News & Insights

Announcing Arts House Developments 2024 – 2025

Arts House is a creative home nourishing artists’ agency and ambition.

We are thrilled to announce the next cohort of artists participating in The Warehouse Residency, CultureLAB and Arts House Develops programs across 2024 – 2025.  

Read on to find out more about these artists and their projects! 

The Warehouse Residency

The Warehouse Residency is Arts House’s main commissioning pathway for Deaf and Disability led projects developed at North Melbourne Town HallNow in its third year, we are excited to partner with Arts Centre Melbourne through Alter State to commission two projects for development at Arts House in a supported residency model. 

Kath Duncan 

Specials! is a disability-centric political tragi-comedy set in 1980’s suburban Australia where two ‘Special’ kids start a revolution. Engaging an all-disabled cast, Specials! is as raw and radical as auto-ethnography gets. Australia is extraordinarily proud of its special schools despite decades of advocacy by disabled people about their experiences of manipulation and subjugation within these settings. The reality is that Special Ed students do not get to talk about Special Ed. Go to any library and look up ‘Special’ education and you will find stacks on managing ‘problem’ children and their ‘problem’ behaviours but very little from students themselves. Specials! draws from these political edges, reflecting the struggles that Deaf, Disabled and especially Neurodiverse children are facing now. This project will further develop the professional capabilities and creative skills of the disabled cast and crew working with a director, dramaturg, sound designer, producer and access consultant. 

Image: Kath Duncan by Angel Leggas 3FatesMedia

Kath Duncan (she/her) is a writer, researcher, performer, producer. Kath has been writing and performing since she was six years old, and has been involved specifically in disability arts for 35 years. Kath coproduced the disability-led spoken word cabaret troupe, Quippings: Disability Unleashed from 2010-2020; Kath has represented Australian disabled artists in Amsterdam, Manchester, Liverpool, Bangkok, Washington DC and around Oz and is the winner of the 2020 Australia Council Ros Bower Award for Community Arts and Cultural Development. Between 2017-20 Kath was Chairperson/Research Associate of an Australian Research Council project called Disability and the Performing Arts in Australia: Beyond the Social Model. Kath planned eight national inclusive performance workshops, with a core team and 300 participants. Kath is one of the original consultants on Arts House’s Disability & Inclusion Advisory Committee, and is presently writing and workshopping her own plays, having just acquired a Masters in Theatre Writing at VCA. Kath’s main passion is access and inclusion in the arts. 


Irene Holub and Walter Kadiki 
1880 – Manifesto of Silences 

1880 – Manifesto of Silences is an innovative new work by Irene Holub (Artistic Director) and Walter Kadiki (Librettist & Dramaturge) that marries operatic performance, sign language opera, projection art, sound vibrations and experimental elements. This project centres on a historical decision made in 1880, driven by political and monetary motives which marginalised the Deaf community by suppressing their language, culture, and identity for over a century. The performance will explore intricate poetic expressions and emotions tied to this decision, aiming to raise awareness of its impact on the Deaf community. Through The Warehouse Residency, Irene and Walter will adopt a Deaf-led collaborative approach and foster professional relationships with non-Deaf allies and facilitating mutual learning.  

Image: Irene Holub by Catherine Stevenson

Irene Holub is a multidisciplinary artist who passionately explores the power of language. Her works integrate poetry, sound, movement, and videos to evoke empathy and diverse experiences. Her collaborations with Deaf Artists and allies broaden the reach of her art, introducing a wider audience to Deaf language and culture through poetic applications. As an active representative in Deaf Arts, Irene served as a board member for Arts Access Victoria, Deaf Victoria, and Deaf Australia. Initiating Auslan Art Tours and participating in significant events like State of Deaf Arts, Arts Centre (2019), Future of Deaf Arts – Women’s Art Register (2022), and Evolve Arts Residency, AAV (2023), she advocates for Deaf Arts and Auslan in the Arts. A co-founder of the successful FLOW festival, Irene played a key role in leading Deaf Arts, serving as a creative producer for the FLOW festival from 2018 to 2021.  

Image: Walter Kadiki supplied by artist 

Walter Kadiki is a master of weaving signed poetry and visual vernacular into poetic performances that bridge cultures and are accessible to Deaf and hearing audiences. He has delivered workshops in Deaf Slam Poetry for young people across Australia, worked with community groups and collaborated/performed for the Melbourne Fringe Festival, Gertrude Street Projection Art, Federation Square, the Melbourne Deafolympics and the Australian Parliament, among others. In 2017, Walter collaborated with US based interdisciplinary dance and design company NOW- ID – his powerful poetry was the impetus and focus for their original contemporary dance-based piece “a Tonal Caress” which was performed at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts July 2018. He has coordinated a group of Auslan performers to translate poetry and produced/performed a poem for the MIRROR exhibition at the State Library of Victoria. 



CultureLAB is our creative development program that supports independent artists, collectives, and small-medium organisations to create new work. CultureLAB is our Expression of Interest pathway through which Arts House commissions work for our presentation seasons.   

Aseel Tayah and Bukjeh 
One last lullaby, mama  

In this new Bukjeh development, four women – mothers, daughters themselves, migrants, refugees and displaced – share the love, loss, and longing in an immersive theatre piece of food, stories, dance, songs, and music. This is a creative development together with recently arrived refugee women from Gaza. 

Bukjeh translates to ‘a small pack of belongings carried by travelers’. We encourage our communities to share their art and stories, embracing the diverse range of storytelling forms -spoken word, music, songs, visual arts and language. Bukjeh builds social cohesion, harmony and inclusion of those who have been displaced, creating a culturally safe space by embracing and respecting diversity of background, experience, ideas, thoughts and feelings. Bukjeh delivers a range of projects and activities to audiences all over Australia through virtual and in person programs & projects. This project puts new and diverse communities and their stories front and centre for us all to share. The refugee storytellers are new to Australia, or have been here for a long time, unfamiliar with the Australian mainstream, or perhaps they have chosen to live their lives as if they were still in their homeland, some of whom are involved in arts and culture projects and for some, this is their very first adventure in the arts. 

Image: Aseel Tayah, supplied by artist

Aseel Tayah is a Melbourne-based Palestinian artist, creative director and cultural leader who uses her practice to advocate for artists of colour, mothers, children and young people, changing the world, one project at a time. She has recently been described as “an unstoppable force in the Australian cultural landscape.” Through the power of storytelling, Aseel’s artistic practice creates awareness and facilitates connection by humanising the experiences of people who have been displaced. 


Eugenia Lim  
OCEAN EYES (Australis)  

Inspired by the acute vision and navigation of birds, OCEAN EYES (Australis) combines dance, documentary and saturated ‘bird vision’ to weave stories of survival, loss, endurance and shared futures.  

Image: Eugenia Lim by Ben Clement

Eugenia Lim is an artist of Chinese-Singaporean ancestry who works across body, lens, social and spatial practice to explore how migration, capital and encounter cut, divide and bond our interdependent world. Based in Melbourne, Australia, on unceded Wurundjeri lands in the Kulin Nation, Lim has shown at the Tate Modern (GBR), LOOP Barcelona (ESP), Recontemporary (IT), Kassel Dokfest (DE), Museum of Contemporary Art (AU), ACCA (AU), FACT Liverpool (GBR), Kunsthal Charlottenborg (DK) and EXiS (KR). She co-founded CHANNELS Festival, co-wrote and hosted Video Becomes Us on ABC iView and is a former co-director at APHIDS. Lim has been artist-in-residence with the Experimental Television Centre (NY), Bundanon Trust, 4A Beijing Studio, and Gertrude Contemporary. Lim is a 2022 Sidney Myer Creative Fellow and winner of Charlottenborg Spring’s 2022 Deep Forest Art Land Award. In 2024, Lim is an AIDC Leading Light and Frame Documentary Lab participant, and one of 10 international directors selected for the prestigious Berlinale Talents Short Form Station 2024. 


Ripley Kavara and Nadeem Tiafau Eshraghi 
Great Ocean Volumes (working title) 

Great Ocean Volumes is a 60-minute performance by Lakatoi aka Ripley Kavara (Papua New Guinean) and Enter aka Nadeem Tiafau Eshraghi (Samoan/Persian) of new sound works composed in an immersive installation of projections paired with field and archival recordings from the Great Ocean (islands of the Pacific). 

Image: Ripley Kavara by Atong Atem

Ripley Kavara is a music producer, composer, instrumentalist and vocalist who creates worlds with sound. He is of Papua New Guinean and Scottish heritage. He exists across both Pasifika and queer realms which have informed his practice as a community organiser, youth worker, curator and musician. Kavara works to create spaces for performers and artists to tell stories through music. He invites them to participate in a deep community led practice around creation – primarily through reconnecting to culture, ancestry, history and the grief that haunts many of our complex histories. Through these spaces, he hopes to achieve a reconnection and catharsis, by naming those intangible feelings we all live with.   

Kavara’s brainchild Kandere was the catalyst that launched them into the heights of the music scene. Performing at Dark Mofo alongside artists including Kojey Radical, GAIKA, Kaiit, Drmingnow, Kandere was applauded by music critics, receiving rave reviews from Noisey, Purple Sneakers, Acclaim and Swampland magazines. Kandere’s debut single ‘BBGOY’ solidified Kavara as an innovator, their music described as “evoking strong visions.”  Kavara is the founder of FAMILI. Birthed in 2019, FAMILI is a music-focused Pasifika and Blak collective of queer and transgender musicians. As Creative Director, lead artist and producer, they hold the role of working collaboratively with other artists to bring life to their visions and stories. 

Image: Nadeem Tiafau Eshraghi by Katy Chan-Dyer 

Nadeem Tiafau Eshraghi is a Samoan/Iranian artist, designer, DJ and organiser, currently living and working on Turrbal and Yuggera country, in Meanjin/Brisbane. ‘Enter’ is the title and invitation for their expressive practices across sound, sight and space. Some of their work dissects the human condition through a deeply personal lens, whilst other projects present ephemeral environments for connection, ritual and contemplation. Their original compositions are collages of lived experience, exploring their unique cultural context and identity through recordings, found sound & rhythms. They’ve been developing a live performance practice, with opportunities over the last few years at Cement Fondu, Kepk, ADA x DRONE, and Vacant Assembly. They’ve also presented installations as part of Brisbane Art Design’s 2022 program, Mode Festival’s 2023 arts programme on Wareamah, and with collaborative works at the Tate Modern (London) and the Queensland Art Gallery. They’ve been actively engaged in community evolutions across a range of music and arts contexts over the last decade, with current roles at music/arts organisations Echo & Bounce and Outer Space. 


Emele Ugavule / Studio Kiin 
Ancestor Incarnate  

Ancestor Incarnate (AI) is an intercultural Melafuturist theatrical work, written by Emele Ugavule, that unpacks the relationship between native title cases against the British Crown, Food Sovereignty & Climate Change. Artists include Carissa Lee and Iya Ware, with the support of people weaver, Linda Iriza. 

Image: Emele Ugavule by Tasha Faye 

Studio Kiin is an Indigenous-led creative studio and collective. They are a family of storytellers who are working to normalise story sovereignty, cultivate kinship and prioritise healing in creative practice. They are passionate about empowering artists to lead with culturally responsive, ethical and sustainable creative practice. They look for opportunities to bring ideas, stories or projects to life that are sustainable, exciting and challenging. They don’t do ‘one size fits all’ and their job is not to tell you how to tell your story. They work to empower people to tell their story their way and on their terms. Their methods are tailored to the specific needs of each community, project and partnership they collaborate with through honouring the place, space and time that they exist in. 


Stéphanie Ghajar & Collaborators 
Yè Ma 

Yè Ma is an immersive project that invites you to explore the nuanced recollections of individuals as it delves into the intricate interplay of memory and migration, especially with ageing. 

Image: Stéphanie Ghajar, supplied by artist

Stéphanie Ghajar is a Lebanese-born theatre and film-maker, mainly working as a director and dramaturge. In 2020, Ghajar began a new collaboration with interdisciplinary artists from Naarm, Melbourne. A group of mainly young migrants from the Middle East, they devised a new theatre work, Zaffé, interwoven from a tapestry of their lived experiences. This developed their collaboration to focus and spark conversations about belonging and memory, centring voices that tend to sit on the margin. Zaffé extended beyond the stage, igniting community engagement with people from all backgrounds in Naarm. For its premiere season in 2023, it was awarded the Director’s Choice Award with Melbourne Fringe Festival and a Green Room Award for Best Sound Design and Composition. 


The Motherless Collective 
3 Blak Ravers 

MoCo will undergo a development of 3 Blak Ravers; a story that follows three Blak queers, embarking on a journey to find The Rave, placed in the realm between the bush and metropolitan landscapes. In a surreal nightmare-fuelled horror cabaret, our characters must confront their fears as the spirits are out to get them, while on the most thrilling trip of their lives. MoCo will be exploring different forms of Blak technology through the forms of drag, dance, music, song, spoken word, shadow play, digital and visual arts to form this haunting cabaret of creatures and spirits in the night. All of this with costumes and projections that reflect twisted nightmares as the characters dive deeper into the surreal landscape. 

Image: The Motherless Collective, supplied by the artists

The Motherless Collective (MoCo) is comprised of Stone Motherless Cold (Arrernte, Stone Turner, she/they/re), Cerulean (Meriam Mir, Caleb Thaiday, they/them) and Mora Money (Wiradjuri, Elijah Money, he/him).  

Emerging from 2019, this drag collective is entirely First Nations Trans/Gender non-confirming; they have been reclaiming space throughout the ever expanding drag scene. Drag is in dire need for Blak queer representation which MoCo provides while offering a wide range of refreshing acts. Each drag performer presents their own personal styles – an amalgamation of their art, history and Blak perspectives on popular culture. Having worked on a series of collective projects over the years, the trio also collaborate in a variety of ways whether it’s helping out backstage, creating artwork for an event, mixing audio tracks or MC-ing an opening night.  

Together, they have worked on: Placid in Play – Incinerator Gallery 2024, Alluvium and Bow Down Duo –  Yirramboi Festival 2023, Cozy – 2023-, Discover Drag workshops – Signal 2023, The Body is More Than This –  Immigration Museum in partnership with Midsumma 2023, Rainbow of Tomorrows – Koorie Heritage Trust in partnership with Melbourne Fringe 2022, The Fae – Signal in partnership with Yirramboi Festival 2022, SMASH: the drag show – Abbotsford Convent, Midsumma 2022, Front and Centre – Brunswick Mechanics Institute 2020, Sight for Sore Eyes – Blak Dot Gallery with Midsumma 2020, Drag of Kwatye – Koorie Heritage Trust in partnership with Midsumma 2019, White Rabbit – Melbourne Fringe Festival 2019, Dis rupt – Yirramboi Festival 2019,  Drag of Naarm” Let’s Take Over presents: The Reveillon – Northcote Town Hall, Darebin Arts, 2019. 


Margaret Harvey 

THE DARK MATTER OF USULAL is rooted in a myth from Saibai Island and embodies an Indigenous Eco-Womanist perspective, empowering Indigenous women amidst climate change-induced displacement and transmitting ancestral knowledge. Through the integration of Motion Capture technology into theatre-making, USULAL merges physical and virtual expressions to embody narratives influenced by Saibaian animism. 

Image: Margaret Harvey, supplied by the artist

Margaret Harvey amplifies Melanesian voices by exploring the intricacies of the Saibaian continuum through narratives that delve into migratory experiences in both live performance and film. As a multifaceted researcher, performer, writer, director, and producer, her current postdoctoral journey at the University of Melbourne focuses on contemporary storytelling of Zenadh Kes for climate change adaptation. 


Arts House Develops 

Arts House Develops is a by invitation development program through which Arts House commissions work for our presentation seasons.  

Olivia Muscat 
Is Anyone Even Watching? 

This work will be a journey in identity discovery. Through playful and joy-driven storytelling, and the subversion of traditional forms of access and language surrounding disability such as audio description, it will take the audience on a trip through questioning their biases while refusing to pander to an abled gaze or seeking to be an exercise in education for the uninitiated. Illustrating the singular experience of being a disabled person who wrestles with the oxymoronic desire to simultaneously blend in and stand out. It will ponder the confusion of wishing to live joyfully while being propelled by rage, and the hopelessness of being told you’re never quite enough yet always slightly too much by both the abled and disabled worlds. 

Image: Olivia Muscat by Sarah Walker

Olivia Muscat is a creator, Performer, writer, and disability arts activist. She has been awarded fellowships by Varuna, The Wheeler Centre, and Arts Access Victoria, and has taken part in developments at Arts House and Footscray Community Arts Centre. Her writing has appeared in ABC Everyday, Arts Hub, The Saturday Paper, Witness Performance, Kill Your Darlings, and Refinery-29, and in several notable anthologies including Growing Up Disabled in Australia, Women of a Certain Rage, and Meet Me at the Intersection. Her first picture book is set for publication in 2025. 


Vidya Rajan  
Crisis Actor 

Crisis Actor responds to the urgent issue of reality collapse, and its link to living in a time of increased emergency and accelerating digital and synthetic media. Playful and participatory, Crisis Actor invites audiences to tussle with the issue’s impact on our trust, action and empathy for others. Led by Vidya Rajan with key collaborators Mohamed Chamas and Sam McGilp, and produced by Performing Lines – Crisis Actor brings together artists at the intersection of emerging technology and game design. 

Image: Vidya Rajan, supplied by the artist

A multi-disciplinary artist, Vidya Rajan works across stage, screen and digital space. A graduate of VCA, she’s trained heavily in improvisational and game-based devising. Her practice is shaped by non-hierarchical making, knowledge sharing and generative play. Her work is often humorous, ethically probing and formally curious with an interest in liveness and agency. Recently, she won the AWGIE for comedy writing (SBS) and she was awarded a 2023 Australia Council Digital Fellowship to explore the intersection of performance and emergency technology, mentored by Scarlett Kim (Korea/US). 


Weave Movement Theatre and Rebecca Jensen 
Flesh Mirror 

Flesh Mirror blends elements from sci-fi cinema, pop culture, and personal biographies of the Weave Movement Theatre ensemble, exploring fragmented narratives of the other, dual realities, and the supernatural. Sunglasses symbolize alternate worlds, integrating live performance and video in a choreographic documentary that blurs biography and fiction.  

Image: Flesh Mirror, video still by Zoe Scoglio

Weave Movement Theatre makes the stage an area for dynamic and exploratory performance; a space to challenge power and celebrate movement. As a bold, diverse dance/theatre company made up of Disabled performers, Janice Florence, Trevor Dunn, David Baker, Uncle Greg Muir, Anthony Riddel, Sonia Marcon, Emma Norton, Weave, combines dance, physical theatre, spoken word, pedestrian movement and physical humour. Since its formation in 1997 the company has helped to expand inclusive practices, challenging conventional ways of seeing dance theatre and Disability, championing a model for Disability-led performing art practice. 

Rebecca Jensen is a dancer, choreographer and teacher. Her work includes performance for theatres, galleries, unconventional spaces and video. She works through dance, utilising its equally speculative and practical powers to encourage reflection, sensory recalibration, connection and transformation. Rebecca has presented work in FRAME Biennale 2023, Kier Choreographic Award 2016/2022, Front Beach Back Beach 2022, CONTACT HIGH, Gertrude Glasshouse 2021, Blindside Gallery 2021 and Dance Massive 2015/2017. Since 2013 she has co-directed Deep Soulful Sweats with Sarah Aiken. Rebecca is influenced by her extensive history working as a performer with artists including Jo Lloyd, Lucy Guerin, Shelley Lasica, Adam Linder, Alicia Frankovich, Lee Serle and Harrison Ritchie-Jones. She is a 2015 DanceWEB scholar, Australia council Cité internationale des arts resident 2020 and was Resident Director of Lucy Guerin inc 2023. 


Wang Chong and Emma Valente 
Chinese Room 2.0  

Performance The Chinese Room 2.0 is inspired by the thought experiment known as “the Chinese room,” which concerns artificial intelligence and communication. The performance tells the story of Wang Chong, a global nomad and immigrant, while exploring the human-AI relationship in our time. It was developed with Arts House in 2023. 

Image: Wang Chong by Ye Lin

Wang Chong is the founder of Beijing-based group Théâtre du Rêve Expérimental. He is the most internationally commissioned Chinese theatre director. His works have been performed in more than 20 countries. Wang’s productions include: The Warfare of Landmine 2.0 (2013 Festival/Tokyo Award), Lu Xun (2016 Beijing News Best Chinese Performance), Teahouse 2.0, (2018 One Drama Awards Best Little Theater Work), Waiting for Godot (2020 live online performance with 290,000 audience), and Made in China 2.0 (2024 Green Room nomination). He has been a global nomad since 2022. 

Image: Emma Valente, supplied by the artist

Emma Valente is a director, dramaturg, lighting designer and occasional trouble maker. She is the Co-Artistic Director of feminist theatre company THE RABBLE. Emma is the recipient of the Creators Fund grant from Creative Victoria and she is a Sidney Myer Fellow Curator at Large (performance) at The SUBSTATION. Emma has directed works for THE RABBLE that have been performed for Dublin Fringe Festival, Arts House, St Martins, Wuzhen Festival, Melbourne International Arts Festival, Dark MOFO, Brisbane Festival, Malthouse Theatre, Belvoir, MTC, The Substation, Theatre Works, CarriageWorks and La Mama. Emma is also an award-winning Lighting Designer and has worked for many major theatre companies across the country. 


Subash Thebe Limbu 
Artist Residency 

‘As an indigenous person, I always want to connect with indigenous peoples and artists from around the world working and exploring indigeneity, self-determination, land rights and climate change. This residency at Arts House gave me the opportunity to do so, for which I am very grateful. Meeting mostly with First Nations and other artists, writers, and curators for my early research on my upcoming project has been very helpful and encouraging. In addition, being involved in Odalala exhibition via artist talk with Peter Waples-Crowe and curator Vishal Kumaraswamy, was one of the highlights of my residency. I appreciate the open-ended and flexible nature of residency, it gave me freedom to nurture my knowledge, and build kinships in ways that it has left me with multiple possibilities to develop my practice further in the future.’

Image: Subash Thebe Limbu, supplied by the artist

Subash Thebe Limbu is a Yakthung (Limbu) artist from eastern Nepal ‘quantumly’ based in Newa Nation (Kathmandu) and London. His practice spans sound, film, music, performance, painting, and podcasting. His Yakthung name is Tangsang (Sky). The artist’s works are inspired by socio-political issues, resistance and science/speculative fiction —notions of time, climate change, and indigeneity or “Adivasi Futurism” as he calls it, are recurring themes in his works.  He is the co-founding member of Haatemalo Collective and Yakthung Cho Sangjumbho. 


Co-Commissioned with Asia TOPA 

A solo puppeteer is performing a fable for children. A flourishing society does away with time, ignoring night and day, leading to a flood.  A team of disaster recovery workers burst in to transform the theatre into a disaster recovery centre. Out of these competing narratives, a visually stunning work emerges asking what role should humanity, and the theatre, play in times of increasing disaster? 

Through the constantly shifting imagery, we experience stunning shifts in scale from the miniature to the gigantic, with the story moving between the abstract and the literal. A blue tarpaulin becomes a surging ocean; pallets of tinned food become battlements; bags of rice become sandbags to hold back a flood. Goldfish is a ground-breaking collaboration between Terrapin and Aichi Prefectural Art Theater that invites festivals, audiences and artists to imagine a new model of theatre in a collapsing world. 

Image: Goldfish, courtesy of Aichi Prefectural Art Theatre

Inspired by a deep connection to the most imaginative and fantastic of artforms, an experience with Terrapin Puppet Theatre reminds us all that our ability to create something extraordinary is always with us, wherever we are. From their island home in Tasmania, they create worlds of creative adventure. Their in-theatre productions transport children and families to incredible places with narratives of adventure, humour and beauty. Their interactive installations use simple technologies in dazzling ways to make audiences of all ages essential creators in transforming public space. They engage the best people from a wide range of artistic backgrounds and practices in performance, design, construction, music composition and systems design. The energy and dynamic processes they use to craft their work is clearly reflected in the work itself; its providence and inventiveness woven throughout.  

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Incoming works in progress for 2024-25