Creative Types

CREATIVE TYPES WITH VIRGINIA TRIOLI

Creative Types is a series in which journalist and unabashed arts fanatic Virginia Trioli explores the essence of creativity with some of Australia’s best creative minds. Drawing from all artforms: acting, directing, writing, visual and performing arts, each episode will showcase creative Australians at the peak of their talents and tell the story of the triumphs and occasional disasters of their journey to the top. Our guests will be prolific, influential and inspiring.

They will be ingenious creatives Virginia has a fascination with and wants to get to know.

PRODUCTION CREDITS

An ABC production. Executive Producer Jaya Balendra. Director Stamatia Maroupas. ABC Head Arts, Music and Events Kath Earle.

Creative Types with Virginia Trioli starts in April

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The six-part series premieres on Tuesday, 2 April, 9pm on ABC TV and ABC iview

Creative Types with Virginia Trioli is a new series in which award-winning broadcaster, journalist and unabashed arts fanatic Virginia Trioli explores the essence of creativity with some of Australia’s best creative minds.

“I’m thrilled to be celebrating the art of making and the many brilliant creative types we have in this country. From writers to artists to actors and musicians there is a distinct energy and expansiveness about creative Australians and this program tells the story of the hills they’ve climbed, their stumbles and their triumphs and what drives them to tell their stories to the world’’ – Virginia Trioli

Each episode showcases creative Australians at the peak of their talents and tells the story of the triumphs and occasional disasters of their journey to the top.

The guests are prolific, influential and inspiring. They are ingenious creatives Virginia has a fascination with and wants to get to know: the writer who turned his complex family history into an Australian epic, Trent Dalton; the puckish Spanish born artistic director of the Sydney Dance Company, Rafael Bonachela; beloved star of stage and screen, Marta Dusseldorp; one of Australia’s great filmmakers, Kaytetye man Warwick Thornton; the comedian’s comedian and Gold Logie winner, Tom Gleeson, and the mother of Skywhale; the visual artist who creates strange creatures from the frontiers of science and technology, Patricia Piccinini.

ABC Arts is delighted to be unashamedly celebrating the art of making – because we are a country of so many brilliant ‘Creative Types”.

Kath Earle, ABC Head Arts, Music and Events, said, “I’m so proud of this delightful and inspiring new ABC Arts series which encourages audiences to reflect on creativity and the vital role it plays, not only in the lives of the artists featured, but in all our lives.”

Production credits:

An ABC production. Executive Producer Jaya Balendra. Director Stamatia Maroupas. ABC Head Arts, Music and Events Kath Earle.

Episode One: Trent Dalton

Tuesday 2 April 9.00pm

Literary sensation Trent Dalton has sold over a million books and has adoring fans everywhere, yet he still thinks every day of that 12-year-old boy whose future could have gone so wrong if creativity didn’t “save my life”.

The writer who turned his complex family history into an Australian epic for our times takes us deep into the places that connect to his creative heart: Brisbane, family and love are polestars for this journey to the centre of Trent Dalton’s world.

Update:

Creative Types With Virginia Trioli will premiere a week later than promoted. It will now make its World Premiere on Tuesday 9 April at 9.00pm

Episode 2 Rafael Bonachela,

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Tuesday 16 April 9.00pm

Rafael Bonachela, the Spanish born artistic director of the Sydney Dance Company says he was born to dance: but while that love took him to the top of contemporary dance it splintered his family: now comes the dance to reconcile that.

Rafael Bonachela invites Virginia to come see what a contemporary dance choreographer does.

Rafael rehearses with his dancers at the Walsh Bay studios and feels the inspiration of Sydney Harbour under his feet. In his apartment, he shares the story of his early years: the eldest of four, he says he was born to dance, making up dances in the streets of his town La Garriga in Spain. His dancing caused tension in the home from the start. His brother, Ivan, says their father never understood Rafael’s dancing and was very hard on him.

He left to study in Barcelona, and won an audition and a scholarship to Rambert Dance Company. He graduated to choreography but received cutting reviews. He gave choreography one more try and that show was seen by Kylie Minogue. She asked him to choreograph her now iconic 2002 performance at the BRIT Awards and then her entire Fever world tour. Kylie says she loved his work from the very start.

This was his first brush with Australia, but then Sydney Dance Company came calling seeking a new artistic director. His vision for the dancers was an energetic, youthful company that spoke to the expansive light and beauty of his new home.

His success has been immense: record crowds, a profitable company but his father’s approval always eluded him. His latest work, Somos, is the first that directly draws on his Spanish heritage. His brother Ivan says Rafael is the inspiration he shows his own boys in their quest to find their own path.

Production credit: An ABC Production. Executive Producer, Jaya Balendra. Director, Stamatia Maroupas. ABC Head Arts, Music and Events, Kath Earle.

Episode 3 - Marta Dusseldorp

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Tuesday 23 April 9.00pm

Beloved star of stage and television, for Marta Dusseldorp place is everything and now Tasmania is both home and creative wellspring for her production company and the stories she wants to tell.

On a wild Tasmanian beach Virginia meets Marta Dusseldorp, the celebrated film, TV and stage actress, and she explains why Kingston Beach and Tasmania are so important to her and why they are now her home. But was it a big career risk to step away from the big cities? Marta says place and community are everything, stories connect her to place and she feels can’t live without telling stories through drama.

At her book-filled home among the gums, Marta shows us where her drive and incredible work ethic comes from: a childhood of ballet and acting, including her first TV work at the age of 29 in GP. She was a star of the Sydney Theatre Company and its celebrated Actors Company, but family changed everything - you can’t tuck in your kids when you’re on stage every night.

So, ten years in hugely popular episodic television followed: A Place to Call Home, Crownies, Janet King, Jack Irish. Marta recalls these years as when she “spoke more scripted words than her own”.

Then, as one of our most successful actors, a brave decision - the family moves to Tasmania. Marta shows us the exquisite 1837 Theatre Royal in Hobart, the oldest theatre in Australia and a site of several of the works of her production company, Archipelago, established with her husband Ben Winspear.

The pandemic stokes the furnace of their company, and they create many theatre works for the Hobart community and the idea for their TV show Bay of Fires is born.

Production credit: An ABC production. Executive Producer Jaya Balendra. Director Stamatia Maroupas. ABC Head Arts, Music and Events Kath Earle.

Episode 4 - Warwick Thornton

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Tuesday 30 April 9.00pm

Award winning filmmaker, Kaytetye man, Warwick Thornton has three people warring inside him: director, writer, cinematographer but one must always win. In the searing beauty of Alice Springs, we witness the struggles.

It is blazing hot on the claypans of the Ilarpa Claypans outside Alice Springs where Warwick Thornton meets Virginia and explains how this was a place of great freedom for the young, wild Warwick. As he drives across the red mud, he says landscape is at the centre of his work, and that filmmaking is a craft that has be practised over and again.

Actor Cate Blanchett tells us there is a” wonderful sense of creative danger” to his work. David Stratton describes him as the consummate filmmaker.

In the shed of his son’s house where he is bunking now, Warwick shreds on an old guitar and takes Virginia through his archive: he’s kept everything, especially the awards for his films, including the Camera D’Or at Cannes for his debut feature about two kids in Alice Springs, Samson and Delilah.

Going through a box of old photos and memorabilia, Warwick finds the first hand-written draft of Samson and Delilah.

Cate Blanchett says there is “an inherent restlessness” in Warwick.

Back at the claypans Warwick shoots a new “Democracy Sausage” photographic series about the anger he feels at the referendum vote.

At the Wigley Waterhole Warwick walks us through a dry riverbed to his happy childhood place of swimming and escape: he says he feels stronger here because of his family’s memories.

Back at Warwick’s son’s place, Virginia is helping Warwick prepare dinner for his extended family, and recalls the fear of putting himself on film in his remarkable one-man documentary The Beach.

Episode 5 Tom Gleeson

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Tuesday 7 May 9.00pm

The comedian’s comedian, Tom Gleeson’s had no other job but standing on a stage making people laugh since his university days. What’s the secret to his incredible work ethic and success? He’ll do anything to land the joke – and he doesn’t care who might be offended.

Amid the carnival that is the Adelaide Fringe we meet Tom Gleeson: he’s presenting his new show Gear, but says you never stop working on a show, and that a show is never finished.

In his hometown of Romsey, outside of Melbourne, Tom goes through his archive and says he had a major early realisation about trying and failing in front of crowds: it was funnier when he said what he was really thinking, didn’t filter himself and committed to it. The acerbic Tom Gleeson was born.

His work process includes long rides on his bike, where he rolls through comedy routines in his head as he rides along the quiet backroads of his semi-rural community.

On set for The Weekly with Charlie Pickering, where Gleeson debuted I Hate You Change My Mind, which became Hard Chat, Pickering remembers that everyone who agreed to join the segment looked better for having a laugh at themselves.

Hard Quiz became a juggernaut but being nominated for the Gold Logie began his greatest joke of all: campaigning for a trophy he said he didn’t care about, but every other nominee did. It was a signal moment in Australian TV when he won: he says he did wonder that night if he had ruined his TV career.

But on stage in Adelaide, with a sell-out crowd, he’s never seemed like a bigger boss.

Production credit: An ABC Production. Executive Producer, Jaya Balendra. Director, Stamatia Maroupas. ABC Head Arts, Music and Events, Kath Earle.

Episode 6 Patricia Piccinini

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Tuesday 14 May 9.00pm

Patricia Piccinini, the visual artist who creates strange creatures from the frontiers of science and technology, tells us of the future that is already here and why she is compelled to “create the worlds” that live in her mind.

Leading contemporary artist Patricia Piccinini is working in her quiet space – a library of books, catalogues, artworks and models of her fantastical imaginings within her large inner-Melbourne studio. She sketches her ideas and her highly skilled atelier of digital artists, model-makers and wig-makers realise her visions in 3D form. Patricia says her job is to imagine whole new worlds into being.

At the Science Gallery in Carlton she shows Virginia one of her most famous pieces, Kindred, where her ideas of motherhood, nurturing and the very close frontier of science and reality are given form. Patricia knows her work can attract and repulse at the same time: “I think that there has to be a bit of strangeness in them because otherwise they’d just be too consumable. They’d be too cute.”

Nurturing is central to Patricia’s work and in Adelaide Virginia visits the monumental Big Mother, with its confronting narrative of an ape mothering human. Patricia reveals her mother’s long illness with cancer and early death drove Patricia’s interest in parental care, and her passion for science: she kept waiting for science to save her mother’s life. Her father was vehemently opposed to her being an artist, but she defied him to attend art school.

The director of the Australian National Gallery Nick Mitzevich says Patricia combines the history of art with a sense of imagination about the 21st century. “She kind of imagines the future in a way that’s neither scary nor optimistic.”