Acknowledgment of country

Polyglot acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we live and create, and we pay our respects to Elders past and present. For more than 65,000 years, children and families have created and played here, and we are grateful to make our art on this country too.

8 Feb 2024 E-News

February e-news

‘Deep, wildly inspired free play’

“We think [creative experiences] help make life more wonderful and practically help build resilience, important in these uncertain times. FLOAT took something so simple and created an opportunity of deep, wildly inspired free play.” Parent

FLOAT was a buoyant start to 2024. Commissioned by MPavilion as part of the MStudio commissioning program, we welcomed more than 800 people across six free drop-in sessions, and thoroughly enjoyed creating and playing with everyone. Cat Sewell, Polyglot’s Artistic Director and co-CEO, wrote, “A gorgeous first day of FLOAT at MPavilion. It’s such a privilege to see the simplicity of leaf boats floating in water engaging children so completely. Relaxing, reflective and full of tiny creative discoveries. The space is a joy to inhabit.”

Ahead of FLOAT¸ we were delighted to share MTALKS: Play and the Art of Nature. This was a panel discussion with Cat, and guests Jenny Anderson and Kathleen Gonzales, delving into the joys of engaging children and families in arts experiences that connect to nature and natural environments. The talk was re-recorded recently, and is set to be released as a podcast.

A FLOAT photo. Polyglot artist Afsaneh stands in the MPavilion 10 reflecting pool. She wears black, and a wide-brimmed straw hat, and holds a basket with a long handle up towards the ledge in the back wall. Photographer: Cat Sewell.
A FLOAT photo. A hand offers a leaf boat into the MPavilion 10 reflecting pool, where other leaf boats float. Photographer: Rainbow Sweeny.

FLOAT, MPavilion. Photos: Cat Sewell (L), Rainbow Sweeny (R)

Next week, the Forest team embarks on the second stage of creative development of this brand new, interactive show. They will spend time in the bushland of Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne, followed by weekend workshops with children aged 4-9 years and their adults. Creating and playing in the wild spaces among the trees, we will explore the connections we have to forests and the creatures and characters within.

Summer in Victoria

“It’s great up here in Wodonga, families have been enjoying drawing in the cool gallery space. There were some kids that really, really needed their session today. Lots of stimming, noise-making and enjoying attention and play from the artists. It resulted in some phenomenal movement in the artworks.” Artist reflection.

Sound of Drawing enjoyed an extended 8-week installation at Hyphen – Wodonga Library Gallery over the summer. Available for families to drop-in for free whenever the gallery is open, there were open and artist-facilitated sessions to choose from. The finished masterpieces were hung in the Playspace Gallery as part of the experience, delighting those who shared in making them, other gallery-goers, and the extended community. Polyglot loved being part of the Hyphen summer program, and we thank everyone who attended.

A Sound of Drawing photo. A long table covered in black paper, filled with colourful, abstract, oil pastel drawing. A Polyglot artist in a black t-shirt is at the very end of the table, drawing. Photographer: Pinky Wittingslow.
A Sound of Drawing photo. A child in a white shirt, wearing headphones, stands at a long table covered in a colourful, abstract shared drawing on brown paper. Photographer: Pinky Wittingslow.

Sound of Drawing, Hyphen – Wodonga Library Gallery. Photos: Pinky Wittingslow

Happy birthday ArtPlay!

This year, our friends at ArtPlay celebrate 20 incredible years of children’s creativity. Since 2004, ArtPlay has presented arts experiences that empower children to explore an infinite realm of creative possibilities. Polyglot was honoured to be part of a birthday event on Friday 19 January, with our Ants invited to bring their crumbs to the Wild City exhibition launch. ArtPlay is celebrating with an exciting year of program favourites and new offerings – check out what’s happening on their What’s On page.

On the horizon

Pram People is rolling towards its Western Australia debut, with a season at Joondalup Festival. We’re very excited to share this work at Tom Simpson Park, next to Mullaloo Beach. Later in the month, Pram People will premiere internationally, with a new bilingual Hong Kong Edition at WestK FunFest. Co-presented and co-produced by WestK and Polyglot Theatre, with support from the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria, we cannot wait for this colourful spectacle to unfold on the Harbourside Lawn in the West Kowloon Cultural District.

Paper Planet is set to return to North America for the first time since 2019. Seasons will be presented by Segerstrom Center for the Arts in California, and Tempe Center for the Arts in Arizona. 

Both international tours will see Polyglot teams travelling from Australia, with local artists joining us in each location. This is an important part of our touring model, ensuring deeper connections with the communities we visit, and valuable creative and cultural exchange. Our art is always richer for the people – children, families, artists, presenters and supporters – who are part of it.

Thank you

FLOAT was commissioned by MPavilion as part of the MStudio commissioning program. MPavilion is a flagship initiative of the Naomi Milgrom Foundation.

Logo: MPavilion 10

This development of Forest is supported by Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria.

Logo: Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne

Pram People (Hong Kong Edition) is co-presented and co-produced by WestK and Polyglot Theatre. The original development of Pram People was supported by the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund – an Australian Government initiative, and the City of Melbourne through the Arts and Creative Investment Partnerships fund and ArtPlay. Polyglot Theatre is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.

Logos: Brand Melbourne - Creative Victoria; Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund – an Australian Government initiative; City of Melbourne; ArtPlay.