MAV is announcing 45 Victorian culturally diverse and artists of colour who will take part in Shelter, a new commissions program that will reflect on and respond to the challenges we face both during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
MAV CEO Veronica Pardo says that in delivering Shelter, MAV is hoping to understand and engage with the ways in which culturally diverse creatives are experiencing this moment.
“Shelter will highlight the paradoxes of strength/vulnerability, struggle/resilience and isolation/community which are often framed as opposing forces. Through Shelter and the perspectives of diverse artists, we will be challenged to broaden our understanding of the human condition. This is the essence of cultural leadership and we hope Shelter will be the first of many such opportunities.” Veronica says.
Shelter will create a paid opportunity of $500 each to 45 artists across the artforms of writing, visual arts and music, to create new works that will be shared online.
Amongst the successful artists are collaborators Cindy Jiang, James Emmanuel Mckinnon, and Francis Cao who will create a new work, I touch myself, ‘a ritual of radical and honest self – love for their queer, coloured bodies’.
“Isolated from our chosen family, our bodies continue to carry us through this traumatic time. We will document the unique ways that we connect and give thanks to them, and share them with you through the distant intimacy of the screen. Being part of Shelter is an important and exciting opportunity for us to find a creative outlet for healing during this time, and to receive support from an organisation that amplifies marginalised voices.” says Cindy Jiang.
As well as supporting diverse artists, Shelter will create a space for dialogue and new knowledge with story, song, sound, imagery and ideas that may guide us we reframe relationships to home and each other, and as we seek new meaning and ways of being beyond pandemic.
Participating artist Jonathan Homsey says that Shelter will provide an opportunity for artists to come together and establish new virtual diaspora communities.
“Us artists must be of service right now for our practice. It is imperative we use our gifts as medicine and empowerment, especially for our fellow diasporic communities. I know for me I find healing when I connect to my breath and body and I hope my Shelter work, love letter to turkish delights does that for listeners as they re-enter and renegotiate boundaries in public and private spaces.” Jonathan says.
Shelter works will be released throughout July to September on the MAV website and social media channels.
Here is the full list of participating artists;
Shelter is supported by Australia Council for the Arts and Creative Victoria
Image credit: Weave Movement Theatre. Wanna Be a Rabbit? Mapping Melbourne 2019. Photo by Damian W Vincenzi.