News & Insights

The Warehouse Residency Artists 2022 – 23

Meet our inaugural Warehouse Residency artists. 

The Warehouse Residency is Arts House’s new Deaf and Disability-led residency and commissioning program focusing on experimental projects presented at North Melbourne Town Hall.  This five-year initiative centres and celebrates the creative work of D/deaf, Disabled, neurodiverse and chronically ill artists and their collaborating allies. 

We are delighted to introduce the participating artists in the inaugural Warehouse Residency program.

Catherine Dunn and Sam Martin
More Than Words Can Say (March – May 2022)

This Deaf-led project will provide a culturally safe space for Deaf artists to explore their creative processes beyond the limitations of a hearing-centric world in spoken language. Collaborators, Catherine Dunn (she/her) and Sam Martin (he/him) are excited to provide a space to empower Deaf artists to thrive in their own language. What does Deaf theatre look like beyond access requirements? What can Deaf artists create without being compared to hearing artists? What can Deaf artists do that hearing artists can’t? We will invite Deaf artists to reflect upon their relationship with signed stories and Audism to present a reflective performance in a final showcase open to the public.” – Catherine Dunn and Sam Martin

Catherine Dunn (she/her) is passionate about connecting people through her work both in the disability advocacy sector and as an emerging artist. Her art practice includes explorations through poetry (in both Auslan and English), physical performance and visual arts. Performance highlights include Auslan poetry titled ‘Am I Deaf Enough?’ presented by Flow Festival 2021. She was a collaborating artist in ‘Hearts Beyond’, creating visual artwork “Staying Apart Keeps Us Together’ for site-specific public art exhibition as part of FUSE Festival 2021 with Luke King and Dan Goronszy Arts. Inspired by her lived experiences as a Deaf Queer woman, she is driven to provide spaces where people feel empowered individually and collectively.

Sam Martin (he/him) is a Deaf Gay/Queer creative producer and director passionate about the many facets of identities, inclusivity, navigating English and Auslan, and empowering and encouraging Deaf and queer communities. He has worked and continues to work within theatre and film with a range of exciting projects. His award-winning short film “Deafying Gravity” was shown internationally and continues to tour nationally.


Leisa Prowd
I Am Not This Body (July – October 2022)

I Am Not This Body is a memoir and exploration of the relationship I have with my body as someone who is not even 4ft in a 6ft world. I will be exploring themes of perception, voyeurism and consent through different mediums including film, spoken word, dance, projection and sculpture, culminating in a live performance and sensory/tactile installation. The Warehouse Residency will allow me the time, space, collaborations and consultations needed to develop the different elements and showcase the project as a whole. I am also wanting to make this project fully immersive, inclusive and accessible.” – Leisa Prowd

Leisa Prowd is a dancer, performance artist and life model. Her main interests lie in pedestrian movement, Butoh, contact improvisation, and exploring the uniqueness of her own body in relation to space and other bodies. Leisa has been a member of Weave Movement Theatre and Rawcus Theatre Company for a number of years and has performed in numerous short films, festivals and theatre productions both locally and internationally. Leisa is currently in Bremen, Germany performing with Unusual Symptoms at Theatre Bremen in “Harmonia” – a work created by Adrienn Hod from Hodworks. Earlier this year, Leisa secured an exhibition of the movement film, “I Am Not This Body” as part of Centre for Projection Arts and her film “Archiving the Body” is being screened as part of the Queer My Head exhibition for the Midsumma Festival.


Sublime Stim (March – May 2023)

“Sublime Stim is a conceptually driven work on the brain. Did you know your brain is different from other peoples’? It’s easy for the non-autistic to forget that they are a part of neurodiversity, which is as wonderous as biodiversity. Ever enjoyed popping bubble wrap? Then you have been sensory seeking in a process-based way. Whilst all people sensory seek, the practice of developing a vocabulary of sensory acts is more pronounced in the Autistic community. This practice is called Stimming. In this residency, Autistic and non-Autistic artists will be exploring stim vocabularies as an artistic process. This artwork is a collaborative stim through the body of my community. Sixteen artists will be developing a tactile/sensory performance piece with large-scale brain puppets and film installation with projection mapping. Demystifying Autistic practices, and sharing in our cultural dance.”  – Mishka

Mishka is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice explores the beauty of neurodiversity within alternative and queer cultural narratives. Mishka studied Fine Arts at VCA and Art Therapy at Phoenix Institute, they continue to explore this rich dynamic between art and psychology. Early in their career, they worked in traditional blacksmithing and as a sculpture technician for Velislav (Will) Georgiev on several large public sculpture works, including works such as Roadside Marker and Sandcastles and Kelp, for the Frankston City Council. Mishka worked as a metalwork technician for Lucas Maddock, building New Hypothetical Continents which featured in the McClelland Sculpture Survey & Award

Working for more than a decade in Melbourne’s arts communities, Mishka’s diverse experience includes performance art and co-directing both theatre and film shows for the Melbourne Fringe Festival and Gertrude Street Film Festival. 

In 2021, Mishka exhibited paintings at Orange, an improv jazz and art exhibition. They have been co-directing, dancing, and creating miniatures for film clips with local musicians such as Aarti Jadu and Haitus Kaiyote. They received a Quick Response grant from the City of Melbourne with which they created a short film expressing their visual vocabulary surrounding their late diagnosis of Autism. Mishka produced a solo theatre production Sublime Meltdown, and in collaboration with Sophia Constantine, produced an audiovisual installation Rage Manifesto for the La Mama War-Rak/Banksia festival.  


Catherine Dunn image courtesy of the artist; Sam Martin image by Gracie Delany; Leisa Prowd image by Aaron Walker Photography; Mishka image courtesy of the artist. 

Header image: Imagined Touch by Jodee Mundy Collaborations, Photo by Bryony Jackson

Image description: An image of two Deafblind female performers, both with brown hair, standing on a stage with a flame-red curtain backdrop. Each performer is connected  to a tactile sign language interpreter who are both dressed from head to toe in red. One interpreter is signing into the hands of one performer while the other interpreter is doing social haptic communication upon the back of the second performer. Each person has different facial expressions of joy, mischief and surprise. 

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