These short films follow different alumni of the Victorian College of the Arts as they explore their arts practice post graduate studies. The series is an intimate portrayal of emerging artists including visual artists, filmmakers, choreographers and directors, writers for both stage and screen and a community-based arts practitioner. Included in the series is an episode on Su Baker: artist, educator and Director of the VCA.
Su Baker, Director of the VCA
Professor Su Baker is Director of the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA), University of Melbourne with 25 years’ experience in teaching, research and senior management.
Su is a leading arts academic and artist, who is called upon for expert advice and has written on the shifting needs of arts education and the role of the Art School in the 21st Century, including “Art School 2.0 : Art Schools in the Information Age or Reciprocal Relations and the Art of the Possible”.
Su has exhibited nationally over the last 20 years in public and commercial galleries, including numerous solo and selected group exhibitions and national survey shows including in a number of curated exhibitions at state galleries and significant contemporary art venues.
- Su Baker, Director of the VCA
Fred Fowler, Master of Contemporary Art
“I was pretty apprehensive about going to the VCA but at my first Lecture at the VCA, Bernhard Sachs spoke about this theory of Signifiers and he just put on a Lars Von Trier film and then walked out, and I was like great, this is going to be okay.
“You have to have meaning in the work or else what is it? I think if you create the work with some greater intention, it may not be overt, but it will still come through in the energy of the work. Everyone reads into artwork differently.
“I could never give up art, it’s a part of my personality. Making art is a way of creating your own language and creating your own culture.”
- Fred Fowler, Master of Contemporary Art
Corrie Chen, Master of Film and Television (Narrative)
“I did a media and communications degree at another university, majoring in film production, but I really wanted to be challenged and learn more about filmmaking from the artistic side of things, and a lecturer recommended I apply for VCA. It’s an institution that is renowned and I knew if I wanted to be taken seriously, it was the first step I needed to take.
“My goals over the next few years are to continue making as much as I can – in whatever format possible, and to continue learning through experimentation. I have also been doing a few directors’ attachments on TV shows, being taken through the whole process and the incredible pace they work.”
- Corrie Chen, Master of Film and Television (Narrative)
Paula Binnie, Graduate Certificate in Visual Art
“For the ‘Untitled Dead Horse’ video work, I had about seven hours sleep in five days, I just had to get it all out. I sat and edited day and night. I knew the images I was going to put in. Sometimes it’s literally about losing a frame or two and then you’ve got to match it up with the other screen - when you’re exhibiting with two screens.
“When you’re so focused, nothing is going to distract you. It’s very obsessive - but then I go for days without having ideas, so in that moment you don’t want to lose your rhythm. Sometimes it’s the only way, you might forget what was next. You’ve just got to get it made and for those few days, nothing else matters.”
- Paula Binnie, Graduate Certificate in Visual Art
Chris Parkinson, Master of Community Cultural Development, now the Master of Arts and Community Practice
“I think stories illuminate life. The capacity to produce new stories and share them in new ways is something that always inspires me. “Stories,” Booker prize winning author, Ben Okri asserts, “are the secret reservoirs of values: change the stories individuals and nations live by and tell themselves and you change the individuals and nations.”
“My VCA experience, through study with the Centre for Cultural Partnerships, has presented me with opportunity, growth, mentorship and connectivity to a wider creative world. It has exposed me to people and practices that are exciting and collaborations that are enduring.
“My goal over the next few years is to develop knowledge and continued regional creative exchanges and productions around the Animatism Project: animatismart.com”
- Chris Parkinson, Master of Community Cultural Development, now the Master of Arts and Community Practice
Alice Darling, Postgraduate Diploma in Performance Creation (Directing), now the Master of Directing for Performance
Theatre actor/writer/director Alice Darling talks about returning to study directing for performance at the VCA, and her work on Kindness - the culmination of three years’ creative partnership with fellow theatre alumni Kate Shearman and Bridget Mackey.
Kindness debuted at Theatre Works in 2015 as part of Flight: Festival of New Writing, an initiative in partnership with the VCA and Footscray Community Arts Centre to showcase the work of our theatre graduates.
- Alice Darling, Postgraduate Diploma in Performance Creation (Directing), now the Master of Directing for Performance
Maggie Miles, Graduate Diploma of Film and TV (Producing), now the Master of Producing
“Producing is about being really organised whilst at the same time allowing room for creativity and experimentation. I just find it really fascinating. It’s not painting by numbers.
“I believe that every Producer/Director relationship is different. It’s a question of facilitating the Director’s needs and coming up with ideas to realise what it is they’re looking for.
“With film, I think it’s really exciting to be able to take something that doesn’t change every night and transport it to an audience. You hope and imagine that they leave the screening and hold on to something, you imagine they go away with an insight that has been enabled through that process.
“Filmmaking in four words… tenacity, ideas, talent and opportunity.”
- Maggie Miles, Graduate Diploma of Film and TV (Producing), now the Master of Producing
Tobias Manderson-Galvin, Master of Writing for Performance
“By the time I reached the VCA I had a politics degree and a diploma of arts. I decided to study the Master of Writing for Performance because there was and still is no other course like this one, not in Australia or overseas.
“My VCA experience has already been instrumental in my continued success thanks to the interpersonal networks, the experience as a working artist and the exposure to an academic culture that doesn’t have to end with one of those teddy bears with the tiny academic cape, mortarboard cap and monocle.”
- Tobias Manderson-Galvin, Master of Writing for Performance
Ted Wilson, Master of Screenwriting
Ted Wilson is a Tasmanian. Another quality of his is that he has more than 15 years of experience in entertainment. Ted’s accolades include winning the illustrious Hobart Super8 Film Competition with his romantic comedy/zombified bureaucratic short, Day of the Valentines (writer/director).
Ted has also written for Channel 31’s Studio A, performed in nine comedy festivals across Australia (most regularly as ‘European Man’) and has been a radio announcer on NOVA100. Ted is currently writing a second feature film and preparing to shoot two of his shorts.
- Ted Wilson, Master of Screenwriting
Darren Vizer, Master of Choreography, now the Master of Dance
Master of Choreography (now the Master of Dance) alumnus Darren Vizer talks about his return to graduate study and how he applies his acting background to his dance and choreography practice.
Darren is a multi-talented actor, dancer and choreographer. He is the founder and Artistic Director of dance company Devize Co, and is the current Artist in Residence at La Mama Theatre. He also works with first-year students as a guest choreographer at the VCA.
- Darren Vizer, Master of Choreography, now the Master of Dance
Sarah Hopper, Master of Production Design for Screen
Sarah is a production designer for film and television, and has worked on television shows including HBO's The Leftovers, features films including The Dressmaker, Lion and television's Jack Irish series.
- Sarah Hopper, Master of Production Design for Screen