Dan Koop is an Artist, Curator-Producer & Facilitator who explores public places and curious spaces to bring communities together through temporary public art.
Having spent much of his life living near Birrarung-ga on Wurundjeri Country and Narrm-ga on Boon Wurrung / Bunurong Country he is inspired by both fresh and saltwater places, ecologies and various water cultures. Since slowing from jogging to walking pace during the lockdowns of 2020, he belatedly noticed the incredible natural diversity along the suburban Merri Creek and now considers himself an emerging bird nerd.
Creatively, Dan has made participant engaging projects along and across rivers, at fresh food markets and in hotel rooms, receiving Melbourne Green Room Awards for his works. Professionally, Dan has worked in Curator-Producer teams for Flash Forward (City of Melbourne), Arts Centre Melbourne, Melbourne Fringe, Sydney Festival and Brisbane Powerhouse.
Dan is currently a PhD candidate at Deakin University researching Situation, Participation and the Curator-Producer role in temporary public art, joining the curatoriate for Deakin’s Public Art Commission series of works for Front Beach Back Beach around the Mornington Peninsula. Previously, Dan gained a Masters of Art (Public Space) from RMIT University and a Bachelor of Performing Arts from Monash University.
Aaron & Aoife Billings
Aoife & Aaron are sibling creatives who grew up in Aspendale in Melbourne’s south-east and now run Pink Ember Studios in Coburg North. Together, they hand embroidered the fabric maps for each ~FLOWING LOOP~ location.
Aoife Billings (she/her) is a Narrm (Melbourne) based ceramist and painter. Her practice largely centres around ceramics, particularly ceramic painting, and oil painting. She has been teaching art workshops for various councils and at her own studio for over seven years. She is the workshop manager at Pink Ember Studio. Follow @aoifebillings on Instagram
Aaron Billings (he/him) works through the medium of zines, comics, books, and textiles, exploring queer political power and agency, and resistance to heteronormative ways of seeing. Aaron focuses on versions of masculinities that mess with gender representation, alternatives to capitalism, and resisting homogenisation. He is currently undertaking a PhD with RMIT exploring queer graphic novels and respectability politics. Follow @dillings on Instagram
Pink Ember is proudly a queer artist-run initiative, serving as an inclusive centre for artists, providing space for art workshops, studios, exhibitions and events. The studio space features a front workshop/event area, 14 artist studios, as well as a dedicated ceramics studio. Follow @pinkemberstudio on Instagram
Jack Mitchell is a Perth-born, Melbourne-based designer, artist and researcher with Whadjuk/Balladong Noongar heritage. A graduate of Curtin University, Jack’s main focus are the complex cultural relationships that exist in our cities and architecture’s potential to support Indigenous culture. Jack was awarded the Creators Fund from Creative Victoria to pursue his project Blak, White and Bluespace, which investigates indigenous cultural relationships to water and how the built environment can benefit from understanding these relationships. Jack is currently undertaking a PhD with Monash University.
Lina Patel is a first generation migrant, poet and facilitator. Her mission is to alleviate needless workplace suffering and bring more kindness into the world, one team at a time.
Lina works with people around the world, who value positive social outcomes and want to improve how they work. She particularly enjoys working with groups to set good foundations so they don’t get burned out. Lina’s specialty is getting things done, calmly. She is based in the South Eastern suburbs of Melbourne on Bunurong Country.
One fact: Lina had a flock of four chickens for one year during the pandemic. She loved them very much and wrote them a series of letters and poems reflecting on our life together through the pandemic. The letters were later published in A Ritual Turn, an anthology of creative writing no ng. The chickens are now living in regional Victoria on a permaculture farm.
Her arts practice uses comedy and surprise as tactics to approach anxiety and future fear. She works with video, immersive audio and text-based installation, and collaborates across live and participatory art, festivals and theatre. Her work has been shown across Australia and internationally. She is a current PhD student at RMIT.
Her first book, The First Time I Thought I Was Dying, a collection of non-fiction essays about the unruly body in late capitalism, won the 2021 Quentin Bryce Award. Her work has been published widely, and has been recognised in national and international literary prizes. She is represented by Rach Crawford at Wolf Literary.
Her work is online at sarahwalker.work
David Sornig is the author of two books. Blue Lake (2018) is a historical, biographical and personal excursion through the former West Melbourne Swamp and the Great Depression-era shanty town, Dudley Flats. Spiel (2009) is a novel about a young architect in Berlin caught in a loop of complicity with sins minor and monumental.
Blue Lake was adapted for ABC Radio National’s History Listen and was the winner of a Judges’ Special Prize in the 2019 Victorian Community History Awards.
In 2008 he was a Charles Pick Fellow in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia and in 2015 was a State Library of Victoria Creative Fellow.
David has twice been a finalist in the Melbourne Prize for Literature Writer’s Prize for the essays ‘Jubilee: a hymn for Elsie Williams on Dudley Flats’ (2015) and ‘Thirteen Men at the Sack of Troy’ (2021), a work that continues his interest in the way human force has come to bear on the waterways of Melbourne’s west. During the lockdowns of 2020-2021 his attentions turned to his local waterways in the city’s east.
Emily Bowman (she/her) is an Australian choreographer, improviser, performer, and teacher based in Naarm (Melbourne). Emily is passionate about dance improvisation performance, somatic research, pedagogy and choreographic practice, especially in the field of contact improvisation (CI).
Emily’s practice centres around the physicality of her dancing body. Her work explores contact, composition, authorship, dancing with the same person over time, practices of listening and care, agency, labour, sustainability, ecology and more. She works in solo and collaborative contexts in the studio and outdoors. Emily has a long-standing collaboration with improviser/writer Joey Lehrer, called Two For Now, where they practise, teach, and perform CI together since 2012.
Currently, Emily is pursuing a practice-based PhD at Deakin University, where she is researching what the body can come to know through the undertaking of a long-term collaborative dancing practice. She is also exploring the role that contact improvisation approaches to embodied knowledge might have in understanding the human body in the more-than-human world.
Ria Soemardjo is a Melbourne based musician with a passion for collaboration across a diverse range of genres and artforms. Her evocative, textured soundscapes are often performed live using an eclectic array of unusual instruments including voice, gamelan instruments, percussion, found objects and her own bespoke clay flutes and drums. Growing up in Clayton, Ria’s distinct, haunting vocal style and musicality reflects her Australian / Javanese cultural heritage and a deep appreciation for the timbres, rhythmic complexity and the ceremonial association of Balinese and Javanese gamelan traditions. Ria’s most recent works reflect her deep interest in developing powerful contemporary performance / rituals, often in response to natural or urban sites.