Background

Holly Craig

Name: Holly Craig

Creative practice/s: Performer, Dancer, Writer, and Theatre maker

Suburb or city: Sydney

Do you identify as disabled and/or Deaf and/or with disability?

YES

Other identity/ies?

Queer

Statement about practice

I am an emerging movement based performing artist and maker living with vision impairment. Working within theatre and dance, I am interested in making and performing work which experiments with structure and form, and explores social issues and stories from diverse individuals and communities.

I create through collaboration with multidisciplinary artists within devising processes. I am inspired by the people I meet and the life stories they tell; leading me to perform stories which are derived from lived experiences. I am also inspired by the structure and scale of my surrounding built and natural environments, and am invested in making work which is site specific.

As I live with vision impairment, I utilise audio description and touch to receive visual information and physically navigate space when creating work. Consequently, I am drawn to using tactile set and flooring elements as well as embedded soundscapes and audio description as features of my performative work.

Why do you do what you do?

I view my practice of dancing and performance making as a cultural and political act. AS such, my practice aims to make and reclaim spaces and gives myself and others a voice to question and subvert normative discourses surrounding ability, identity, and other societal issues. My arts practice is a vehicle for change making, as well as for storytelling, and through it I aim to examine the universality of the human experience through human stories and expose the consequent baselessness of prejudice.

What are you looking for?

Paid Work, more funding, a more level playing field, world creative revolution, and better access to classes and spaces.

What’s still with you from the workshops? What do you remember?

What I remember is a great two days of group discussion and movement based performing activities. In particular, I remember working with Uma Kali Shakti on the final day and performing a movement score to some spoken word poetry which she had written.

What’s the legacy for you - creatively or with contacts?

Through these workshops, I met artist Uma Kali Shakti. After meeting and collaborating through the workshops, Uma invited me to co-write and perform in a theatre show; which we performed in the 2018 Sydney Fringe Festival alongside another disabled artist who didn’t attend the workshops. Making this show with Uma helped us forge a great friendship and creative partnership which still exists today.

What makes a good workshop for you?

For me, a good workshop is one where I feel totally included. It is one in which I feel that I am treated equally and have the opportunity to equally learn, collaborate and create with the other creatives in the room. It is one in which I don’t have to explain myself unnecessarily and which allows me the time and space I need to participate.

The arts industry and you - how do you feel about where you are professionally? Where would you like to be?

As an emerging artist in my third year of professional practice, I am pretty happy with where I am in my career right now. In the future, I would like the opportunity to have more performance opportunities, particularly in dance based works, and would like to be paid for my work more regularly. I also hope that my practice will keep growing and developing, and that I will continue to meet, work with and learn from new and interesting artists.