NERVOUS: A Collaboratorium


  • National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

Conceived by Heather B Swann, the work begins with eight sculptures. During the development and construction of these objects, Heather invited two contemporary musical ensembles, a poet, two singers, a composer, a theatre maker and an electronic scribe to join with her in exploring and extending the sculptures' physical, conceptual and emotional space and force.

Over the past year, Heather has developed a much-expanded form of one of the Nervous sculptures. The nine Banksia Men will be exhibited in 'Magic Object', the 2016 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, to be held at the Art Gallery of South Australia from 26 February to 15 May.

Kevin Brophy has written a suite of poems in response to the sculptures, and several of these have been incorporated in Thomas Green's score for the performance work. Two of the resulting songs have been released on Youtube: I See You and Banksia Men. Tom has also written an extended version of his Banksia Men piece as a soundscape to accompany the Adelaide exhibition.

The world premiere of Nervous will be at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra on Saturday 3 September 2016.

Following a series of live performances, Nervous will be presented in the form of an exhibition of sculpture and drawing, recorded music and video, which will run until late November.

The Nervous ensemble gratefully acknowledges Arts Victoria, Medley Hall and Clemenger BBDO for facilitating the first stage of the project.

Tax-deductible donations in support of Nervous are made possible through Creative Partnerships Australia and the Australian Cultural Fund.

August 10
PLEXUS: Polyphony
October 31
PLEXUS at Beleura