Metro Arts are gearing up for their biggest year yet with a program full of the freshest talent, boldest artists and a reboot of creativity.
Their January to June 2021 season promises jam-packed entertainment and welcomes audiences to their accessible location in West End, Queensland. The organisation moved to the new location six months ago and already has presented a range of works there; from cutting-edge cabarets to contemporary dance, stimulating visual arts and spoken word presentations.
Kickstarting the 2021 program and showcasing some of Australia’s most-daring female creatives and playwrights is Playlab Theatre’s ‘Rising’ and a trio of works from the newly formed Hive Collective. In May, Ashleigh Musk and Michael Smith will present their ground-breaking participatory performance piece, ‘Fertile Ground’, followed by Catarina Hebbard directing Alice Birch’s heart-wrenching hit, ‘Anatomy of a Suicide’.
Among Metro Arts’ three gallery spaces will be constantly revolving showcase of free exhibitions and installations. Feature artists in Gallery One include a solo exhibition by Warraba Weatherall, continuing his exploration of legacies of colonialism from an Indigenous perspective; Ursula Larin’s irreverent works in ‘A drowning Sim’s cry for help’; David Attwood’s Garfield-themed ‘The Last Bastion of Laziness’ and Spencer Harvie’s fantastical ‘Dungeon Master’ drawings.
In March ‘CTRL + ALT +DEL: Shift’ will continue a series of exhibitions aimed at uniting First Nations, Pasifika and culturally diverse creatives. Key artist-run initiatives (ARIs) also feature across galleries including Outer Space,
STABLE and Nextdoor alongside ‘Old Haunts’ by ANTHEM working to elevate the voices of culturally diverse artists.
At the same time, two dedicated satellite venues – Norman Park Substation and Teneriffe’s Ferryman’s Hut – will provide space for seven Artists in Residence to develop and experiment with their practice.
Following their 2020 season of ‘The Type’ at Metro Arts, the all-female dance collective Pink Matter will be Metro Arts’ Company in Residence for 2021. Polytoxic will also be back creating new performance works, as will Kristen Maloney, Eve Klein and Ravi Glasser Vora.
Metro Arts CEO and Creative Director, Jo Thomas, spoke of the excitement 2021 brings to the arts space, especially in an ever-changing environment.
“I’m looking forward to a full year of exhibitions, performances, workshops, forums and so much more,” Thomas said.
“This year’s program is even bigger than usual as we deliver some of the works postponed from last year. I’m excited for May in particular when we’ll have MAD Dance Festival and also BAD (Brisbane Art Design) at the same time. It will be a fantastic showcase of all that Metro does – performance with street and elite dance, art, design, public art and public workshops and
Joining the Metro Arts team to support the vast program of arts is Genevieve Trace as General Manager and Danielle Carney as Performance Producer. The organisation will also support emerging artists further with their two new initiatives – Emerger Producer XChange and First Step Mentorship Program.
Reflecting on 2020, and the year that’s been, Thomas commented on the rollercoaster ride that saw the closure of their former Edward Street premises, a COVID lockdown, and the rebuilding of their organisation in a new venue.
“We soldiered on and steadily worked through lockdown to finish the build of our new home and reopened in September 2020 with socially distanced welcome parties, followed by a major partnership with Brisbane Festival,” Thomas said.
“For the rest of 2020, we packed in live performances, exhibitions and creative developments to make sure artists were working again.”
Metro Arts’ January to June 2021 program will be further complemented by the venue’s momentous move to West End’s thriving dining and cultural precinct and the expansion of the West Village community complex in the coming months.
“The most crucial difference of the new venue is accessibility to ensure everyone feels welcome and comfortable. Metro Arts’ modern facilities are all accessible and we’ve been able to think carefully about working with our artists and audiences with disability,” said Thomas.
“It’s a fantastic fit for us in terms of our values as an organisation and community in the neighbourhood. We feel right at home. We’ve already seen more than 8,000 patrons come through the doors and are looking forward to a big year of delivering outstanding contemporary art in all forms.”
For more information on the full January to June 2021 program and to book tickets, visit Metro Arts program.
Metro Arts | January – June 2021 Program
- ‘Rising’ – 3-13 February 2021
- ‘The Bull, the Moon and the Coronet of Stars’ – 17-27 February 2021
- ‘Conviction’ – 3-13 March 2021
- ‘Anatomy of a Suicide’ – 18-29 Mary 2021
- Mad Dance Festival – 6-8 May 2021
- ‘Fertile Ground’ – 25-29 May 2021
- ‘White Woman’ – 9-12 June 2021
- Young Artist Forum – 8-11 April 2021
- Brisbane Art Design – 7-30 May 2021
- Camerata – 1 May 2021
- ‘Adapt’ – 6 February-21 March 2021
- ‘Flight into the Unknown’ – 6-27 February 2021
- ‘A drowning Sim’s cry for help’ – 6-27 February 2021
- ‘The Last Bastion of Laziness; – 6-21 March 2021
- ‘At Arm’s Length’ – 6-21 March 2021
- ‘CTRL+ALT+DEL: Shift’ – 25-28 March 2021
- ‘Dungeon Master’ – 10-24 April 2021
- Outer Space (Artist-Run Initiative) – 10-17 April 2021
- STABLE (Artist-Run Initiative) – 10-24 April 2021
- Nextdoor (Artist-Run Initiative) – 24 April-1 May 2021
- Warraba Weatherall – 8-29 May 2021
- ANTHEM: ‘Old Haunts’ (Artist-Run Initiative) – 5-26 June 2021
- ‘Subtitle Iran’ – 5-26 June 2021