Creative and artistic practice

Practice-led research in performance, dramaturgy, creative writing and visual arts
Our creative and artistic practices are multidisciplinary, intensely innovative and practice-led. 

Through cross-disciplinary arts-led practices, we develop innovative approaches to production that challenge and develop creative and artistic traditions. Founded in studio-based and literary experimentation, field research and cultural engagement, our research uncovers new perspectives and insightful responses to the world around us.

Our researchers maintain vital relationships in the cultural sector and work with external partners to collaborate on exhibitions, performances, publications and publicly engaged projects. We work with a variety of disciplines, fabrication industries, organisations and with other faculties at the University of Sydney to explore innovative solutions to poignant questions.   

Current areas of research focus include:

Research by practitioners from Sydney College of the Arts can be found in national and international public art commissions, leading biennales, cultural festivals, as well as private and institutional collections. 
Sydney College of the Arts Gallery provides an active schedule of exhibitions and events that involve alumni and visiting national and international artists, fostering collegiality and peer engagement within our research community. Our academic researchers are supported by world-class studio facilities, workshops and labs.

Researchers in this discipline share expertise across:

  • Image research: We are at the forefront of inventing original works that are inspirational and critically incisive. We explore questions of the body, gender, technology, perception, politics and historical narrative.
  • Art, site and culture research: Exploring the potential for cultural interpretation and responses to the physical qualities of space. We embrace the notion that space has expanded to include virtual realms.
  • Screen and sound: We research ways of navigating, understanding and creating for the screen and with sound, in a world pervaded by technology.
  • Sculpture and material practice: Forging new poetic hybrids and material assemblages within contemporary art that shift our perceptions of what an object can be and what it is capable of.

Our researchers explore diverse genres of performance: live theatrical events, contemporary dance and performance art, ‘applied performance’ practices in health, education and social justice contexts.

The Rex Cramphorn Studio is an established creative research facility where practitioners and scholars collaborate with visiting professional artists-in-residence on the dramaturgical development of new works, on production design, rehearsals and performances. Our researchers have long-standing relationships with senior artists and producers across the small-medium, and mainstage, performing arts sector, allowing this residency program to achieve national and international impact in terms of artist, artform and audience development.

Our researchers are also actively engaged in the production and dissemination of scripts, performance documentation—including ethnographic research into training, rehearsal and other creative development processes—and scholarly critique of historical and contemporary practices.

Our researchers engage in critically-informed creative and scholarly practice in literary and interdisciplinary contexts. Our research is at the forefront of Australian literary life, with national and international publications encompassing a broad spectrum of forms across poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, including award-winning books by academics and postgraduates.  

Our creative writing researchers are engaged in global literary communities through readings, performances, and involvement in literary and cultural events, and through collaborations with arts organisations and industry partners, including editing for premier literary journals and judging and hosting major literary awards. Our practice-led research extends into creative writing pedagogy, with a focus on the student-centred workshopping process. 

Researchers in this discipline share expertise across: 

  • Textual practice   
  • Life-writing and autobiography 
  • The novel and short fiction 
  • Poetry and poetics  
  • Literary and cultural theory  
  • First Nations Literatures 
  • Environmental Humanities 
  • Experimental and interdisciplinary literary forms  
  • Building communities of new writers

Hero image credit: Rakini Devi, live installation of The Female Pope during development at the Rex Cramphorn Studio, 2020 for Inhabiting Erasures, installation and performance, Articulate Projects, 2021. Photo: Heidrun Löhr.