Soothsayer Serenades, 2020, Spotify playlist updated weekly
Amrita Hepi is a dancer and choreographer with an interdisciplinary practice. In Soothsayer Seranades, she invites collaborators to develop playlists accompanied by provocations to move which are released at 4pm every Wednesday via the music streaming service Spotify. This format provides insights into how the COVID-19 pandemic has precipitated ways of rethinking how art can be experienced and distributed across place and time to transcend geographical and physical boundaries. The pandemic has highlighted how the internet and free social media platforms have provided connectivity during a time when we have been estranged from friends, family, community and workplaces.
The playlists in Soothsayer Seranades encourage listeners to actively participate, to reach out, and enable others to move in the shared moment of its release. The physicality of dance and the sensory qualities of music provide an experience of embodiment that either counters the isolating conditions of lockdown or suggests ways of reconnecting thereafter. The work invites us to experience the present, while also referencing the role of a soothsayer who has clairvoyant abilities to predict the future. If the pandemic has provided a portal to imagine different ways of being and living in the future, Soothsayer Serenades demonstrates an artistic response to how we could re-imagine our shared, global community and reaffirms the importance of our interconnection to each other.
(b.1989, Townsville of Bundjulung and Ngapuhi territories, Australia; based in Melbourne) An awardwinning First Nations choreographer and dancer from Bundjulung (Aus) and Ngāpuhi (NZ) territories. Her mission as an artist is to push the barriers of intersectionality in form and make work that establishes multiple access points through allegory. Her work is characterized by hybridity and engages in extending choreographic practices by combining dance and movement with other domains such as visual art, language and participatory research.
Curator : Sharmila Wood
Sharmila Wood is the Director of the curatorial initiative JINA. Since 2012, she has worked as a Senior Curator with FORM. Previously, Sharmila has held a plurality of roles, from fostering market access with artisans in India to safeguarding intangible cultural heritage for Aboriginal communities in Australia and developing curatorial place-based strategies for public art projects. She is interested in interdisciplinary approaches to addressing concerns around heritage, environment, social, and spatial justice. Sharmila conceptualises and develops community projects through socially engaged processes, creates installations, collaborates with artists on major commissions, and makes art interventions. Sharmila in 2017 was the recipient of an Asialink residency. She has edited books and writes regularly for publications, and journals, most recently for the Journal of Public Space, and Springer. Currently, she is working on a curatorial project, Actions for the Earth, a participatory platform for ecology, healing, and kindness in response to COVID-19 and the climate emergency. Her long-term curatorial project with Aboriginal artists from the Pilbara region of Western Australia was presented in 2021.