Founded in 2004, Punctum is a practice led and artist centred live arts organisation on Dja Dja Wurrung Country in Castlemaine, Australia.
We create productions and programs which give live arts and experimentation a central place in regional culture.
Our productions are grown regionally and are presented locally, nationally and internationally.
By live arts, we mean experimental and innovative approaches to performance making that propose new ways of working together and/or interacting with audiences and communities. We make the difference, by making differently.
Our year-round program of experiments tests ways of capturing collective concerns and activating change through live arts. We champion regionally grown productions and programs that are bold, participatory, unexpected, and compelling.
A common thread across our productions is the questioning of systems through shared cultural adventure. We see our productions as collective rehearsals of change. Audiences and communities connect with the new forms and languages we create welcoming each work as an expression of a possible future and an invitation to gather and think differently.
We work closely with professionals and knowledge holders across a wide range of disciplines and cultures to develop the practice and profile of regional live arts through our collaborations and partnerships.
Currently, two investigations most often inform our work and our connection to place and people – speculative futures in contexts of migration and displacement, and speculative futures in our climate change context.
Punctum’s in-house multi-year commissioned, curated and created works. We’ve created and produced seventy-one works since 2004.
Our residencies are renowned for the approach we take to hosting. We’ve hosted and mentored over four hundred artists since 2008.
2021 – Kultur-All Makaan – Castlemaine State Festival over 10 days
2020 – Kultur-All Makaan – Melbourne Design Week – sole curated regional work in program
2019 – Public Cooling House – Greenroom award nomination for Curatorial Invention – Experimental and Contemporary Performance – Castlemaine, Royal Botanic gardens Victoria, WOMAdelaide
2018 – Public Cooling House – showcased regional arts installation and presentation – Artlands – Regional Arts Australia Conference
2017 – Live Art Auction – Winner of two Green Room Awards in Experimental and Contemporary Performance: Innovation in Participatory Performance, and Production Excellence
2017 – Big Walk to Golden Mountain – Sole regionally based arts organisation commissioned for Asia TOPA
2016 – Live Art Auction – Sole regional arts organisation commissioned for Festival of Live Art 2016 (FOLA) Arts House
2015 – Migratory Complex – Sole Australian organisation commissioned for the international program MONS 2015 – European Capital of Culture
2014 – River Rites – Sole Victorian arts organisation commissioned by Country Arts South Australia for Key Producer Program – This Is A River
2012 – Coriolis Effect – Sole Victorian arts organisation commissioned as Key Creative Partner for Regional Arts Australia biennale Festival/Conference -Kumuwuki/Big Wave.
For the past 18 years in Australia Jude has devised and produced new performance and Live Art works that bring artists together to create participatory adventures for audiences outside the walls of mainstream performing arts institutions. Prior to Australia, Jude worked for 12 years internationally co-creating and directing with renowned contemporary performance companies in Chile, U.S.A, Italy, and France. While directing and teaching at the Centre Dramatique Nationale de Bourgogne and Dijon University, she was co-director with experimental performance group – Compagnie Le Nyctalope, and was associated co-director with Groupe Merci.
Both companies toured nationally and internationally. She returned to Australia in 2001 where she now lives and works in Central Victoria. Since 2001 Jude has devised, co-directed and produced over 50 contemporary performance and Live Art productions both within Australia and internationally. Many have set new parameters for programming and presentation. Her practice focuses on researching and testing conventions of live performance and audience engagement. Several of her productions have been commissioned and presented by renowned European festivals for experimental performance and the official program of Avignon Festival and she has directed and curated works expressing new forms of audience engagement representing Australia within the European Capital of Culture.
She founded Punctum in 2004 working with over 400 artists to support their practice and new works.In 2018 Jude was awarded an Australia Council Fellowship for Experimental and Emerging Art Form and in 2019 was the Green Room Awards recipient of the Geoffrey Milne Memorial Award for her outstanding contribution to experimental and contemporary performance. Jude has been a Board member of Regional Arts Victoria and contributes to many local, state and national advisory committees, organisations and grant panels.
Pippa Bainbridge is a multi-disciplinary artist, creative producer and arts manager, currently living in Ballarat on the unceded lands of the Waddawurrung. She holds a BA in Drama Studies and a BA in Arts Management from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. In 2000, Pippa was awarded the Subject Exhibition for Drama Studies by the Curriculum Council of Western Australia and was a semi-finalist in the arts category of the Young Australian of the Year Awards (WA).
As an arts manager and creative producer, Pippa has previously worked for festivals and venues run by Next Wave and Artrage, and held senior leadership roles at iconic organisations including La Mama and Express Media. From 2016-2020, Pippa curated and operated The Burrow, an independent performance venue in Fitzroy. Most recently Pippa held the position of Creative Producer—Young Connectors at Arts Centre Melbourne and among other projects she led the development and delivery of the inaugural Future Echoes, a festival of young voices, new narratives and works in progress in 2019. She is currently working in the Arts Centre Melbourne team responsible for Asia TOPA, is Treasurer on the Board of Ballarat-based Spark Theatre and is a Director of The Pack Music Cooperative.
Helen Symon QC is a leading advocate with wide experience in taxation law as well as commercial and administrative law. She appears regularly in the High Court of Australia, the Federal Court of Australia and the Supreme Court of Victoria.
In recognition of her extensive litigation practice Helen was named in Best Lawyers 2015 and 2016 – Litigation. Her style in written and oral advocacy has been, variously, described as elegant, sophisticated, subtle and accomplished.
Helen has had a long interest in the not-for-profit sector, in the difference good governance – getting the basics right – can make to an organisation in fulfilling its objectives. Her primary interest, however, is in fund-raising and philanthropy. She is passionate about the difference people can make with their money. And about the role not-for-profits can play in people experiencing that difference – to the satisfaction and benefit of both. From December 2013 – February 2016, Helen chaired the Victorian Bar’s Ethics Committee.
Pia Johnson is a photographer and visual artist, whose practice seeks to investigate issues about cultural difference, diaspora and identity. She also has a strong practice in portrait and performance photography, working with major and independent arts organisations in Australia. Pia has exhibited throughout Australia, the USA, Japan and Mexico. She has been a finalist in many photography awards, and is regularly invited as a guest speaker and artistic advisor for a range of organisations.
Her work is collected in private and public collections including the National Gallery of Victoria. Recent highlights include a solo exhibition She that came before me (2018) at Manningham Art Gallery, group exhibition All That We Can’t See (2018), her curatorial exhibitions The Family Mantle (2018) and Chinese Whispers and Other Stories (2017), and an artistic residency at National University of Singapore (2018). Pia holds a Bachelor of Creative Arts (Visual arts) and Diploma of Modern Languages (Mandarin) from the University of Melbourne, and is currently a PhD (Art) candidate at RMIT University. www.piajohnson.com
Brodie Ellis is an Australian multidisciplinary artist and arts administrator living and working on Dja Dja Wurrung Country. Brodie graduated from the VCA, University of Melbourne in 2006 and has held numerous solo and group exhibitions in commercial galleries and institutions, international biennales and artist run spaces. Highlights include The 17th Biennale of Sydney “The Beauty of Distance- Songs of Survival In a Precarious Age” Cockatoo Island, ‘New 09’ ACCA, ‘Videoteca’ and ‘Too Near Too Far’ Care of Gallery, Milan.
Her art is held in public and private art collections including MONA, Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart and she has a major public art commission underway in Chengdu, China due to be completed in late 2021 through City of Melbourne and McClellend Gallery & Sculpture Park. Brodie has worked as Assistant Manager at Castlemaine Art Museum, Retail and Wholesale Manager at Chapman & Bailey, Studio Manager for Cameron Robbins and Studio Assistant for John Wolseley. She has also worked as a freelance producer on TV charity campaigns with clients including DTV, The National Heart Foundation, The Smith Family, and the Peter McCallum Cancer Institute.
Terry Jaensch is an Australian poet/actor and monologist. His first book, Buoy, was published in 2001 (FIP) and shortlisted for the Anne Elder Award by the Fellowship of Australian Writers. He has worked as Writer-in-Community, Poetry Editor (Cordite) Artist-in-Residence, Dramaturge, Artistic Director of the 2005 Emerging Writers’ Festival, poetry teacher and in a variety of arts/community and local government programming positions. In 2004 he wrote and recorded 15 monologues based on his childhood in a Ballarat orphanage for ‘Life Matters’ ABC Radio – since reworked and performed for theatre as ‘Orphan’s Own Project’. He was awarded an Asialink residency in Singapore where he worked collaboratively with poet Cyril Wong. The resulting work, Excess Baggage & Claim (transitlounge publishing), was launched in 2007.
He has won awards including the Melbourne Poet’s Union International Poetry Prize, the Victorian Writers’ Centre Poetry Slam and was on the winning team of the Melbourne Writers’ Festival Poetry Slam. His work has been anthologized, most recently in Out of the Box: Contemporary Australian Gay and Lesbian Poets (Puncher and Wattmann) and published in journals nationally and in the US, Germany, Japan, Singapore and India. His poems have been translated into Bengali and interpreted through classical Indian dance. He has a background in acting, having studied at the Herbert Berghof Studio and Stella Adler conservatory in New York.
Linto is a social work professional with sixteen years of community development experience in regional and rural migration, refugee settlement and humanitarian services. His experience includes senior leadership and management roles as well as program design and development, stake holder and community engagement, supervision, and direct social work practice.
He is passionate about grass roots community development and the inherent strengths within local communities to make positive and sustainable change within the communities that we live in. Linto is Co-founder of Regional Victorians of Colour Inc. – a collective of people of colour living in regional Victoria whose aim is that people of colour belong, are valued, and contribute to regional communities.
Simeon is an experienced creative producer and arts leader who is committed to supporting innovative arts practice, particularly in cross-cultural and collaborative contexts. He is currently a Creative Producer at Arts Centre Melbourne. Simeon has worked in a range of leadership roles throughout the Australian arts sector supporting the creation, touring, delivery and presentation of diverse works and art forms locally, nationally and internationally, through which he has developed extensive national and international sector networks.
Simeon was the General Manager of Flash Forward, and previously has held Executive Producer positions with the Asia TOPA festival, ILBIJERRI Theatre Company & Snuff Puppets. Previously, Simeon has also worked as a producer for the Melbourne Fringe Festival, and co-founded the Digital Fringe festival, placing emerging artists’ screen-based artworks into public spaces. In 2005 Simeon co-founded Horse Bazaar, an innovative bar, art space and production house in Melbourne, where he was a co-director for 7 years.
In 2018 Simeon took a 1 year sabbatical travelling remote Australia in a 4WD and living in a tent with his young family, which was the best thing they’ve done together to date. He has been regionally based in Kyneton for 10 years.
Zoë is an award-winning cellist, composer, performance maker and educator. Her practice is devised and collaborative, drawing on composition, sound design, writing, performing and directing. Her work explores the politics of slowness, meaning-making, and amplifying quiet voices. Her sound collages combine field recordings, text and music, and can be heard in theatre, dance, film and gallery commissions. She has appeared at/had work presented at Edinburgh International Festival, Sydney Opera House, Auckland Festival, Sydney, Perth & Adelaide Festivals, Dark Mofo, MONA FOMA, Supersense Festival, Unsound Festival, Next Wave, Lincoln Centre NYC, Kennedy Centre Washington DC, National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing, and film festivals including Venice, Sundance and SXSW. Recent awards include Ruby Award: Best Festival Production for The Lighthouse, Green Room Award: Participatory Contemporary & Experimental Theatre for The Ballroom, and the Aria Music Teacher of the Year. Zoë creates immersive installation/theatre works for multigenerational audiences with Patch Theatre, and audio-led works for the digital space with The Threshold. Zoë is a member of The Letter String Quartet and Iranian trio Dafta Avaal, and a collaborating artist with Back To Back Theatre.