Punctum experiments in Live Arts – the best in the field
We seek to produce and create live performances that seize our attention, and hold us in the grip of their adventure. The kind of performances that draw on all that artists and audiences bring and give of themselves to reach completion. Works and programs we create are rigorous and unapologetically riotous, risky, generous, ambiguous, hilarious, idiotic, beautiful, messy, intriguing, intelligent, and extraordinary like life. We produce works that as artists have us shaking with fear at where they might lead us, and gasping with surprise at where we find ourselves.
Punctum is an intended art accident on the well-made stages of art.
Jude Anderson - Artistic Director
Founded in 2004, Punctum is an artist-led Live Arts organisation on Dja Dja Wurrung country and based in Castlemaine, Australia.
We're a key centre for arts excellence and enquiry. We examine the relationship between artist and audience through live arts productions and residencies.
We work in collaboration with established and emerging artists, audiences, institutions, organisations and businesses.
Our works are grown regionally and are presented locally, nationally and internationally.
We are small in scale and big in commitment.
We seek to advance contemporary performance practice by growing it in regional contexts.
We foster new approaches to performance making and audience engagement.
Our productions, programs and curating generate unique opportunities for artists to experiment and create new performance works with audiences in supportive regional settings locally, nationally and internationally.
Our aesthetic, like our approach to creating and collaborating, shifts with the expression of each subject, artists and setting.
Artists associated with our programs develop new works that push boundaries and open the way for audience collaboration and participation. We invite artists to experiment with installations and performances that encourage activation and reflection; to build contemporary art forms that are inclusive. We draw on local knowledge, sites and civic concerns, working in close proximity with residents. Through our programs we seek to gather people together to collectively reinterpret their present, reconsider their past and re-imagine their future.
We create programs which give contemporary art a central place in regional culture.
We drive two programs:
Works - Punctum's in-house multi-year commissioned, curated and created works. We've created and produced seventy-one works since 2004.
Residencies - Seedpod: a development residency, we've hosted and mentored over four hundred artists since 2008.
In 2011 Punctum was funded as a cultural leader in Live Arts through the Australia Council’s Cultural Leadership initiative. In 2012 we were cited in Regional Arts Victoria’s Key Producer document as being one of two regionally based Victorian “icon” arts organisations. In 2013 we were invited to represent Australian experimental and participatory performance for MONS2015 - European Cultural Capital, Belgium.
Over our first ten years, we have undertaken twelve major Live Art investigations and creations, which have given rise to many works. Like Russian Matryoshka dolls, these contained works within works. Through these investigations and creations, Punctum has gathered a considerable body of knowledge and experience and we’ve established strong working and creative relationships with partners ranging from Capital Venues and Events, Country Arts SA, Castlemaine State Festival, Arts House, the Substation, and Abbotsford Convent to La Masion Folie, Mons, in Belgium – European Cultural Capital 2015, as well as a rolling roster of Punctum artist alumni.
The Castlemaine State Festival takes place in our region on a biennial basis. Since 2005, eight Punctum works have premiered in the festival. Punctum also created and co-produced the festival's Opening Event in 2011, 2013, and 2015, collaborating with hundreds of participants and engaging thousands of audience members.