Victorian Seniors Festival: RMIT Gallery morning tea and art tours

Get your free artwork at Power to the People! - RMIT Gallery is giving away large color posters of Spanish artist Julio Falagán's work (pictured, left). Photo: Vicki Jones Photography

Get your free artwork at Power to the People! RMIT Gallery is giving away large color posters of Spanish artist (pictured, left) Julio Falagán’s work. Photo: Vicki Jones Photography

During the first week of the 33rd Victorian Seniors Festival, RMIT Gallery is hosting a special morning tea for seniors on Thursday 8 October from 11 am-12 noon.

Free public transport is available to Victorian Seniors Card holders during this week, with free travel on trams, trains and buses including free travel on V/Line economy class rail and coach.

So, take advantage of this opportunity and come into the Melbourne CBD and enjoy a special cultural activity at RMIT Gallery, with morning tea, as you explore the exhibitions Power to the People! and Performing Mobilities.

Our experienced guide will provide an insight into the new Performing Mobilities exhibition which presents new, experimental work that explores the mobility of people, migration, and worlds in motion.

Kick your shoes off and walk on a large expanse of pink salt from the Murray Darling region – or even lie down and make ‘salt angels’ if you feel so inclined (the artist Mick Douglas says both use and interpretation of the work is up to you – the audience!) Other intriguing works include taking a colored stick for a short stroll around the gallery – or event up Swanston Street; throwing a Frisbee around; or (for the energetic) jumping on arrows placed on the gallery floor. It’s all part of the physical engagement with an exhibition that even reveals a pigeon’s view of the journey home.

Walk in Mick Douglas’ work ‘Sal De Sal’ at Performing Mobilities. The installation presents a body of salt recently collected from the Murray-Darling Basin, an area of increasing salinity. Photo: Vicki Jones Photography.

Walk in Mick Douglas’ work ‘Sal De Sal’ at Performing Mobilities. The installation presents a body of salt recently collected from the Murray-Darling Basin, an area of increasing salinity. Photo: Vicki Jones Photography.

Don’t go home without taking your enormous, gorgeous high quality free color poster of artwork by Spanish artist Julio Falagán, who delighted audiences with his witty take on breaking into the competitive art market during his recent visit to Melbourne.

Julio’s exhibition ‘Power to the People!’ also invites audiences to become art collectors by taking his original work off the wall and for a small coin donation, photocopying your favourite. All money donated goes directly to the RMIT Scholarship Philanthropy Fund for disadvantaged undergraduate students.

We look forward to seeing you at the RMIT Gallery Seniors Morning Tea and Tour. Please note, if you are accompanying a Senior who requires assistance, we also welcome you to join in all the activities, give-aways and morning tea.

What: RMIT Gallery Seniors Morning Tea and Tour.

When: Thursday 8 October from 11 am-12 noon.

Cost: Free for Seniors and their carers.

Where: RMIT Gallery, 344 Swanston Street Melbourne (diagonally opposite Melbourne Central station, or take the tram along Swanston Street to Melbourne Central stop).

Bookings: appreciated, for catering: (03) 9925 1717.

Highlights of previous Seniors Festival activities at RMIT Gallery

2014: Warlayirti: The Art of Balgo – curator talk with Dr Jacky Healy

2014: Warlayirti: The Art of Balgo – curator talk with Dr Jacky Healy

2011: Space Invaders – print workshop with street artist Twone

2011: Space Invaders – print workshop with street artist Twone

2010: Somewhat Different: German design exhibition

2010: Somewhat Different: German design exhibition

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Exploring movement: Performing Mobilities opens at RMIT Gallery

Sam Trubridge performs Night Walk outside RMIT Gallery for the opening night of Performing Mobilities. Photo: Vicki Jones Photography, 2015.

Sam Trubridge performs Night Walk outside RMIT Gallery for the opening night of Performing Mobilities. Photo: Vicki Jones Photography, 2015.

At the opening night of Performing Mobilities at RMIT Gallery on 24 September, audiences explored a series of projects that captured the traces of journey based projects over the last year. These form part of the exhibition, together with a series of mobile performances taking place in the Gallery and around the Gallery environment. So it was fitting that Sam Trubridge’s Night Walk launched the event.

The ominous black plastic bubble moved up and down Swanston Street before oozing up the RMIT Gallery steps.

Trubridge, a New Zealand artist, said that the bubble – a two and a half metre diameter sphere made from black plastic bags – is very fragile. However, visibility inside the inflated shape is actually rather good – about the same as if he was wearing sunglasses. Good to know when navigating traffic in the city streets!

“I walk it through various passages in the city. And the idea is the fragility of this object kind of allows it to be marked by its passage and by the features of the landscape that passes through, creating a trace or a map of that journey. And it slowly disintegrates as it goes until it becomes more slick and oil like or liquid movement sort of type spherical piece of architecture to something disintegrated or more threatening or more ghostly,” Trubridge said.

Sam Trubridge performs Night Walk at the opening of Performing Mobilities at RMIT Gallery. Photo Vicki Jones Photography, 2015.

Sam Trubridge performs Night Walk at the opening of Performing Mobilities at RMIT Gallery. Photo Vicki Jones Photography, 2015.

Exhibition curator Dr Mick Douglas, a Senior Lecturer at the School of Architecture & Design at RMIT, said Performing Mobilities (25 September – 24 October) explores the tensions between increasing mobilities in a global sense and ways of performative creative arts practice, trying to directly engage with these problematics of mobility and immobility, of the uneven distribution of mobility.

“The exhibition presents new, experimental work that explores the mobility of people, migration, the mobility of matter, and the mobility of non human species,” he said.

“The curation of the program brings these different projects into a relationship with each other so that the different art of these mobilities brush up against each other to reveal something new to us about worlds in motion.”

Getting to grips with Kaya Barry's Pan which activates an accumulating collection of moving panoramic images. Photo: Vicki Jones Photography, 2015.

Getting to grips with Kaya Barry’s Pan which activates an accumulating collection of moving panoramic images. Photo: Vicki Jones Photography, 2015.

Performing Mobilities invites us to challenge ourselves about the way in which we think about and experience mobility. The exhibition was opened by Professor Maaike Bleeker, President of Performance Studies international (Psi), and Chair of Theatre Studies, Utrecht University.

The series of projects in different ways challenge us to re-engage in a way in which mobility affects us in our everyday lives, challenges us to think about our relationships to territory, to land, to the relationship with borders and how borders are monitored.

Playing around with David Thomas & Laurene Vaughan's participatory performance work

Playing around with David Thomas & Laurene Vaughan’s participatory performance work “Taking a Line for a Walk’. Photo: Vicki Jones Photography, 2015.

A number of projects invite you to leave the Gallery with a particular aspect of an artwork, some of the mobile performances invite you to walk with the artist encountering the city through the lens of the artist. Douglas explains “It starts to have us rethink and reimagine these relationships between our embodied experience and mobility and its significance in the world today.”

Douglas said some projects such as ‘A few Steps Not Here Not There’ by Mammad Aidani, Omid Movafgh, Mike Fard, Moshen Panahi and Hada Kazemitame is an installation exploring asylum seekers’ experiences of displacement. Dr Mammad Aidani has a PhD in hermeneutics and phenomenological psychology, and an MA in sociolinguistics and identity. His current research project focuses on perceptions, interpretations and ways of trauma and suffering amongst Iranian diaspora men.

“The project undertaken by Iranian asylum seekers, over two generations opens up to us ways of thinking about experience of asylum seeking,” Douglas said.

“What it is trying to do is help refugees come to terms to living in a new city, to explore the tensions between one place of origin and a place of current inhabitation.”

“A few Steps Not Here Not There’ creates an intimate setting for experiencing the looping film and encountering the original text of this installation exploring asylum seekers’ experience of displacement. Photo: Vicki Jones Photography, 2015.

The works in the program are all experimental and new works from the Australasian region. They particularly try and explore the local relevance but also the global relevance in mobilities.

Douglas said that Graham Miller’s work is the only internationally invited work and it plays a really pivotal role in helping us negotiate this tension between locality and globality.

“His project Beheld has been documenting where stowaways have fallen to ground from planes. It’s a really haunting project that reveals to us an Australian incident of this tragic circumstance of desperate forms of migration,” Douglas said.

Graeme Miller (left) and Mammad Aidani contemplate the latest Australian based addition of Miller's installation Beheld, which documents sites where stowaways have tragically fallen from planes. This was taken at Sydney airport, which was the site of such an accident in 1970. Photo; Vicki Jones Photography, 2015.

Graeme Miller (left) and Mammad Aidani contemplate the latest Australian based addition of Miller’s installation Beheld, which documents sites where stowaways have tragically fallen from planes. This was taken at Sydney airport, which was the site of such an accident in 1970. Photo; Vicki Jones Photography, 2015.

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Spanish artist Julio Falagán visits RMIT Gallery – and gives away copies of his artwork

 Spanish artist Julio Falagán's exhibition Power to the People! at RMIT Gallery from September 25-24 October invites audiences to take artwork off the gallery walls and, for a coin donation, photocopy colour prints for their own art collection. Photo Evelyn Tsitas

Spanish artist Julio Falagán’s exhibition Power to the People! at RMIT Gallery from September 25-24 October invites audiences to take artwork off the gallery walls and, for a coin donation, photocopy colour prints for their own art collection. Visitors can also take home huge color posters of his work free of charge.

He might still have a bit of jet lag, but RMIT Gallery asked visiting Spanish artist Julio Falagán some questions about his Melbourne visit and the launch of his exhibition Power to the People! at RMIT Gallery from 25 September-24 October.

You will be having a public talk with journalist Dr Antonio Castillo, and artist-academic Ciro Márquez from 4.30 pm on Thursday 24 September, and then official opening from 6 pm to 8 pm. Like you the other speakers are interested in how the citizen can subvert power and have a voice that is heard. Can you give us some idea of what you might be talking about? Perhaps revealing something of the political nature of your work?

I don’t really like to prepare presentations and giving a speech, I would rather create a debate with the other participants in a more spontaneous way, more alive. In my job I follow the same philosophy, I try not to take a unilateral stance, not to give answers, I’d rather find a good question. I enjoy the interaction with the spectator, the fact that my work requires the spectator to be an essential piece of the work.

I don’t like to call myself a political artist, my aim is far from doing politics with art, but I do live in a political society, which is why any statement can be understood as such. I simply give my opinion about things that surround me, from the point of view of those who don’t have a voice, I try to lay on the table / bring up issues that are overlooked.

Melbourne audiences will be able to have their very own Falagán original poster by photocopying your artwork. Doesn’t this go against the idea that artists need to protect their copyright?

Many of my works deal with this issue, and the difficulties the artist faces to professionalise their career, the speculation of the art market, and the dehumanisation of art. Art is a swampy territory, there’s no such thing as a unique truth, it is a contradiction in itself. This is why at the same time I sell my work I also give copies of it away.Culture can’t be something reserved for a privileged minority – we must, as artists, fight as much as possible to democratise art.

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What are the circumstances for artists in Spain right now? Is it even harder for them because of the financial crisis, or does that simply make so many other people in similar circumstances to artists, who have always had to struggle?

Currently in Spain there are three different types of artists: First, the rare ‘first class’ artists who can afford to live off art, they were active before the 1990s and the few who have had the chance to jump into the minor national art market. The second are the artists who come from a wealthy family that allows them to develop their interests and vices. The third kind, which includes the vast majority, is the emerging moonlighter artist, who works in numerous small jobs that allow him to pay rent and find enough time to produce art.

In Spain the art collector is an animal in danger of extinction. Someone please, send a humanitarian plane filled with aphrodisiacs and ‘mamporreros’. Jokes aside, it is actually a problem, but not because of the exiguous act of collecting, but because of the general disinterest for art. It’s a structural problem of education, less and less importance is given to the art subject in schools by reducing the teaching hours. A big mistake, since it’s the only subject that doesn’t indoctrinate, in which we are taught to question our environment, develop creativity and critical thinking skills that could be used in any situation during the rest of our lives. Until we resolve this basic issue, there won’t be a prosperous future for art in Spain, the projects I show at RMIT have a lot to do with this.

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Many artists say that having limitations of what they can do forces them to be creative. You use rubbish in your work as well, because of lack of funds. Do you find this a way to be creative? Can you talk about the evolution of the work in the Power to the People! Exhibition – did that evolve out of necessity in terms of where you sourced your material from?

For me difficulty is a challenge, creating a work is a process of overcoming obstacles, it’s like a puzzle. The bigger the challenge, the bigger the satisfaction if you manage to overcome it. If there are limits you know you need to work towards a solution, otherwise the goal is vague.

Long ago I did a work called STREET FIGHTER about how the need for survival encourages creativity.The use of materials in the case of Power to the People! it isn’t an issue of scarcity, using pity isn’t my style, it is a statement, you don’t need much to create something, That’s all. Starting from small to create something big, to relive obsolete art, revision and reflection.

Julio Falagán outside RMIT Gallery

Julio Falagán outside RMIT Gallery

Will this be your fist visit to Australia – and to Melbourne? Have you been researching the trip? As an artist, what do you hope to gain from the experience – and are there any flea markets or places that you really want to visit?

Yes, this will be my first time in Australia and I am really looking forward to get to know it. Before travelling to another country I like to immerse myself in its history, in order to understand what I see when I am there, but I don’t like to organize a route too much, I prefer to get carried along and be surprised. Something I do study is where and when the flea markets take place. I love visiting the flea markets of the cities I travel to, it’s where we really see how a society is really like, seeing what it discards, the real waste of the city, not what they want the city to be.

I’ve read information about Laverton Market, The Brunswick Market and others, but I want to follow the local advice to go to the best one, not the most tourist spots. I’m also very interested about urban art and Melbourne is a small paradise in that field. As I always travel with my skate, skate parks are another compulsory visit; perhaps Riverside Skate Park, Prahran and whatever I have time to see, skating in a new city is like a small conquest.

READ MORE “Art Exhibition Gives Power to the People”

What: Power to the People! Public talk and Meet the Artist. Free artwork and churros.

When: Thursday 24 September 4.30-5.30 pm

Official exhibition opening: 6-8 pm:

Exhibition dates: 25 September – 24 October.

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Please note: a coin donation is requested for photocopying – all money goes to the RMIT Scholarship Philanthropy Fund for disadvantaged students.

Volunteers wanted at RMIT Gallery – join us now

RMIT Gallery volunteers recruiting at Open Day. Photo Evelyn Tsitas

RMIT Gallery volunteers recruiting at Open Day. Photo Evelyn Tsitas

Do you have a burning ambition to work in an art gallery or museum? Are you studying visual art, curating or arts management but wondering how to break into a job in the competitive art field? RMIT Gallery are looking for dedicated volunteers to join our team. Join us now!

Our current pool of volunteers are planning to move on with their studies and career plans and as they take the valuable skills they have gained at RMIT Gallery with them, positions become available for others to join our team.

This is a wonderful opportunity to gain experience at a major public art gallery in the heart of the Melbourne CBD. You may be a current undergraduate or postgraduate student, or have completed your degree and are looking for practical work experience.

We are looking for regular volunteers who are able to donate their time on a regular weekly basis to undertake gallery sitting, reception work and wide variety of administrative and research tasks. Volunteers also assist in exhibition openings throughout the year that require staff to serve food and drinks, and assist in various aspects of the function, as well as other public program events. These are a great opportunity to meet artists, curators and other members of the arts community and gain first hand experience in event management.

Most of the current casual staff at RMIT Gallery started as volunteers, as did permanent staff members such Gallery Operations Manager Megha Nikhil. But you don’t need an arts degree to get a foot in the door. Casual gallery staff member Kaushali Seneviratne, who started as a volunteer, has a Bachelors in Commerce.

“When I was volunteer, my duties varied from digitalisation and archiving to helping out with opening night duties, to assisting the Collections Coordinator and even gaining an insight into the importance of social media and communications in an art gallery,” Kaushali said.

Kaushali Seneviratne at the 2015 RMIT Gallery exhibition Japanese Art After Fukushima: Return of Godzilla, posing next to Yutaka Kobayashi's work ‘Absorption Ripples – Melt down melt away’ 2015

Kaushali Seneviratne at the 2015 RMIT Gallery exhibition ‘Japanese Art After Fukushima: Return of Godzilla’, posing next to Yutaka Kobayashi’s ‘Absorption Ripples – Melt down melt away’. Installation photo by Mark Ashkanasy.

Kaushali added that volunteering at RMIT Gallery has opened up job opportunities and work experience at other arts organisations. “It has allowed me to meet other like-minded people and gain valuable experience in arts management.”

Current volunteer Miranda Camboni is studying Arts Management.

“I’ve been able to participate in and assist with the organisation of exhibitions and gallery management , which has been really helpful in my understanding of arts organisations and learning skills important for career opportunities,” Miranda said.

“While volunteering at RMIT Gallery I have been able to learn about arts organisations in a entirely different way. It’s been a great environment to work within, being around art and interesting and knowledgeable people.”

If you are interested in working as a volunteer at RMIT Gallery, call us (03) 9925 1717 or send us an email with your CV to rmit.gallery@rmit.edu.au

UK Artist Graeme Miller – BEHELD & beyond – public talk

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The new RMIT Gallery exhibition Performing Mobilities, which opens on 25 September, explores how contemporary life in Australia, the world’s largest island continent, is framed by borders whilst constantly being reconstructed through dynamic processes of mobility.

The works encompass the performing, visual, new media and social and spatial arts, revealing tensions around movement of people migrating lands or crossing a city; the movement of cultural ideas and social practices; the movement of matter through time and across space and through transformations of state; and the movement of non-human species and other than human forces.

UK artist Graeme Miller’s installation BEHELD (2006 -), showing as part of Performing Mobilities, frames the social and political in its geography. Updated with a haunting event that occurred in Sydney airport, this powerful installation charts locations where stowaways have fallen to earth from the wheelbays of airliners in an interactive projection of image and sound in glass.

Miller writes; “BEHELD does not mark the migrant lives lost in no-man’s land, nor at sea, in containers or under lorries, nor even the many souls found in undercarriages at airports. BEHELD is not exactly a work of mourning, a Trauerarbeit, but more one of geography. Human geography. The horizon is the border that mediates other frontiers – separating races, cultures, individuals, the living from the dead. Those who fell through it fell from common sky into lands of complicated memberships and privacies, hedged on all sides but one.”

Graeme Miller will be giving a public talk on the development and continual evolution of the powerful work BEHELD on the opening day of Performing Mobilities at RMIT Gallery.

What: Graeme Miller artist talk – BEHELD & Beyond

Date: Friday 25 September

Time: 1-2 pm

Venue: RMIT Gallery, 344 Swanston Street, Melbourne.

Cost: Free

Bookings: (03) 9925 1717

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Invitation to RMIT Gallery’s new exhibition openings on 24 September

JulioFalagán_evite_webresPower to the People! (exhibition 25 September – 24 October)

You are invited to become part of the process of this new Spanish exhibition featuring artist Julio Falagán, photocopying and stamping the artist’s work in the gallery and taking home posters to start your own art collection with a coin donation. All funds go to the RMIT Scholarship Philanthropy Fund to support disadvantaged undergraduate students.  Be the first to print your very own artwork and chat to the artist over churros and Spanish wine on his Melbourne visit, at a pre-opening talk and preview from 4.30 pm on 24 September.

What: Power to the People! Exhibition opening

When: Thursday 24 September

Public forum: 4.30-5.30 pm: public forum with Julio Falagán, Dr Antonio Castillo, Ciro Márquez, followed by poster printing and churros and wine; then official opening 6-8 pm.

Offical opening address 6-8 pm: by Deputy head of mission at the Spanish Embassy Cesar Espada, who is in charge of cultural affairs at the embassy. Mr Espada is also a film director as well as a diplomat and his short film “Spot” premiered in April at the 2015 Spanish Film Festival at the Palace Electric in April.

Where: RMIT Gallery, 344 Swanston Street.

FREE – but bookings essential (maximum 40) Call RMIT Gallery on (03) 9925 1717.

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Performing Mobilities (exhibition 25 September – 24 October)

Curated by senior RMIT lecturer Mick Douglas, who performed Library Returns at the launch of the RMIT 700s Arts festival, this exhibition seeks to creatively and critically explore forms, forces, dynamics, meanings and consequences of performing mobility through a program of new experimental work.

The offical opening address will be presented by Maaike Bleeker, Professor and the Chair of Theatre Studies at the University of Utrecht The Netherlands.

Maaike Bleeker is President of Performance Studies international, Member of the International Advisory Board of Maska (Ljubljana) and of Inflexions: A Journal of Research-Creation (Montreal), and Member of the Editorial Board (Humanities) of the Amsterdam University Press. Author of Visuality in the Theatre, (Palgrave, 2008), her recent research argues for the potential of theatre and theatricality as a ‘critical vision machine’ providing us with critical tools for analysis of media culture, politics, spectatorship, censorship and the arts.

What: Performing Mobilities exhibition opening

When: Thursday 24 September

Time: Official opening 6-8 pm.

Where: RMIT Gallery 344 Swanston Street.

Daryl Buckley in conversation with composer Aaron Cassidy

Composer Aaron Cassidy in action

Composer Aaron Cassidy in action

Join American composer and conductor Aaron Cassidy and Daryl Buckley, Artistic Director of the ELISION Ensemble, Australia’s premier and international contemporary music group, on Monday September 14th at 12.30pm as they discuss their new collaboration the wreck of former boundaries which has been commissioned by the RMIT University Sonic Arts Collection.

Aaron Cassidy will create the new piece as part of a group of works entitled The surface project, which will be written and performed in collaboration with Daryl Buckley.

Following the conversation, ELISION Ensemble member Tristram Williams will give a performance of Aaron Cassidy’s What then renders these forces visible is a strange smile (or, First Study for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion) (2007-08).

Tristram Williams, Performing with the ELISION Ensemble, RMIT Storey Hall. Photo: Vicki Jones

Tristram Williams, Performing with the ELISION Ensemble, RMIT Storey Hall. Photo: Vicki Jones

RMIT University’s Sonic Arts Collection is the first of its kind in Australia. The field of sonic art can involve music, language and sounds across a wide sonic palette and provide an opportunity to hear the world in a different way with a focus on listening as a creative act.

For more than five years RMIT Gallery has worked closely with sound and design researchers at the University developing a platform for spatial electroacoustic sound works which are showcased in exhibitions and public performances.

In 2015 the ELISION Ensemble performed the Australian premiere of Richard Barrett’s world-line cycle, with Timothy McCormack’s Heavy Matter and Liza Lim’s Weaver of Fictions at RMIT Storey Hall. The event was presented by RMIT Gallery in collaboration with SIAL (Spatial Information Architecture Laboratory) Sound Studios, and recorded for inclusion in the RMIT Sonic Arts Collection.

Aaron Cassidy and Daryl Buckley’s work The surface project will be premiered at RMIT in 2016, and then toured as part of the ELISION Ensemble’s ongoing appearances at the Harvard Music Department, Carriageworks, the Singapore Festival and the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.

What: Daryl Buckley in conversation with composer Aaron Cassidy

Where:  SIAL Studios, RMIT Design Hub (building 100), Level 1, Room 3 (turn left after leaving the lifts), Corner Victoria and Swanston Streets, Carlton VIC 3000.

When: 12.30pm Monday 14 September

FREE but RSVP essential: rmit.gallery@rmit.edu.au / (03) 9925 1717

About the speakers

Aaron Cassidy is an American composer and conductor, who has been based in England since 2007. His work has been programmed by leading international contemporary music specialists and soloists, including ELISION, Ensemble SurPlus, EXAUDI and Ictus Ensemble, and soloists such as Garth Knox, Ian Pace, and Mieko Kanno. His work has been played at major International festivals and venues including Donaueschingen, Huddersfield, Darmstadt, and Gaudeamus. In 2015 Ekmeles Vocal Ensemble performed “A Painter of Figures in Rooms” by Aaron Cassidy at New Music New College in Sarasota, Florida.

In 2008 ELISION presented a portrait concert of his work for broadcast on ABC Classic FM, and in 2009-10 the ensemble completed an extensive recording project of his work in conjunction with Radio Bremen. He has received grants, stipends and commissions from Südwestrundfunk, allerArt Bludenz, the Yvar Mikhashoff Trust for New Music, Haupstadtkultutfonds Berlin, New York Foundation of the Arts, the British Council, and the London Cultural Olympiad 2012.

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Daryl Buckley has been Artistic Director of the ELISION Ensemble, Australia’s premier and international contemporary music group, since 1986. He has organized over thirty international tours from Australia to 14 different countries, with highlights including performances at Berlin Philharmonie and Konzerthaus, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Radio Bremen and the Festival d’Automne á Paris.