The Bridge Projects
The Bridge Projects are a series of creative experiences inspired by the West Gate Bridge that includes theatre, visual arts, archival material, large-scale projections, talks and music happening during the 2018 Art and Industry Festival - 16th - 25th November.
The Projection will be live each night of the festival projected onto the huge windows of The Substation in Newport. It has been created using footage shot and edited by Bindi Cole Chocka while on or under the West Gate Bridge, Melbourne.
Have you ever stood at the memorial under the West Gate Bridge in Douglas Parade, Spotswood and wanted to know more about the bridge and the memorial? This is how a collaboration between artists Donna Jackson and Bindi Cole Chocka began.
In 1990, Donna commissioned Bindi’s mother, Vicki Reynolds to write a play commemorating the twenty- year anniversary of the collapse of the West Gate Bridge. Bindi helped her mother research the play and even went up inside the West Gate Bridge and met workers who told their stories about the building and collapse of the bridge. Donna then directed Vicki’s play The Bridgeat Footscray Community Arts Centre and Bindi performed in it.
In 2017, Donna invited Bindi, now a successful contemporary artist, to consider a residency at the Art & Industry Festival 2018. Bindi saw this as an opportunity to remount and extend her now late mother’s play. Bindi suggested the 2018 version of The Bridge include a story, unearthed during the initial research, of Aboriginal musicians paid to perform for the workers on the West Gate Bridge at lunchtime. Also, to bring on board composer James Henry, a sought-after sound designer in dance and theatre and performer with the Black Arm Band and Archie Roach.
This three-way collaboration has led to a creative explosion inspired by the richness of layered narratives that emerged out of bringing The Bridge back to life. We invite you to explore them. We are also keen to hear your stories of the bridge.
As part of The Bridge Projects, we remounted Vicki Reynolds play 'The Bridge' to a sold out 2018 season. Professor Tara Goldstein published an essay in the Qualitative Inquiry Journal. Read it here:
Goldstein, T. (2019). The Bridge: The Political Possibilities of Intergenerational Verbatim Theatre. Qualitative Inquiry, p.1-7.
Video - Bindi Cole Chocka
Soundtrack - James Henry
Facilitator - Donna Jackson
Hobsons Bay City Council - Culture and Economic Development for funding
Vic Roads for access to the Westgate Bridge.
The Images is a powerful installation by Bindi Cole Chocka installed in 'The Outside Gallery' - 11 light boxes in Paine Reserve, Newport.
Located at the flashpoint between different worlds, this thought-provoking new work is a very contemporary collaboration between Bindi and her late mother, Vicki Reynolds. Drawing on archival material from the original creation and presentation of Reynold’s play The Bridge mixed with Bindi’s contemporary filming, photographs and recording of the West Gage, The Projection and The Images poignantly bridges the gaps between past and present, cross-generational creative collaboration, and life and death.