Hyperreal Tales

Nineteen local participants have found ways to tell their stories through dance, images, words and music. Set in the Shoalhaven, the short films present unique perspectives on the world.

Hyperreal Tales has been three years in development. Director/choreographer Philip Channells and filmmaker Sam James working with 19 story tellers and artists, initially contacted with the help of local health and disability service providers. The result is simply astonishing.

“I was an artist in residence at Bundanon Trust in 2011 when I ran some dance workshops for the local community”, explains Channells.

“At that time, conversations started with Bundanon staff who were looking for opportunities to develop a cohesive arts project to connect with the health sector, a project that had a long-term vision, something that could evolve over time. Bundanon put out a call to the local networks to begin the process. It was quite flexible and open, dependent on the uptake and interest of the community.”

And what interest there was. Over the three year development 19 local participants dedicated their ideas and themselves to Hyperreal Tales. The result is a video installation of five viewing screens with 12 interweaving stories, told through dance, images, illustrations, words and music. Using a portable chroma key studio, filmmaker Sam James has been able to transport performers into virtual landscapes, as well as doing location shoots chosen by participants. In these films virtual and actual realities magically merge into each other.

“One thing I enjoy the most about working with community, most of whom wouldn’t consider themselves professional artists, is the way that experimentation through visual recording of movements, drawings, writings, objects and landscapes all mean something to someone.” says James. “The collation of all these little parts starts to reveal deeper layers of dreams and psychology of a person. A portrait begins to form.”

An Interview With Philip Channells

The Hyperreal Tales exhibition is accessible and inclusive allowing the diversity of audiences to experience the work.

“For us, what was also important in making the films, was to consider our audience.” says Channells, “We wanted to create a film experience that was equally enjoyed by people with or without sensory impairment and so we have used audio description of the moving image and captioning of the spoken word.”

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Shoalhaven City Arts Centre & Regional Gallery



Dates & Times
02/04/2016 - 21/05/2016 Shoalhaven City Arts Centre & Regional Gallery

Bundanon acknowledges the Wodi Wodi and the Yuin, of the South Coast region, and recognises their continuous connection to culture, community and Country.

In Dharawal the word Bundanon means deep valley.

This website contains names, images and voices of deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.