Proximity Festival is an artist run initiative and is currently led by Sarah Rowbottam and Kelli McCluskey. During the Festival we expand with a team of casual employees and volunteers. A peer based curatorial committee guides the artistic program with the Curators.
SARAH ROWBOTTAM Co-founder, Director, Co-Curator
Sarah Rowbottam is a curator and producer working across international festivals, performance and interdisciplinary development platforms. She co-founded Proximity in 2012 and has co-curated four Festivals at the Art Gallery of WA (2015), Fremantle Arts Centre (2014), PICA (2013) and The Blue Room Theatre (2012). Sarah has been part of the Perth International Arts Festival team since 2007, most recently as Associate Producer for the 2016 Festival. She was Associate Producer at Performing Lines WA 2012-14 and has been supported by the JUMP National Mentorship program, the IETM-Australia Council Collaboration Project and has sat on advisory panels for Australia Council, The Blue Room Theatre, Paper Mountain and the National Experimental Arts Forum. Sarah is Creative Producer for Ecosexual Bathhouse by Pony Express, recently presented for Next Wave Festival 2016 at the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria – Melbourne. She was Curator for the third Disrupted – Festival of Ideas at the State Library of WA featuring over 100 speakers and artists including Waleed Aly, Susan Carland and Liam Young, and is currently the Producer for the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art.
KELLI MCCLUSKEY Co-founder, Co-Curator
Kelli McCluskey is an artist and co-founder of tactical media art group pvi collective who make participatory artwork in cities and urban environments that disrupted everyday life. In 2016 Kelli received the prestigious ‘outstanding achievement in emerging and experimental arts’ award from the Australia Council for the Arts for her work within the sector. Kelli has toured extensively with pvi’s critically acclaimed performances throughout Australia and internationally. Kelli is an advocate for live art and experimental practice and it’s growth in Australia. She is on the board of NAVA (National association for the visual arts), and has mentored a host of emerging practitioners through pvi as well as state and federal initiatives such as spark youth arts, splendid arts, situate arts in festivals and Australia’s first one-on-one performance festival, Proximity Festival which she co-founded in 2012. Trained in performance art and media Kelli researches, writes and directs for pvi and initiated the Perth based artist led cia studios [centre for interdisciplinary arts] which she co-manages with pvi.
Provocateur Helen Cole
Lab Co-Facilitators Kelli McCluskey, Sarah Rowbottam, Sensorium Theatre, DADAA
Curatorium Helen Cole (In Between Time UK), Robert Cook (Art Gallery of WA), Jeff Khan (Performance Space), Georgie Meagher (Next Wave Festival), Emma Webb (Vitalstatistix), and independent practitioners James Berlyn and Dr David Williams.
Provocateur Julie Vulcan
Lab Co-Facilitators James Berlyn, Steve Bull, Kelli McCluskey, Sarah Rowbottam, Sensorium Theatre, Jen Jamieson
Curatorium Jeff Khan (Performance Space), Fiona Winning (Sydney Festival), Ric Spencer (Fremantle Arts Centre), Robert Cook (Art Gallery of WA), Leigh Robb (PICA, and independent practitioners Dr David Williams, Julie Vulcan and Martyn Coutts.
Proximity Festival Forum, The Blue Room Theatre (2012) Photo: Jarrad Seng