Nadja-Léona - Yes, we are mysterious, powerful...

Who are you?
I am the soul in limbo.

Nadja-Léona, an activated installation performed at the Alliance Française of Melbourne. Dance with video, sound, text, architecture.

Nadja-Léona: concept and direction by Jude Walton with Finnish based performer Gesa Piper, dancers/choreographers: Michaela Pegum, Jo White, Hillary Goldsmith and Arabella Frahn-Starkie, composer/pianist Kym Dillon and artist Eliza Dyball.

Below, a few photos and thoughts after viewing the performance:
- by Catherine Schieve

After witnessing this wonderful, luminous work by Jude Walton and collaborators, I am left thinking about many aspects of dance performance that are intimately connected to the performance of ritual and worship. Here are a few jottings: The eloquence of the body in space; the ability of the body to create sacred space and to hold space; the mystery of objects and props, primal forms such as the egg; how text does and does not share meaning with gesture; how (even now!) the female form is rare as the “primary mover” in performance and worship; the beauty and humour of costume and mask; distance created by masking and ritual gestures creates space for meaning and imagination… and how architecture is enlivened by movement; how time perception is changed by witnessing human movement; and the very tangible presences of light and sound.

NOTE: These photos are only from the third, and final movement of the work. The first two movements were completely different, and occupied their own spaces; the first took place as a projection upon a dancer’s bare back. The second movement was in an underground crypt-like space and had a strong component of projected video, live music, and the texture of stone and light.

With thanks and appreciation to Jude Walton and company

Islamic Museum Australia: A celebration of divine beauty / Maya Kriem


Art Opening at the Islamic Museum of Australia : the work of Maya Kriem

The colourful, organic work by Moroccan-Australian artist and scholar Maya Kriem opened recently at the Islamic Museum of Australia ( It is part of the Australian Muslim Artists (AMA) 2018 Exhibition. The exhibition was open from August to October 2018.  

An installation of felted wall hangings and lanterns that evoke the shapes, colours, textures and gentle motions of the coral reef. A celebration of divine beauty that flourishes in ocean waters.


Frills of violet 2018 - Wet and needle felted Tasmanian merino wool

Reef Textures 2018 - Wet and needle felted Tasmanian merino wool. These vibrant felt pieces recall the many curls, undulations, splits, cavities and pebbles in the rainforests of the sea.

Polyp lanterns 2018 - Wet and needle felted Tasmanian merino and alpaca wool. A quirky series of sculptures that evoke the strange and diverse shapes of coral polyps.

Welcome to Australia’s new Islamic Museum

Welcome to Australia’s new Islamic Museum

Maya Kriem : Artist Biography

For Maya Kriem, felting is a deeply engaging and invariably enchanting experience. She starts with small, wispy bits of wool, gradually adding water and applying rhythmic motion and pressure. The fibres combine and transform into a robust fabric, often taking shape and behaving in unanticipated ways. The primary type of wool Maya uses is Merino wool. It holds particular significance in her work as it represents a little-known historical thread between Morocco and Australia, the two nations of her heart. In 1797, the first Merino sheep, derived from the famed Royal Flocks of Spain, were brought to Australia. The merino sheep, which have always been highly prized for their wool, were originally introduced into Spain at the end of the 12th century by the Merinids, a Berber tribe that ruled Morocco and was an ally of the Spanish Muslim Kingdom of Granada. Maya is a Moroccan-Australian self-taught artist. She has always had a deep fascination with cultural encounters and intersections. Born and raised in Morocco, Maya has made Australia her home for the last 16 years. She holds a PhD in Cultural Studies from the University of Melbourne and currently finds her biggest joy and inspiration in being with her three home schooled children.


between wind and water (in a vulnerable place)

A new book of poetry by berni m janssen

Announcing the launch of a new book by Australian poet berni m janssen

between wind and water (in a vulnerable place)

Published 2018 by Spinifex Press.

The launch will be at Collected Works Bookshop, Melbourne, on Friday October 5.
Arrive from 6 pm - start at 6:30
Nicholas Building
Room 7, Level 1
37 Swanston Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

Berni will read from her work; there will be festivities and a performance; come meet the author. And also meet the Publishers - Spinifex Press is a premiere feminist publisher based in Australia. Catherine Schieve will launch the book.

photos above by Catherine Schieve