La Trobe University is proud to present the second annual Department of Creative Arts and English end-of-year Festival celebrating the work of final year students from the Creative Writing, Theatre, Screen and Visual Arts programs. While this is the second Festival it is the first time it has been delivered completely on-line; an outcome of the events of 2020.
At the beginning of this year no one would have predicted the monumental changes which have swept through every aspect of our lives. The word Zoom has become part of the popular vernacular, masks are now aesthetically linked with a pandemic and roadmaps, flattening curves and social distancing are discussed as if they have been with us forever. In years to come we will look back at this time as a period of frustration, uncertainty, fear and for many around the world, sadness. We hope that we will also look back and think of the great things we did, the communities we built and the ways we adapted, particularly in the creative arts.
All of the students presenting in the Festival have embraced its online platform. Rather than merely accepting digital and virtual platforms as a necessity thrust upon them, they have embraced the technologies, subverting them and extending their application. From Zoom for theatre to video to reimagine the printed word, the Festival has demonstrated the imaginative powers of creative practioners in finding new ways to communicate and present work.
We would like to acknowledge the outstanding work of our colleagues in the Department of Creative Arts and English who throughout this year have worked tirelessly with the students to think about and develop their work. They are not only educators, they are also peers and mentors, dedicated to nurturing the creativity of the next generation. We extend our thanks to all the discipline technicians who have helped students with solving problems and making equipment available. Particular thanks to Owen Dalton who did much of the hard work in ensuring Zoom was more than an office-meeting program. Thank you to Dr Catherine Padmore, our Head of Department, who has steered us through a difficult year with good humour, positivity and never-ending support. Lastly, on behalf of the Department and the University we want to thank the students for their hard work, dedication and enthusiasm. Every aspect of this Festival has been developed and delivered by them, a true testament to their diligence and hard work. The art sector and our community are in good hands. As the next generation of artists, writers, film-makers and performers you have shown us how to remain innovative, provocative and to think creatively. Your work, which so closely and poetically responds to “the year of the pandemic” will prompt us to think now and into the future about the world in which we live in ways that surprise, move and enrich us.
We hope you, our audience, enjoy the show!
Dr Vincent Alessi and Dr Kim Baston
Department of Creative Arts and English
La Trobe University