PLATFORM Live June 27

One Day Online Performance Festival by Artists with Disabilities

Performances, Video, Art & Discussions from Artists Across Australia

Jana Castillo. Photo Stephen A’Court.

Eastern Riverina Arts are pleased to announce PLATFORM Live, an online one-day festival featuring some of Australia’s boldest, funniest, creative, and most provocative artists and performers with disability.

Broadcasting live on Saturday 27 June, PLATFORM Live comprises four online sessions: Ideas, Screen, Words and Stage. Curated by Hanna Cormick and Daniel Savage, who both identify as artists with disability, the festival will be supported by audio description, closed captions and Auslan.

One of the artists featuring in PLATFORM Live: Stage is Jana Castillo; one of Australia’s leading female contemporary dancers, and a performer with the Australian Dance Theatre. Growing up in Wodonga, it was evident from a young age that Jana was born for the stage, often sacrificing social time for a dance studio and eisteddfods. As her career progressed, Jana acquired impairments, which led her on a new journey of self-discovery and advocacy. Her dedication and passion for her art is infectious and her undeniable skill and artistry is challenging perceptions of disability in the dance industry. Jana received the 2018 Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer.

Other highlights of the festival include readings by Carly Findlay OAM, Andy Jackson and Gayle Kennedy, a panel discussion on online arts in the time of COVID-19 from ‘veteran isolators’, and performances by musician Liz Martin and burlesque performer and Deaf artist Katia Schwartz.

Jana Castillo. Photo Chris Herzfeld

The festival also aims to promote an initiative by Eastern Riverina Arts called PLATFORM, a multi-sensory mobile art installation space adapted from a 20-foot shipping container, now available for hire by festival and event organisers. With one in five Australians identifying with disability, the PLATFORM space is an accessible experience for people of all ages and abilities who might otherwise find that attending a festival or event is beyond their reach.

Producer of PLATFORM Live, Scott Howie says: “Everyone has the right to participate in the cultural life wherever they live. PLATFORM has been our way of increasing inclusivity and accessibility for events in regional NSW. We have worked with volunteer festival teams, giving them the tools to put people with disability front and centre in their event planning. In the rush to move events online quickly and cheaply, accessibility and inclusivity has sometimes been overlooked.

With PLATFORM Live, we want to put artists with disability out there, and make sure the event can be enjoyed by everybody. Our curatorial team Daniel Savage and Hanna Cormick, who both identify as disabled artists, have put together a line-up that promises to entertain, provoke, amuse and astound – and maybe dispel a few misconceptions about the type of work that artists with disability make.”

Hanna Cormick. Photo by Shelly Higgs Novel Photographic


PLATFORM Ideas: 2:00 – 3:00pm
It took a pandemic to make the world digitally accessible, but how long will it last? Performance artist Hanna Cormick leads a panel discussion on online arts in the time of COVID-19, featuring a selection of artists and advocates who have prior experience with isolation and creating artworks that can be accessible for those who can’t go outside.

Veteran isolators, many panel members have lived through years of being long-term housebound, and have watched this transition to social distancing and digital access from a unique perspective. Featuring Anna Barnes, Ricky Buchanan, Michelle Roger and Jenny O’Keefe.

PLATFORM Screen: 3:15 – 4:00pm
Artist and curator Daniel Savage will host a guided tour of selected work by 6 contemporary disabled artists working with video. The works have been selected to show the quality and diversity of practice that exists within disability arts today and the unique perspectives that a lived experience of disability brings to each arts practice. Featuring Sue Jo Wright, Romily Alice Walden, Riana Head-Toussaint, Prue Stevenson, Marion Conrow and Daniel Savage.

Katia Schwartz. Photo Jack Ailwood

PLATFORM Words: 4:30-5:30pm
Kick back and relax with some of Australia’s leading wordsmiths, in an afternoon session of story and poetry readings live-streamed to your room. Featuring readings from Carly Findlay OAM, Gayle Kennedy and Andy Jackson.

PLATFORM Stage: 7:00 – 8:30pm
Hosted by stand-up comedian and creator of Crips & Creeps comedy club Madeleine Stewart, PLATFORM Live will close with a line-up of playful, proactive, and powerful live performances including dancers, live music, aerialists and performance artists.

Featuring stand-up comedian Madeleine Stewart, musician Liz Martin, owner of Pole, Aerial and Burlesque Academy Sky Sirens Katia Schwartz, performance poet Alison Paradoxx, musicians Tralala Blip and dancer Jana Castillo.

Artists will also take over the PLATFORM Riverina Instagram exclusively for the festival in PLATFORM GALLERY, celebrating talented emerging artists and their work, from across Australia and from a diverse range of experiences and backgrounds.


Saturday 27 June
From 2:00PM
Free to watch online, available to watch online for two weeks after the festival.

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