leader, choreographer and live-performance producer with expertise in live music, dance and interdisciplinary performance. She is the Executive Producer of Creative Activations and creative programming lead for Inner West Council’s major festivals, including transforming Marrickville Music Festival into a destination event for live music and developing new funding and strategic partnerships to increase the quality and scope of artistic programming for the community. Serena has a 15-year career as an award-winning and critically acclaimed independent artist and co-director of Anything Is Valid Dance Theatre, producing and presenting work across Australia and internationally, including Korea, Finland, Germany, United Kingdom, Bulgaria, Croatia and Canada. As a Creative Producer at STRUT Dance she pioneered the inaugural mid-career artist development program, introduced Practice Sharing for the independent sector and secured RISE funding for the presentation of SITU-8: City at the Liberty Theatre. Serena co-curated the site-specific seasons of SITU-8 from 2019–21 with theatre-maker Geordie Crawley.

    STRUT Dance

    Co-Directors: James O’Hara & Sofie Burgoyne
    General Manager: Alica Byfield
    Restore Producer & Communications Manager: Cameron Park
    Finance Officer: Mellida Frost
    Production Manager for Restore: Peter Young
    Lighting Realiser for LUSH and MANU MALO: Peter Young

    If you’d like to support the 2025 iteration of Restore, or get to know more on what STRUT does, please contact STRUT co-director James O’Hara at director@strutdance.org.au.

    Acknowledgments

    Restore is presented by STRUT Dance, in association with PICA, and has been assisted by the Australian Government through Creative Australia, its arts funding and advisory body, the State of Western Australia through the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries and STRUT’s generous donor circle.