LEG UP: Beyond Empathy's Horses Mouth Ensemble at NORPA. Lillian Banks, Jaymen Drahm, Mitch King, Emily Roberts-Field, Sarah Roberts-Field and Carmel Vale (not in order).
LEG UP: Beyond Empathy's Horses Mouth Ensemble at NORPA. Lillian Banks, Jaymen Drahm, Mitch King, Emily Roberts-Field, Sarah Roberts-Field and Carmel Vale (not in order). By Sophie Moeller

Horse's mouth speaks art

IT COMES straight from from the Horse's Mouth that once again NORPA is leading the way in developing inventive performance while furthering the experience of emerging indigenous artists in regional Australia.

Young aspiring Aboriginal artists came from as far as Broome in WA, Innisfail in Queensland and Mooree and Armidale in outback NSW, to join some of our local Bundjalung actors in a ground-breaking partnership with NORPA and the regional development company, Beyond Empathy.

For the past two weeks the young artists have been taking part in the Horse's Mouth, dancing, sharing stories, laughing and connecting and building foundations as a group. The "artistic exchange” culminated in an open studio, work-in-progress showing last Friday at NORPA.

In front of an audience, which included NORPA's leading players, Julian Louis, Rhoda Roberts, Phillip Healey and David Wolff, the group performed a series of vignettes under the instruction of renowned actor, dancer and performer Kirk Page.

Kirk Page, who joined NORPA as an associate director in 2016, is responsible for seeding the idea for the Beyond Empathy collaboration.

"Horse's Mouth is an opportunity for young emerging Indigenous artists from across regional Australia to get a feel for what it's like to work in a professional environment,” says Mr Page.

"A big part of that is creating a space where the young emerging artists can talk about their experiences.

"This takes time and it can be challenging, We are learning as we go.”

Beyond Empathy began in remote NSW and now works in urban and suburban, regional and remote communities to "expose disparate communities to inspiring art projects dissolving entrenched generational and demographic attitudes”.


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