It was the event that began a Colony.
CuriousWorks last night successfully launched a unique ‘grand narrative’ that is set to become the company’s signature art project for the next five years.
More than 300 people packed into leading Sydney contemporary arts venue Carriageworks to get a glimpse of the first Colony chapters that begin with the story of Sam − a young woman in 22nd century Australia on an unusual mission to learn the truth of her family history.
Colony isn’t a single art work, but rather a universe of stories with Western Sydney at its heart. With common themes exploring two of the biggest issues defining our century – global mass migration and climate change − characters are linked across numerous stories and individual productions stretching from pre-colonial times to Sam’s era.
Creator S.Shakthidharan described it as being like “a Marvel universe set in Western Sydney but with ordinary heroes instead of super heroes”.
Many of the Colony stories will be told exclusively online at www.colony.org.au, while the website also serves as a means of connecting other stories told through live events such as films, music, theatre and multiplatform works.
Last night’s launch told the early chapters of Sam’s story through a live audiovisual concert timed to coincide with the new moon. Those stories, and subsequent chapters, are now being released daily on the Colony website in the run-up to this month’s equinox.
That’s when Colony will have its second live event – a special live score screening of the CuriousWorks feature film Riz on 20 March in its first return to cinemas since selling out at the 2015 Sydney Film Festival.
Although Riz is a past production, its characters will link into future Colony works. Other Colony productions in advanced stages include the large-scale projection work Myth and Shakthi’s play A Counting and Cracking of Heads planned for Belvoir’s 2017 season.
“All of these productions can be appreciated as individual works, but people who follow Colony will benefit from additional perspectives and storylines,” Shakthi said.
The founder and artistic director of CuriousWorks said he was especially pleased that Colony would provide opportunities for the company’s Curious Creators to showcase their work, develop as artists and pursue stories from their cultural backgrounds through related projects such as Beyond Refuge.
Shakthi conceived the ambitious concept during his role as Associate Artist at Carriageworks from 2013 to 2015.