Inspiring creatives of Vincent

The City of Vincent invited us to spend time capturing the stories and memories of fourteen inspiring artists, who have a link to the City. As well as recording their oral histories, we broke down some of their stories into short films for a rare opportunity for a window into the personal, anecdotal memories and experiences of each artist, adding a new dimension to what we know of them in their professional capacity.

This work was conducted over two series, in 2017 and 2018.

Shane Colquhoun

Following a career as a professional dancer overseas and in Australia, Shane Colquhoun’s arts management career has included senior positions within the State Government’s Department of Culture & the Arts and in the arts sector including General Manager with Western Australia’s Deckchair Theatre (1987-89), West Australian Ballet (1992-96) and most recently Black Swan State Theatre Company (2009-14). In 2014, Shane re-established his arts management consultancy business and commenced as a part-time lecturer in Arts Management at the WA Academy of Performing Arts. He is currently Secretary of the WA Chamber of Arts & Culture and Chairperson of the Blue Room Theatre.

Graham Seal

Graham Seal is a writer, musician and historian. As Professor of Folklore at Curtin University, he has been interested in the relationship of history and folk tradition to Australian cultural identity. He is married, with two children and five grandchildren.

Graham Hay

An incurable clay-aholic from childhood, Graham Hay graduating from Edith Cowan and Curtin universities in the mid 1990s, and immediately joined the Wellman Street studio, then co-founded Robertson Park Artists Studio in 2000. From this local base he has gone on to participated in over 130 exhibitions in a dozen countries, including seven biennale. His work is in dozens of art textbooks and is in public collections in 7 countries, including our state gallery. Invited to lead conferences and over 300 workshops in a dozen countries, he stays grounded running community classes in the studio in Robertson Park, on Fitzgerald Street.

James Ledger

James Ledger is a composer with a breadth of work spanning solo, chamber and orchestral music. He has been composer-in-residence with the West Australian, Adelaide and Christchurch (NZ) Symphony Orchestras, the Australian National Academy of Music and the Australian Festival of Chamber Music. He has won APRA Art Music Awards for his violin concerto Golden Years and the orchestral work Chronicles. He is currently lecturer in composition at the Conservatorium of Music at the University of Western Australia.

Brendon Darby

Brendon Darby is an artist and musician based in Perth, Western Australia. He has had over 40 solo exhibitions across Australia and around the world. Brendon is an accomplished musician, performing professionally for many years and is also a published composer. In what is arguably his most important collection to date, Brendon combined his two disciplines creating "Listening to Paintings - Australia". 10 years in creation, this multi media work premiered at New York's Museum of Natural History in January 2007. Brendon has been a finalist in The Archibald Prize, The Doug Moran National Portrait Prize and The Black Swan for Portraiture. He is primarily known for his landscape paintings. Brendon has spent considerable time living, painting and exhibiting in Europe and the USA. Most recently he spent time painting and exhibiting in Italy.

Terri Charlesworth and Sonya and Briana Shepherd

Terri Charlesworth joined the WA Ballet for its inaugural season in 1953 and remained until 1967 (as first ballerina and artistic director from 1960). She embarked on a professional teaching career, establishing the Terri Charlesworth Ballet School in Perth in 1960. This school is now operating as the Charlesworth Ballet Institute. Ms Charlesworth (or Terri) has taught in companies and schools throughout the world and has produced many notable professional dancers. She introduced classical dance by various means into several high schools and colleges in WA and co-founded WA’s first three-year tertiary dance course. She founded WA’s first professional contemporary dance company, Kinetikos and in 2004 she was the founding artistic director of Youth Ballet WA. Terri was awarded the Order of Australia for her contribution to dance in 1994 and was the 2006 WA Citizen of the Year for Arts and Culture.

Terri’s daughter Sonya Shephard Shepherd is the long term director of the Charlesworth Ballet Institute and WA Youth Ballet WA. Terri’s granddaughter, Briana Shepherd, was the first Australian to be accepted into the New York City Ballet company. She is a guest teacher at the Charlesworth Ballet Institute and a reporter and presenter at the ABC. She still dons her pointe shoes every once in a while to perform outstanding shows in WA.

Michael Loney

Michael Loney has worked for many years in theatre, TV, film and radio in Australia and Britain. His work in the UK includes Coronation Street and Howards’ Way and on radio for BBC Birmingham and BBC Bristol. In Australia, he has appeared in Ship to Shore seasons 1, 2 and 3, Minty, Cloudstreet and most recently in Channel 9’s The Great Mint Swindle. Michael has been in over 150 stage productions and received four nominations for Best Actor at the Equity Awards, winning twice. Michael has lived in Leederville for over 25 years. 

We met with Michael at one of the dressing rooms at His Majesty’s Theatre, an iconic location for an actor of Michael’s calibre.

Briony Stewart

Briony Stewart grew up in North Perth and has a double degree in fine art and creative writing. 

Briony’s first book, Kumiko and the Dragon was published by U.Q.P soon after she graduated and won the 2007 Aurealis Award for Children's Short Fiction. Since then, Briony has had many additional children's books published, two of which completed the Kumiko trilogy. She has also received an arts grant for artists under 25 to develop as a children's author and illustrator with the May Gibbs Children's Literature Trust in Melbourne, has presented at libraries and festivals and has held three successful exhibitions of her illustrated work.  Briony still lives, paints and writes in Perth and proofreads aloud to a black and white rabbit named Winston.

We met Briony in her home studio and enjoyed a long chat with the sun streaming in through her garden window.

Lorenna Grant

Lorenna is a sculptural artist living in West Perth. Lorenna’s work is an expanding inquiry into creating sculptural/experiential moments where art, nature, and humanity fuse. Her primary motivations are to do with ephemera and site specificity. Lorenna explains that her works are often metaphors, intended as physical manifestations of transience, transformation, migrational flows and instinctual pathways, and that these are seen in themes of containers, such as pods, nests, cocoons, water, and birds. Educated in Perth, Lorenna has spent timing both creating solo projects and on scholarships interstate and in Europe. She has also created many, many works, both commissioned and personal projects, in galleries and public spaces throughout the state. Lorenna has been a lecturer at TAFE, Edith Cowan university and UWA.

We met and spoke to Lorenna at her home. After our chat, she gave us a delightful tour of her personally sculpted garden, intentionally designed to protect and encourage the local banjo frog population.

Barry Strickland

Barry Strickland is a freelance, independent consultant within the arts, culture, heritage and tourism arenas, and was formerly with ArtsWA and was an award winning writer-producer-presenter with ABC Radio National. He lives in Highgate. In the mid-to-late 1980s, Barry was part of the team that created the original Artrage Festival and was later a co-creator of the hugely successful QFest: Cue Outback Festival. He was also a co-creator of the award-winning Golden Quest Discovery Trail and worked on the development of the National Trust’s Golden Pipeline Heritage Trail as well as Northcliffe’s Southern Forests Sculpture Walk. While with ArtsWA (1995-98), he was responsible for the identification of the former Red Cross building as a potential arts hub, his concept resulting in the King Street Arts Centre. 

His numerous arts sector consultancies include a range of clients, from local governments to state dance and theatre companies. Barry was instrumental in Artrage's incredible successes with Fringe World. Barry has gone on to conceive and co-write several TV documentaries, including Hoover's Gold (2006) and the multi-award-winning The Fabulous Flag Sisters (2008). Barry is also an author, and in 2011 was coordinating producer for HELIX, a multi-award winning solo dance work. In 2013, Barry was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters by The University of Western Australia.

We met Barry at his home and were privileged to view his collection of early career acting and modelling photos as well as spending a lovely time talking about his stories and memories. 

Jimmy Murphy

City of Vincent resident Jimmy 'the lips' Murphy was performing with the Kalamunda Youth Swing Band from the age of eight and went on to be in numerous bands and ensembles, both during his school days and after, including international successes with the Sunshine Brothers and as trumpeter for Perth's own mariachi band. In his early twenties, Jimmy set up the Funk Club, a community of alternative music lovers, which filled a void in Perth of opportunities to perform professionally and explore and enjoy alternative music forms. The Funk Club house band had a residency upstairs at the Leederville Hotel for many years and enjoyed great local popularity every Friday night. Jimmy went on to set up Upbeat Events, which spearheaded the Mt Hawthorn and Leederville carnivals, as well as producing street events in Subiaco and Victoria Park. In 2015 Jimmy was elected as councillor for the City of Vincent. We met with Jimmy upstairs at the Leederville Hotel in the venue that was home to the Funk Club on a Friday night, so he could show us the ropes at the venue as well as have a chat.

Jenny Davis OAM

Jenny Davis OAM emigrated from England in 1976 with her husband and two children and is an actress and director, living in Mt Hawthorn. Jenny was, for many years, director of the West Australian Youth Theatre. She was also a writer for ABC schools radio for ten years. The founder of Agelink Theatre, she has dedicated her life since 1993 to celebrating the lives of local seniors by using their stories to entertain the community through theatre. She has written and directed many plays for Agelink, including Dear Heart, which was also published as a novel in 1998 by Allen & Unwin. Most recently, she created the successful programme Recapture the Moment, an ongoing project which uses reminiscence arts, theatre and music to engage and stimulate people with dementia.  In 2001 she received a Centenary Medal for services to West Australian theatre. In 2016, as well as being awarded an Order of Australia Medal, Jenny received at the 2016 WA Seniors Awards the award for Arts and Culture and was named Juniper Champion for Seniors. In 2017 she was inducted into the Western Australian Women’s Hall of Fame. We met with Jenny at her beautiful home and had our conversation surrounded by all of Jenny’s gorgeous historical home furnishings.