Collaboration is a vital skill for anyone seeking to work in the creative arts and media sectors, where so much rests on people’s abilities to cooperate, communicate and work creatively with each other.
But it is a skill that is learned more through practical experience than by theory alone, which is why our Creative Lab units are incorporated into study options across Media and Communication, Fine Arts, Music, and Theatre and Performance.
Creative Lab encourages students to take supported creative risks and requires them to pitch an idea and work with other students from different disciplines to bring the idea to life.
The completed creative work is then showcased at an immersive muiltidisciplinary art exhibition at the University of Tasmania’s Hedberg performing arts building in Hobart.
Featuring live music, installations, performance, sound sculptures, digital media and visual arts, this micro-festival most recently brought together 90 students from across the School of Creative Arts and Media to showcase 20 bold, new site-specific works.
Theatre and Performing Arts lecturer Davina Wright said Creative Lab was an opportunity for students across disciplines to collaborate in order to create something they might not have been able to make by themselves.
“When you get out into the industry as a performer or musician or creator, you do need to collaborate with others,” she said.
“A huge part of that is learning how to make something together, how to have those conversations, and seeking to build communities of creators.”
Students enjoyed meeting and getting to know students from other disciplines they might not have encountered otherwise.
The result of this melding of disciplines has been the creation of some innovative and fascinating works of art.
“We’ve decided to do an interactive cheese experience,” Bachelor of Media and Communication student Sam Barry said at the 2022 Creative Lab event.
“You walk into a room, you’re presented with pieces of music and art inspired by a particular type of cheese, to allow you to experience the cheese without actually tasting it.
“Although, you do actually get to taste it as well.”
The unit also requires students to think about managing their work, how to display or install it, and how to prepare for an exhibition or event.
Bachelor of Fine Arts student Josh Sutton Smith admitted he was apprehensive about doing a group project but ultimately he found it to be enjoyable and rewarding.
“My group was mainly from the arts school but one was from the media school. It was really cool, getting to learn how we all work and how we make and create.
“Having one person from a different discipline also really inspired me to try something from outside my own discipline as well. I always wanted to try music, which was how I ended up doing what I did for our project.”
Bachelor of Media and Communication student Kellie Andrews said Creative Lab was great for her confidence as a creator and artist.
“At the beginning I was absolutely terrified because, I do think I’m a creative person, but I suffer from a lot of self-doubt,” she said.
“Now I have a bit more confidence around my creativity and my ideas being valuable, from the really encouraging feedback from my teacher and other students.
“That’s what our working life will be like, collaborating with different people from different fields with different expertise. Learning to problem-solve with other people and come up with creative ideas is a skill we can use virtually anywhere.”
The friendships and networks formed as part of this unit might also lead to further professional collaborations between these creators in the future.
“That’s what I’ve learnt: that you don’t have to know, at the start, where it will end up. And I really liked what we ended up doing,” Josh said,
Creative Lab is an elective available in our Media and Communication, Fine Arts, Music, Theatre and Performance study options.