Lux production culturally rich

September 25, 2021 BY

Pink Lily: Erin McCuskey has captured Luxville muse dancer Lily Paskas in motion. Image: SUPPLIED

FILMMAKER Erin McCuskey has received a six-month Creative Victoria 2021 Creators’ Fund grant for her long-term project City of Luxville.

The Yum Studio creative has been developing the experimental story of an artists’ revolution since 2015. The concept is full of fact, fiction, love and “heart,” and is based on Ballarat.

McCuskey said the Creative Victoria funding will help further develop the “cultural backbone” of the City of Luxville, through a collaboration.

“I’m working with two local Indigenous artists, Deanne Gilson, a visual artist, and her sister Tammy Gilson, who’s a cultural dancer, an expert on ancient fire practices, and is a weaver and sculptor,” she said.

“Deanne has been a City of Luxville muse, and her mum, Aunty Marlene Gilson is a long-term cultural advisor to Luxville as well.”

This partnership will take McCuskey’s Irish heritage, and the Gilsons’ Wadawurrung and English heritage, and mix up these backgrounds together.

“Over a series of cultural sharing opportunities, we’re going to develop a story collection in experimental fragments, but they will support the narration of Luxville, in 360 video, and augmented and mixed reality,” McCuskey said.

“Ballarat tends to focus on colonialism, but our stories go back years before, and until we acknowledge those, we’re constantly stuck in a time period.

Luxville is about telling the whole story, not part of the story and this grant is a way of me being able to go back before Luxville was created.”

The City of Luxville, and the separate visual pieces of the puzzle developed along the way, have been created by McCuskey with community members, and she hopes to present a project finale in 2022 or 2023, including a photo play, reading of the screenplay, an exhibition, and screening.

“The story has been developed on the ground and very much tells the story of this place,” she said.

“It has been written in public. I’ve created episodes, photo plays, and characters, and taken them to the community.

“People might recognise some of the characters and controversies, and they will recognise the places. I’ve created muse portraits in interesting places like Trades Hall, The Mechanics’ Institute, and the Town Hall.”

Become a Luxville citizen and supporter at luxville.com.au. Experimental episodes of the project are being released via instagram.com/erinmccuskey.

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