Additional Funding Note
I just want to add, due to the nature of this work, this exhibition is not something I could sell tickets for (it's unethical to charge tickets for friendship). It’s too secretive to crowdfund (the Imaginary Friend audience drawings coming to “life” must be a surprise within the show, not something which can be described publicly beforehand.) The show isn’t financially supported by income from a partner, friends or family. I am an independent single person. I am in a residency before the Biennial, so timing-wise, I am unable to save up for this show beforehand through a day job. My only options now are: take out a bank loan and go into severe debt for this show (on top of my hecs debt) or receive a grant. These are my only two real options to get a project of this scale happening by July.
I know I have previously recieved funding from DCA before for my residency in New York, but that money is specifically for my residency only, not for this show.
I have never received a grant for an exhibition before. Usually, for the past fifteen years of exhibiting, I try to keep my work at minimal cost and in exhibition, I often show performance video I have made previously. This exhibition is a new benchmark in my career, both in the project manager role, scale and conceptual ambition. The Liverpool Biennial have already put in over forty thousand; they want the show to be huge and live. They believe in the work, they are committed and heavily invested.
I have been developing this work for almost four years. It’s the most difficult and stimulating performance of my career and most intense exhibition I have ever attempted. To achieve it, I have new small business management qualifications, which help with the management of additional performers. I have consulted with a variety of professionals and have lots of performative experience on the ground with the work. This project is a extremely personal and psychologically heavy; I want to make sure ethics and psychological safety are carefully considered, not only before the show but during it, as it’s performed over the duration of the Biennial. Because of this, I’m also working with ethics supervisor Mark Seaton as needed through Skype to help overlook any arising situations with participant or performer ethical and psychological safety planning. I’ve also worked with Australian curator/lawyer Alana Kushnir, on legal issues in this work to also strengthen it.
Not only is this show part of the biggest international arts festival in the UK, they are also giving me the opportunity to exhibit at the Tate. The importance of this exhibition, at this point in my career, is something which I can not emphasise enough. Fifty percent of the audience fly in especially to see the Biennial. That’s close to five hundred thousand people (most of them arts professionals) flying in who could potentially see my work. Tracey Moffatt exhibited at the Liverpool Biennial before, it's an honor to follow her and represent Australia there now too. After this show, I will re-exhibit this work in a variety of forms, but this Biennial work will be the catalyst.