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The Substation is one of Melbourne's few truly multi-arts venues and features a 260-seat performance space, rehearsal studio and the western suburb's largest gallery space.

Get it On! 2014

Applications now open!!

The Substation's new work development and presentation program is back for 2014, and we are currently seeking applications from performance-makers who are looking to create new work as part of this year's Melbourne Fringe Festival.


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image: Plastic Pacific, Get it On! 2013

Read more: Get it On! 2014


Ed Kuepper

Friday 16 May

The enigmatic and iconic Ed Kuepper comes to Melbourne’s West for the very first time with a very special acoustic ‘Solo and By Request’ show in support of a brand new release Return Of The Mail-Order Bridegroom. Expect to hear acoustic reworkings of earlier Kuepper classics spanning material by The Saints, Laughing Clowns and, of course, Ed’s lengthy solo career.

Doors open at 7.30pm
Show starts at 8.00pm




Tatu Rei

Friday 28 March

Influenced by some of the Bossa and Samba greats as well as contemporary jazz masters of today, Tatu Rei have performed to great acclaim and thrilled audiences around Australia. The Brazilian-style band offers beautiful compositions that are technically accomplished, emotionally evocative and sung in Portuguese with bridging English, but their beauty and passion are felt truly beyond the boundaries of language.

Support by Ju Tenucci

Doors open at 7.30pm. Show starts at 8pm.

All tickets $20 (non-allocated, cabaret seating)

Read more: Tatu Rei


Beyond the Black

Image detail: Untitled, Maree Clarke, video still, 2014, Video SWP productions


Brook Andrew
Joel Birnie
Maree Clarke
Peter Waples-Crowe
Robyne Latham
Anna Liebzeit
Tobias Reef

Curated by Kimba Thompson

Exhibition 2 May – 8 June 2014 at The Substation

Opening: Thursday 1 May, 6-8pm

Exhibition Hours: Wednesday – Sunday 11am-5pm

The works in this landmark exhibition—featuring seven contemporary Melbourne-based artists—are refreshing, challenging and touch on ideas of the ‘other’. The curator provokes with the question, ‘Have the boxes been ticked?' The box, that is, of being an Artist and that of being Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. As a result, the artists in this exhibition do not align with the ‘western construct’ of what constitutes the ‘Aboriginal Artist’.

The video work Interviews, 2006 by Brook Andrew was initiated during a residency at the Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania. It explores local engagements with notions of cultural difference and perceptions of identity through language and stereotypes. The result—revealing views on politics, shifting identities, morality and stereotypes—is at the same time humourous and serious.

Raw (traces), 2010 by Joel Birnie is a video work that explores recurrent questions of ‘mixed-race’ identity. Raw (traces), visualises a dilemma faced by mixed-race Indigenous peoples to adjust themselves—either psychologically, physically or culturally—to conform to non-Indigenous idealisations of Indigenous peoples. This is expressed through the task of the bathroom routine, a place of daily ritual transformation.

In Robyne Latham’s The Aborigine is Present, 2014, the viewer becomes part of the art work. The piece is a reference to the famous performance The Artist Is Present, 2010, by Marina Abramović, where spectators are invited to take turns sitting opposite the artist. In Latham’s adaptation, the subject is a changing cast of artists in the exhibition, in an attempt to blur the viewers' conception of a single creative identity.

The multi-media installation and performance Ritual & Ceremony, 2014 by Maree Clarke addresses ideas of ritual & ceremony. Maree’s work often revives traditional practices of the artist’s Ancestors. This vivid and haunting work focuses on the mourning practices of people from the Murray/Darling/Murrumbidge river. Processes of recovery, which enable people to reconnect with their cultural heritage, are central to Maree's philosophy. The artist believes in the potential of art to heal and inspire people to positively identify with their Aboriginality—a process that for some continues to be difficult given the ongoing effects of colonisation.

Peter Waples-Crowe’s interactive installation Frog Corroboree: Love, Extinction and Magic, 2014 is made of symbolic elements including origami frogs inspired by the Southern Corroboree Frog. The species, endemic to the southern tablelands of New South Wales, is on the verge of extinction due to an introduced fungus that has decimated its population. The artist invites the viewer to contemplate the parallels between the frog and the Ngarigo people, who were also endemic to the region before the introduction of their own kind of 'fungus': colonisation.

Tobias Reef's work is an eclectic blend of stenciled images, screen prints, and contemporary mixed media painting, combined with multi-layering and textures. His multimedia installation, No boundaries, 2014 is a mixture of rhythmic sound-scapes, paint and print-media.

Anne Liebzeit uses photography and drawing in this new work Singing Shearwater 1-5 song series, 2014. The images are a response to a composition and performance, played on headphones in the space, which reveals a sense of 'becoming bird and singing Shearwater' in Boonwurrung Country, where the artist lives. The artist paints using sung water from Frank Ansell, a Nangkari healer and song man from Alice Springs.

Kimba Thompson’s artwork draws on her experience as a documentary film maker. Her large-scale video projection DOT DOT..,2014 is a celebration of Aboriginal performance. The projected triptychs of circles contain performances of the dancers, rich in colour and accompanied by a rhythmic beat. This work explores the importance of performance being a confluence of art, dance and music.

Exhibition hours: Wednesday - Sunday 11am-5pm


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27 – 30 November

Raw performance and an epic text combine to create an extraordinary journey. Set in a brutal world, a lost dog’s adventures expose him to the best and worst of humanity. A heightened work of physical theatre, the play exceeds the boundaries of contemporary spoken word in a bold, moving tale, a profound eulogy to the Innocent.

Written by R. Johns. Director: Kat Henry. Performers: John Shearman, Ngaire Dawn Fair, Trent Baker. Designer: Peter Mumford. Lighting: Kara Stacey Merrin.

Wednesday 27 November – Friday 29 November, 7pm
Saturday 30 November, 2pm & 7pm

$25 full/$20 concession


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