Umwelt (n): the world as it is experienced by a particular organism
UMWELT Collective is a new project by Gold Coast performance artists and sisters Merinda and Lowana Davies, composer Tom Lyons, photographer Aaron Chapman and creative producer Dani Miller. Their first piece, ‘Re:membering’, delivers a visceral exploration of the art of unconditional love and the universal feelings of tension and release inherent in all close relationships. We chatted to Merinda ahead of the two performances.
What inspired you to launch UMWELT Collective?
It really just feels like the right time for us as artists. Over the past couple of years we have been collaborating on our own smaller projects, video works and live performances. As well as performing in larger scale works at the Festival 2018, Commonwealth Games (The Circus Corridor), and partaking in professional development programs with the City of Gold Coast.
The natural progression from these experiences was to formalise our collaboration under the collective title UMWELT. A key strength of this collective is the mentor relationships with The Farm and Gush Circus.
We were inspired to take the name UMWELT because we feel it is reflects the type of work we make. The meaning of the word ‘the world as it is experienced by a particular organism’ is the starting point for many of our improvisational explorations.
What do you see as your point of difference from other performance arts collectives?
We are an experimental arts collective where the studio is our lab. In this space we create an energetic collision of sound, movement, visual imagery and ideas. We are driven by a shared curiosity for making something that challenges both ourselves and our audiences. Our process involves deep listening and connection to our internal and external environment.
What can audiences expect at ‘Re:membering’?
At a recent work in progress showing an audience member commented that the work was:
‘Touching. Emotive, visceral, an expressive outpour of real substance. Supportive, close, and inclusive. Warm, slightly tortured, pregnant with emotion.’ Marc Howard.
Audiences can expect to experience something intimate, we hope this translates to personal interpretations and reflections on relationships.
What are your thoughts on the arts and culture scene on the Gold Coast?
It is an exciting time for the Gold Coast. Having lived and worked here for the past nine years, we have seen a progressive wave of emerging artists connecting with each other, sharing ideas and making space. The most exciting thing for us is how ready Gold Coast audiences are to go out and support new work and be challenged by the ideas of the artists. This progressive shift in the arts and culture scene wouldn’t be possible without the support of the City of Gold Coast and all of the contemporary arts organisations (The Farm, The Circus Corridor, The Walls, Shock Therapy, Mavericks Art Space, Gogi Dance Collective and others) who have consistently been pushing the boundaries and making new work here on the coast.
Catch ‘Re:membering’ at The Farmhouse Miami, Gold Coast on 28 + 29 September and Brisbane Powerhouse on 6 + 7 October. Tickets are only $15.00 and can be purchased at umweltcollective.com.au
IMAGE (c) Aaron Chapman.