Melbourne writer and filmmaker Kathryn Goldie will be our next Artist in Residence at Colour Box Studio (more info). She’ll also be sharing some of her expertise in a Creativity Through Writing Workshop (Sunday 29 June) and an Introduction to Writing for Perfomance Workshop (6 July). And back by popular demand, another Creativity Through Writing Workshop (Saturday 17 August June). Read below to find out more…

Director Photo Kathryn Goldie, Colour Box Studio ProgramTell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
I am a writer and film-maker. I’ve written short films, short plays and short prose, and now I’m trying to writer longer work, such as a children’s novel, a series of webisodes and a TV series. I’ve written and directed several short films and a couple of short plays, and I’ve made some video art as well. At the moment, I am between jobs, but I usually earn my keep doing some kind of editing, writing and/or transcribing.

Describe your art.
I like telling stories, whether through visual media, performance or words on a page (or screen!). I find it really rewarding and humbling to see people engage with my work. I particularly like film and theatre, because they are collaborative media and it’s exciting to work with other artists, from actors to camera operators and sound editors, and see what they can bring to a piece. On the other side, it’s great to see the way audiences engage with and respond to performed work, as it’s immediate.

Kathryn Goldie - Artist in Residence at Colour Box Studio.
Kathryn Goldie – Artist in Residence at Colour Box Studio. Image courtesy of the artist.

How did you come to it?
I’ve always loved telling stories, which, as an only child who also loved reading, I mostly committed to paper. I studied creative writing at university and wrote mainly prose, but stopped for a few years. When I started again, I wrote films and plays.

I made my first film in primary school, a special animation project in Year 4, but the film vanished when it was sent away to be developed, so I never got to see how the little cardboard man with paperclips for joints crossed the painted lawn! I became interested in film-making again in 2003, when I wrote and directed a short film in Canberra. I thought film-making was close to the best fun I’d ever had, and I loved the challenge of having to deal with so many different aspects of a film, from lighting and logistics to actors and editing. I’ve never made a film I’m completely happy with, and perhaps I never will, but I keep trying.

Tell us about your past projects. What has been your most treasured creation?
Tough question! I’m not sure I have a favourite or most treasured creation. I tend to really like whatever I’m working on at the moment! I’m always thrilled when my work makes it into festivals where it can be seen by different audiences. I was delighted that The Kind of Man was in the finals of Short + Sweet Melbourne a couple of years ago, with two talented actors and a fine director to bring it to life.

Cubular Oceans playing in Beijing, 2012 by Kathryn Goldie
Cubular Oceans playing in Beijing, 2012 by Kathryn Goldie

My last short film, Bodysurfer, was fairly ambitious and I was lucky to have terrific actors, fantastic crew and great locations to work with. But sometimes it’s the more simple pieces that have been the most ‘successful’: a short video artwork called Cubular Oceans has travelled with the 3 Shades Black music ensemble to three countries as part of their Moving Scores show; my film Duck Soup, shot very simply and with far more voiceover than I’d try to use now, surprised me by getting into 21 film festivals across the world.

Bodysurfer, film shot in 2012 with Kevin Dee (Jared)by Kathryn Goldie
Still from “Bodysurfer”, film shot in 2012 with Kevin Dee (Jared) by Kathryn Goldie

Where did you grow up and has it influenced what you create?
I grew up in suburban Sydney. I was an only child who spent a lot of time reading, when I wasn’t swimming or riding my bike. I made up stories, and I often imagined that I was on horseback exploring the Australian bush rather than pedalling around a small backyard with concrete and a Hill’s hoist. I also enjoyed acting and writing little skits and plays for my friends at school.

I am influenced by all sorts of things, but certainly by my life experiences, my family and memories of my childhood. I am also interested in the past, though almost everything I’ve written has been set in the present or, in the case of my novel, the future! I tend to write dramas that have a little comedy in them—a combination of light and dark, like life—and they are often about relationships.

Steak, film shot in 2009 with Kristy Barnes-Cullen by Kathryn Goldie
Steak, film shot in 2009 with Kristy Barnes-Cullen by Kathryn Goldie

What is your current project?
Vignettes from the West!

Who or what was your inspiration?
Footscray was my inspiration! I wanted to do a project that was related to Colour Box Studio’s home suburb. I’ve never lived here, but I’ve always liked the vibrancy of Footscray, its lively atmosphere and the people I often end up in random conversations with. I’ve shot a short film and some video art here, and I enjoy exploring the suburb. So I wanted to be inspired by Footscray and its people over the course of the residency—an opportunity I’m delighted to have. I’m also keen to work in a less structured way and play with some different forms of writing.

Where do you feel most creative?
I tend to just zone in on pen and paper, so I could be anywhere! I’ve written on the tram and on the couch, at my desk, in hotel rooms, in libraries. I recently spent some time in Bali walking through rice fields, visiting galleries, taking lots of photos, riding a bike through small villages, eating good food and just relaxing, and I wrote almost 80 pages of an exercise book…

What will you be working on next?
The second draft of my children’s novel, and a series of 5-minute webisodes—quite different projects! Spending too much time on one or the other could prove draining or boring, so mixing things up should keep me inspired and energised.

What can visitors to expect to see from you when they visit Colour Box Studio?
Literally, they’ll see me working on Vignettes from the West! It mightn’t look very exciting: me writing in a notebook, reading out loud from a notebook or wandering around the space thinking about things! Chances are I’ll also be drinking tea, and maybe eating a banh mi.

The project will be a mix of things—experimental, playful and initially a little unstructured, so that I can be open to whatever I see and hear in Footscray and then shape that raw material into a performance piece. I expect to write anything and everything from haiku, impressions, descriptions, snippets of conversations, scenes, short stories, spoken-word poetry, monologues…

Where can we see more of your work?
Hmm. I’m not sure the world needs another blog, but I’m considering starting one…or at least a web page with some of my work on it!

Creativity Through Writing Workshop (Saturday 17 August June).