The concept of Flow Festival was created and developed by Ramas McRae, Irene Holub and Medina Sumovic who are all deaf and involved in the Arts industry with the deaf and hearing communities. They are well known as artists, teachers and facilitators, and key players in the Deaf community in Victoria.
FLOW Festival will deliver a vibrant and unique festival of Deaf Arts by the Australian Deaf Community, in partnership with Arts Access Victoria. It will showcase Auslan, sign language of the Australian Deaf Community through many different artistic forms for all ages, embracing diversity and inclusion. Deaf artists/performers will engage, create and share the experiences including exhibitions, performances, workshops, gatherings and celebrations with local participants. The festival will host Auslan X, Auslan storytelling, Visual Vernacular performances, dance, short film screening, children' art activities, graffiti workshop, deaf indigenous storytelling/workshop, artists talks, exhibition, deaf slam poetry workshops and presentations.
Douglas Ridloff is a poet and visual storyteller creating original works in Sign Language. He is the owner, executive director and host of ASL SLAM (link) a monthly open mic event in NYC that functions as a space for the Deaf community to creatively play with ASL through poetry performances, improv, games and storytelling.
Peter Blockey from WA is an artist with a passion to create stories of the Deaf world. He will present a theatre performance in Auslan to show what the deaf world was like before technology and how it was disconnected from the wider community. Peter will present “Alone in a silent world” with a different way of seeing at FLOW Festival.
Ian Milton has been producing artworks for over 50 years. Ian has exhibited extensively including at the Queensland Art Gallery and has won, among others the prestigious Goya National Art Prize. Ian employs a unique abstract style where images and background share a colour palette to create a stunning figures and portraits in oils, acrylic and charcoal. His works are full of motion as the faces jumps off his canvas. Ian is fluent in Auslan making his art more accessible.
Katrina Garvey is passionate about exploring and documenting deafness, sexuality, gender, language and imagination, often through visual artistic medium = photographing.
She uses art to increase awareness of the recurrent problems within the deaf community, such as conserving sign language, providing equal access to education and other limitations the deaf community is experiencing in day to day life.
Hong Kong-born Elvin Lam started dancing in his late teens. Prior to this he was a silver-medallist figure skater for 10 years, often competing against the cream of the crop. In addition to being an actor in film, TV and theatre including LGBTIQ arm in YGLAM theatre
As a professional dancer who is very much invested in the visual, poetic side of storytelling for maximum intuitive and synergetic impact, Elvin learnt Latin, ballroom, jazz, hip hop, contemporary dance and ballet; the latter of which he is most passionate about. He had trained at different reputable schools and workshops including The Australian Ballet, The Space Dance & Arts Centre, Chunky Move and Dance Factory. Elvin has performed in many different dance performances including Deaf Can Dance and Delta Project.
Elvin will exhibit some of his artworks and talk about his professional career at FLOW Festival.
Irene Holub has been practicing as a multidisciplinary artist since making mud pies. She sees herself as the pattern maker, creating connections between her experiences and art. Irene value Deafness as a gift that has shaped and bestowed her with the sense of disconnection and connection. She is passionate about education and empowerment. Throughout her career and as a teacher, educator and advisor, she advocated the right of young deaf people to have a voice. For her, art is a social movement, a documentation of those influenced by the mainstream who have (un)intentionally removed the rights of people to be different, Deaf and proud.
Irene is one of the codirectors of FLOWFestivalAustralia team, working behind the scenes and organising the festival.
Selwyn Hoffmann is an artist with a love for life drawings, sculptural works and cartoons that have a political twist to it.
His work at the FLOW Festival Australia is how the citizens’ knowledge and creativity fill the atmosphere of Melbourne and the world. Selwyn catches the tram or travel on foot to witness how people interact with the world around them, how they respond to others, how they glance or give time daily, observing them along the streetscapes ever on social media, record their actions in his cartoons with newly christened character Mr Holme and the completed pins to the tree act as the billboard. The tree symbolised of media in Auslan Language, meaning magazines and films is rarely available today.
Selwyn is one of the members of the FLOW Festival Social Media team.
Peter Busch is from Gippsland and is a jack of all trades. He recreates old things into new things, adding beauty and life to the hardness of metal.
Anna Seymour is a Melbourne based contemporary dancer, performance artist and actor and has a national and international career. She has worked for different dance companies and independent choreographers. She recently directed, produced and performed a participatory dance performance event, SPIN, with a DJ and Deaf hosts.
Anna will present a dance workshop with Rob Burrows (one of SPIN's Deaf Hosts) at FLOW Festival.
Photo credit Pippa Samaya
Trudy is Deaf from birth and is involved in the Deaf community since she was child. She loves movies and stories when she was growing up. She loves telling stories, translating books from English to Auslan to Deaf children and enjoy listening to other people's stories.
She is also a filmmaker and made several movies herself. "I just love stories. I love escaping into the world of stories by watching movies, reading books and hearing them from Deaf people. I grew up watching a lot of my parents' Deaf friends telling stories in Auslan and I was fascinated by them."
Trudy will present Auslan Storytelling at FLOW Festival Australia.
Medina Sumovic is an experienced deaf actress, director and consultant. She has worked
for over 20 years in theatre and films. Medina will present the Deaf Slam Masters in collaboration with Douglas Ridoff, ASL Deaf Slam Poet at the FLOW Festival.
Medina is one of the codirectors of FLOW Festival Australia and is responsible for the publicity of FLOW and making sure everyone knows about this fantastic event!
William Maggs’ acrylic paintings show a world of aquatic water and many unique perspectives of underwater and the life within. His artworks show many movements of water which soothes the soul of the earth’s beach. William is passionate about the water and the beach which rests his soul, and refreshes his mind . He has that connection with his artwork.
Liz Reed is an artist with a love for lizards. She will present an art workshop for children at the FLOW Festival.
Patti Reynolds nee Morris is an Aboriginal storyteller, artist and dancer. She is a member of the Deaf Indigenous Dance Group.
Patti can be viewed on:-
Signpedia - https://www.facebook.com/signpedia/videos/1522475617841741/ and AUSLAN X where she presented in 6th May 2018 in Brisbane on Deaf Aboriginal in Qld.
Patti will present at Auslan X and Dreamtime workshops at FLOW Festival.
Chelle De Stefano, Visual artist who lived in Adelaide for 18 years where she developed her arts professionally before returning to Melbourne. Her works “ The Cot Story” at the FLOW festival is a narrative of her life for the past 17 years . It is a work of art that revolves around trauma, healing and strengthening oneself. Chelle’s dreams are her inspirations which paved the way to healing, empowerment and creativity. Her message is that it is ok to accept trauma, grieve, feel, reach out and to allow yourself to heal and help others in similar experiences. Chelle is a survivor and wants to share her story that the experiences can make us stronger.
Sophie Woolley is an award winning writer and performer from London, UK. Following the online success of her Deaf Faker serial, her low budget short film, ‘Expat on a Balcony’, was screened at London Short Film Festival in 2016, and Turner Contemporary Gallery’s Venice Agendas diaspora exhibition. Sophie has written comedy plays for stage and BBC radio. As an actor, Sophie has starred in her own work as well as in Cast Offs (Channel 4) and DCI Banks (ITV). She is currently a Clore Fellow, a writer in BBC Writersroom Access Group and lead artist at Ovalhouse Theatre Adult Company. Her solo show, ‘Augmented’, about her own experience of becoming a deaf cyborg, will tour theatres from autumn 2019.