Seeing is believing at EXPONIDA 2019

The talent, rigour and creativity of NIDA’s Master, Bachelor of Fine Arts and Vocational Diploma students are displayed in this exhibition showcase.
Seeing is believing at EXPONIDA 2019 All images supplied.
No image supplied

Richard Watts

Monday 18 November, 2019

Featuring the work of nearly 100 students, EXPONIDA 2019 is an important opportunity to showcase the diverse array of courses offered at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), according to Dr Julie Lynch, Director of NIDA’s Centre for Design Practices.

‘While our final year acting students present their work at Graduate Showcase, this exhibition exhibits work from every other full-time course at NIDA,’ she told ArtsHub.

Initially focused solely on the design students, as NIDA has grown over the 60 years since its opening in 1959, the exhibition’s remit has broadened in response.

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‘As each course has expanded we’ve welcomed scenery-making students, costume and property students, technical theatre and stage management, including lighting and video design, cultural leadership, directing, writing, and our Vocational Diploma students’ work into EXPONIDA,’ Lynch explained.

Celebrating collaboration

Just as the stage productions in NIDA’s theatres highlight the exceptional rigour of students’ performance practice, the works showcased in EXPONIDA speak to the collaborative nature of contemporary performance.

‘So much of the work made here is not necessarily made by just one single person. There’s a lot of work where people have collaborated to create it as well, which is what making work for performance is all about. It’s people working together to create both the material side of the work and the storytelling side of the work,’ Lynch told ArtsHub.

Just as the stage productions in NIDA’s theatres highlight the exceptional rigour of students’ performance practice, the works showcased in EXPONIDA speak to the collaborative nature of contemporary performance.

‘So much of the work made here is not necessarily made by just one single person. There’s a lot of work where people have collaborated to create it as well, which is what making work for performance is all about. It’s people working together to create both the material side of the work and the storytelling side of the work,’ Lynch told ArtsHub.

‘I think what’s been key to NIDA’s success are the practice-led and cross-disciplinary collaborations that have been going on for the last six decades,’ she said.

REFLECTING PAST AND PRESENT

The third-year Bachelor of Fine Arts (Design) students responsible for the look of this year’s exhibition were issued with a two-part design brief.

‘One aspect was that they needed to recycle and reinvent part of the exhibition from the year before and that’s so we can begin to work in a more sustainable and environmental way,’ said Lynch.

‘The second aspect of the design brief was to celebrate NIDA’s 60th year. So they’ve done a whole range of different photo montages of every decade of NIDA’s work … a collage of images from the 1960s, '70s, '80s, '90s, the Zeros and the Teens.

‘I’m really thrilled that we gave them that extra challenge because they’ve created such an interesting-looking exhibition based on that particular design brief,’ Lynch said.

‘It’s fantastic the way that they’ve managed to not only celebrate the work of our current students and look with great positivity to the future, but also to be able to reflect back on our confidence and our achievements of the past as well.’

EXPONIDA 2019 is now showing until 14 December at NIDA’s Kensington campus, 215 Anzac Parade, Kensington NSW 2033 from Monday to Friday 9-5pm. Entry is free.