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Locating Literature – Investigating Place

Guest Blogger: Matt Blackwood

Many people disconnect with a place when they read. They drift from their seat on the 5.15 to Gawler, beyond armpits and sixteen year old screeches, to step into hover boots, rhinestone sandals or to spread toes on tropical sands. Locative Literature is the opposite of that!

Locative Literature is a way of connecting with a place by experiencing stories in the places where these stories are set. For example, this could mean reading a story about a laneway while standing in the same laneway. This story could be about a person who tagged a wall while standing three feet from the tag itself. Or it could mean sitting at a table, waiting for a coffee, and reading about a barista crafting a love heart in froth, who spends extra attention to the shape because of the customer she is about to serve. And then you receive your own soy latte.

The point of Locative Literature is for audiences to embrace the place they are in and to be immersed by a story. It works on the same principal that a scary story told under torchlight in the forest is scarier than if told from under compact fluorescents in the safety of your Ikea lounge room.

The Locative Literature I create is a mix of fact and fiction – it’s ‘faction’ so to speak. I research the place where the stories will be set, looking for minutiae that will trigger my imagination and interest, and then I study the types of people that visit this place, the history of the place and then create a story to suit.

Part of the reason why I am so passionate about Locative Literature is the new publishing possibilities that it presents. Stories can be self-published and presented for minimal cost by using Post-it notes, Scrabble tiles, alphabet fridge magnets and labelling tape to name just a few of the available forms. Locative Literature can also provide an important entry point for many people who have disconnected with reading and literacy. It can even be an important part of shifting attitudes towards specific places.

Of course Locative Literature won’t replace longer forms of reading or impact tablet sales or the share price of Dymocks, but anything that connects people to place and shares the love of words is surely worth the read.

To explore more possibilities of Locative Literature visit his website: and follow @MattyBlackwood on Twitter. Matt Backwood will be coming to Adelaide in October 2014 as Access2Arts’ Artist in Residence and will be presenting a series of workshops exploring Locative Literature. Keep an eye on the EVENTS page of the website for more details.

Matt Blackwood writes short stories, slightly longer short stories, and stories so long they think they’re too cool to hang around with the shorties. His fiction and non-fiction has been published and won awards and he has received several grants and commissions for his Locative Literature projects. Matt has been an invited guest at the Melbourne Writers’ Festival, the Emerging Writers’ Festival, the Castlemaine State Festival, National Young Writers’ Festival and if book: Australia.

An Artists International Development

Contemporary dancer, martial arts practitioner and performer Matt Shilcock welcomes international dancer and choreographer  Vangelis Legakis to Adelaide to work on Matt’s dance development as part of his Australia Council funded project.

Matt met Vangelis, a graduate of the Laban Center (London, UK) and holding a BA in Dance theatre and a MA in Choreography, while taking part in the 2nd International Interdisciplinary NO BORDERS Project in Xiamen, China during December 2013.

“I recognised many aspects of Vangelis’ practices that hugely benefit my own choreographic practises and approach,” said Matt. “Within his work and educational workshops he incorporates principles and theories from visual arts, architecture, philosophy, psycholinguistics and neuroscience through which he has originated novel ways to approach dance practice and choreography as a human activity”

A photograph of Vangelis Legakis

The focus of Matt’s Australia Council funded project will be working with Matt to research the application of contemporary dance techniques to inform the development of Matt’s own choreographic scoring system, Osteogenuine.

Matt is also keen to share Vangelis’ unique knowledge and practice with Adelaide’s dance community through offering a Contemporary Dance Masterclass. He said “This workshop is an introduction to release-based contemporary, Flying Low and improvisation techniques, focusing on five fundamental movement patterns.”

The work with Vangelis is just part of a busy 12-months for Matt who is currently taking part in a year-long Early Careers Residency, also awarded by the Australia Council for the Arts, working with Ausdance SA.

Matt and Vangelis will present the class on Sunday 31 August 2014 from 10am to 5pm at the Ausdance SA studio – Level 3, The Atrium, Station Arcade, 136 North Terrace, Adelaide. Bookings can be made by emailing


Intimacy going to Unlimited

Contemporary dancer (and Artistic Director of Restless Dance Theatre) Michelle Ryan spoke about rediscovering her inner dancer in her Guest Blog ‘I am a Dancer’.

Now performing in Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre with Torque Show in Intimacy, sharing her most private thoughts and feelings in a very public way.

Michelle spoke with Amanda Smith on Radio National about the shows exploration of vulnerability and a very different kind of strength. You can listen to her interview here:

Michelle Ryan on Radio National’s ‘The Body Sphere’

Michelle is taking the show to London as part of the Southbank Centre’s Unlimited festival which celebrates the artistic vision and originality of disabled artists.

Access2Arts wishes a hearty chookas for her UK performances.

ArmatureLIVE – What is Live Art?

Access2Arts is seeking expressions of interest from emerging and established Deaf and disabled artists to be a part of ArmatureLIVE. Participants will undertake a series of workshops, then under the guidance of a Live Art mentor participate in a self-driven collaborative Live Art project with a public outcome. 

That sound great, but it beggers the question – What is Live Art?

“Live Art combines a lot of different art practices and all kinds of artists”, explains Access2Arts Creative, Gaelle Mellis. It is experimental, embracing risk, challenge and failure.”

Live Art is largely influenced by contemporary Performance Art and many visual artists have started to use their own bodies in their work to make more performance style work, breaking with traditional ways of making art. Many performers and theatre makers have also started to use Live Art as a way of making art and theatre, which challenges the usual boundaries and rules of performance. This includes making work which is out in public and which engages with people in the street as the audience.

Using live art, artists working in all manner of artistic disciplines, create;

  • new artistic models,
  • new languages for the representation of ideas and identities, and
  • new strategies for activating audiences and intervening in public life.

Live Art is one of the most innovative areas of creative practice today” said Meg Wilson, Artist and coordinator of Access2Arts’ ArmatureLIVE project. “Through ArmatureLIVE Deaf and disabled interdisciplinary artists will develop an understanding of live art, then working with an experienced live art practitioner be mentored in the development of their own live art project with a public outcome.

Six leaders in the Live Art movement Alison Currie, Josephine Were, Steve Mayhew, Ray Harris, Sasha Grbich and Heidi Angove will be involved in the project as workshop facilitators and mentors.

This is going to be such an exiting project and the potential outcomes for Deaf and disabled artists in South Australia”, said Gaelle. “Through ArmatureLIVE we will bring artists, who may work with art forms like performance and dance, painting, photography, sound (for example) to work together with other artists who use different art forms. This interdisciplinary process will create new and exciting experiences  for everyone. It will create new ways of thinking about art and ideas.

Access2Arts is now seeking expressions of interest from emerging and established Deaf and disabled interdisciplinary artists to be a part of ArmatureLIVE. To be considered for inclusion in the ArmatureLIVE program you must submit an expression of interest application form. Expressions of interest are DUE on Friday 5th September so start your application now! 

To find out more about ArmatureLIVE, follow this LINK to the Access2Arts website.

Image: Shotgun, Josephine Were, 2014, live art performance at The Mill, Adelaide.
Photo credit:


Armature#2 Paste Ups

Armature#2 participant Chris Dyke captured this short video of him pasting-up his photograph in Anster Street as part of the Armature Portrait Paste-up exhibition.

Images of the installation of all the exhibition’s paste-ups were taken by participant Leon Woods, and can be found on Pinterest.

If you haven’t seen the exhibition, held as part of SALA and as an independently organised INSIDE OUT project group action, check out more details on the exhibition on the EVENTS page or better yet get down to Anster Street before August 29.

If you are a Deaf or disabled artist and are interested in  contemporary arts practice, apply to be a part of ArmatureLIVE. Follow this LINK to find out more.