A CUTE ONE:
Last updated: September 2017
Nathan Stoneham is a community and cultural development artist who has been creating contemporary, socially engaged arts processes and performances with communities across Australia and the Asia Pacific region for over ten years. He is currently Brimbank City Council's Community and Creative Partnerships Officer at St Albans Community Centre and Bowery Theatre. Recipient of the Australia Council for the Art's Kirk Robson Award, The Brisbane City Council Lord Mayor's Young and Emerging Artist Fellowship, and various grants and scholarships, Nathan's practice explores transcultural and queer approaches to making art and friends, and brings people together to collaborate on new ways of being together.
A REALLY LONG ONE:
Last updated: March 2016
Nathan Stoneham is a theatre and social practice artist, musician, and arts facilitator working in community and cultural development settings. Since graduating from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in 2008 with a Bachelor of Creative Industries (Drama) and a Bachelor of Education, he has been collaborating with diverse communities across the Asia-Pacific region. In 2016 he was awarded the Australia Council For The Arts Kirk Robson Award.
Nathan is currently Brimbank City Council's Community and Creative Partnerships Officer at St Albans Community Centre and Bowery Theatre. This year, Nathan co-facilitated Nothing To See Here in Macau as part of Bok Festival. This performance and exhibition is made in collaboration with members of the blind community, and has also been delivered in Seoul and Brisbane. In this unique project, artworks are locked inside cabinets – never to be seen - and are described, not displayed. Audience members rely on touch, audio descriptions by the artists and Auslan videos to experience the locked up art works.
Nathan spent last year working with 5 to 8 year olds on Minjerribah / Stradbroke Island and at Hymba Jumba School on Inala Wangarras’s Jarjum’s Life Museum, an exhibit about the lives of contemporary Aboriginal children – for children. He was also facilitating creative play sessions with children aged 0 - 5 as a part of Imaginary Theatre's "Small Stages" regional community outreach program, while studying his masters in Social Work at QUT. In 2016 Nathan was also an artist in residence at the 2016 Australian Performing Arts Market.
in 2015, as a Brisbane City Council Lord Mayor’s Young and Emerging Artist Fellow, Nathan was artist in residence at Mongolia's first LGBT Centre, where he worked with community members to create Love Bus - a socially-specific and multi-site performance across the city of Ulaanbaatar.
Nathan’s connection with Korea began in 2006, when he travelled to Seoul on a university placement as a team leader on a children’s language, arts and recreation festival. He then performed in and later directed a community outreach children’s workshop that toured across the Korean peninsula. Presenting experimental works at various galleries and festivals, including the Korean International Performance Art Festival, his friendships with Korean artists sparked new transcultural collaborations. With Jeremy Neideck, he co-wrote 지하 Underground – a queer, bilingual piece of music theatre set in a Korean speakeasy that premiered at Metro Arts in 2011 and enjoyed seasons in the 2012 Brisbane Festival, the 2014 World Theatre Festival and the 2014 HiSeoul Festival in Korea. Nathan also co-created The 떡볶이 Box (The Dokboki Box) – part theatre show, part snack stall and part karaoke room, presented at Next Wave Festival and Metro Arts in 2014. Community engagement and participation were integral to these works in their efforts to model inclusive ways of being together.
As an Australian Youth Ambassador for Development in 2010 and 2011, Nathan completed an assignment in Tonga as a youth drama trainer assisting a performance group to promote sexual health and human rights to communities across the kingdom.
Nathan is an associate artist at Imaginary theatre and has co-created numerous works for children, including I See You which was a part of Out Of The Box Festival and the ASITEJ Festival in 2016, and LOOK, which has toured nationally and internationally to ASITIEJ Korea, and the Aha Children’s Festival in Bangalore, India. With Imaginary, Nathan has also worked on community-based arts programs, from play sessions in Kindergartens and arts venues to artist residencies in schools.
Nathan often collaborates with other artists on socially engaged projects, including Lenine Bourke's The Walking Neighbourhood in Brisbane, Bagot, Chiang Mai (Thailand) and Seoul (Korea) and M’ck McKeague’s Well, this is embarrassing as part of This Is Not Art Festival.
An interest in social practice saw Nathan engage in a residency with Mammalian Diving Reflex in Canada, studying social acupuncture alongside Darren O’Donnell – with the support of an Australian Council For The Arts development grant. He has also been mentored by Urban Theatre Project’s artistic director, Rosie Dennis as part of the Jump program.
Nathan has guest lectured at QUT on Theatre in Communities and Applied Theatre, as well as speaking about transcultural ways of working at conferences such as IETM (2014).
Inspired by his dear friend and mentor, the late Roger Rynd, Nathan is committed to exploring ways art can be applied to foster friendships across perceived barriers. He believes we all have a lot of friends to make.