Tag Archives: ATF2015

The why of the work #ATF2015 questions


Questions swirl, morph, continue. The process of asking them seems as important as the actual answer. Because our answers are different. As they should be. As they have to be. From our different contexts, our different needs, our different passions.



I’m at the Australian Theatre Forum in Sydney this week and those questions…


Why do we make art?

Who is it for?

Does it even do anything?


…always find their way into these conversations.


I attended an artist talk with Danny Braverman in this morning’s breakout session and he touched on audience reactions after a show (and what that says about the show). I’m badly paraphrasing here, but along the lines off:


“‘Oh the parking is shit, not much to eat’. Well the show can’t have been so great. Or you have the shows ‘Oh the lighting was nice, wasn’t that performer great.’ Yeah but what was it about? But then the ones where people are sharing anecdotes of their own with each other – their own stories in response to the show.”



That’s where my hunger begins.

Or builds.

I want the ideas.

The rage.

The arguments.

I don’t want to see pretty lights or have great parking.

I want to stretch and be stretched.

I want people to see themselves and each other or NOT see themselves in such an extreme way that they have to talk about it and argue and tell their stories. I want the community that brings. The sense of empowerment, connection, change.


Why do I make art?

Because I feel compelled to. Because I feel a responsibility to. Because the experience of making or seeing art CAN change a life, or a vote.


Who is it for?

My community, my family. All the people like me who feel like they have no place in fancy foyers with fancy people. My granddad. My mum. My children.


Does it even do anything?

It can. It can be the net that catches you. The door that opens a new way of living. It was for me. And I hope that the art I make in some small way, somewhere along the line has even a fraction of the impact on others that others work had on me.


It’s not a perfect answer. Or a finished answer.


It’s my answer today though.