Meet Branch Nebula // Snake Sessions
Who are you and what do you create?
BRANCH NEBULA (Lee Wilson and Mirabelle Wouters) is one of Australia’s most adventurous companies pushing at the boundaries of performance. Working at the nexus between theatre, dance, sport and street-styles, BN takes audiences into the extreme creativity of urban landscapes, and immerses them in real time experiences. BN makes work that defies categorization. We interrogate the audience experience and explore contemporary culture as a means of creating access and speaking to a broad audience. We work with street-style artists to create new visions for engaging with BMX, skating, parkour, tricking, and contemporary dance.
What materials and techniques do you use?
We work with non-conventional artists and work collaboratively. For example a skater is often depicted as a sports person, yet we relate to them as artists. You’ll find that they often engage with multiple media forms, crafting their skateboards, organising events, photography and video, and designing apparel. These are all artistic forms. We are inspired to work with these street-style artists as they truely engage with site. Our work is often site specific, be it a warehouse, shopping street, or a skatepark. Street-style artists like BMXers, parkourists, street dancers, are incredibly tuned to their environment, constantly scoping out challenges to overcome and really do represent the future in terms of being highly evolved in their interaction with the built environment around them.
What kind of inspirations go into your work?
Our inspiration is create new and radical forms to share with audiences. Every project needs a new approach. In order to provoke radical paradigm shifts, you need new forms. Tired old forms that look and sound like everything that has come before, no matter what the content, or themes, is not really going to cut it in an age of sensory overload, where the screen is all consuming. We aim to be leaders in risk, we have to be in a culture that is risk averse, we have to perform the unthinkable, and the unimaginable, it is our imperative.
In what space do you like to create most?
It’s a mental space that is most conducive, the physical space has already been so varied and wonderful. Office spaces at a desk in front of a computer are the most challenging as it’s so static. The mental space is one of defiance, of rebellion, of determination, of discipline, with a sense of a rallying cry, a shout, that says F You, but not F You, but join us in saying F You!
What has been your favourite or most important work to date?
All our works are important as they are a foundation for the next one. They have all been important for that time and place, and they become superseded by the next important one. Whats key is to keep going, always to keep going, because we have been in some very low points when giving up seemed like the best option. Right now I would say that the arts scene is in a depression. This is due to a long line of funding cuts in NSW state, and also federally. These impacts are really coming to light now. The place of culture in mainstream society is being eroded by a lack of Governmental leadership. And so we must all struggle on and not play it safe, and make work that is packaged to conform to what we think will be liked.
Branch Nebula are presenting Snake Sessions at Horizon 2019, infiltrating the Alexandra Headlands Skate Park for a whole week, jamming moves and tricks with the locals and building up for a spectacular improvised performance at the end. With a live drummer driving the action, bodies and wheels collide, race each other, and blur into one. To be involved, just drop in to Alex Headlands skate park during the week Tue 27 - Fri 30 Aug, 10:00am – 4:30pm + Sat 31 Aug 2-5pm.