Proximity 2020 Lab

A two-week virtual Lab for Australian artists focused on shifting contexts, conditions and expanded possibilities for making participatory and site-responsive works.

In September 2020, Proximity and DADAA will partner together for the first time to facilitate a virtual lab for 10 WA and Australian-based artists.

The Proximity 2020 Lab will be facilitated by three artists, researchers, writers – Fayen d’EvieCassie Lynch and Madeleine Flynn, coordinated by Proximity in collaboration with DADAA. Proximity is a national artist platform known for commissioning intimate participatory experiences for audiences of one at a time.

Participating artists in the Lab include, Bruno Booth (WA), Dominique Chen (QLD), Hanna Cormick (ACT), Aviva Endean (VIC), Riana Head-Toussaint (NSW), Mei Swan Lim (WA), Justy Phillips & Margaret Woodward – A Published Event (TAS), Alec Reade (VIC) and Katie West (WA). 

Read more about the Proximity Lab facilitators and artists here.

Guest Speakers: Caroline Bowditch, Claire Cunningham, Jeremy Smith, Kate SulanLatai Taumoepeau and Lyno Vuth


About the Lab and it’s intentions at this time

In this moment, of multiple ecological, health and social crises, the Proximity 2020 Lab creates space to think and share methodology in response to expanded notions of access and site-based participatory practice. How has our relationship to each other, to place and to audiences has shifted? What new conditions and alternatives do we want to create as we face forward?

Artists are invited to reflect on how they move through, relate to, and care for Country; how to radically open up and embed inclusive and access methodologies into their creative process, and how relationships to intimacy and proximity have altered as we start to emerge from a state of suspension.

What was originally planned to be a Lab taking place on the unceded lands of Noongar Boodjar in Fremantle, has now turned into a virtual Lab engaging artists across Australia. This shift has allowed new possibilities to think about lasting ways to design activities, embed access and equity across in-person and virtual spaces.

Proximity Lab runs from 21 September – 1 October 2020.

Proximity Lab is presented by Proximity and DADAA with support from the Department of Local Government, Sports and Cultural Industries, and the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body

Image: Bruno Booth, Hostile Infrastructure, 2019, Testing Grounds, Victoria. Photo: Keelan O’Hehir. 

Here, there and back again: Landmark Exhibition Opens

In partnership with Ellenbrook Arts, DADAA is delighted to present Here, there and back again – a survey exhibition of the life works of senior Noongar artist Desmond Woodley. The exhibition brings together a collection of works by a prolific artist whose depiction of country and beings are like no other.

Encompassing his lived experiences – from time at New Norcia Mission as a child, to working on cattle stations and travelling the vast state of Western Australia – Woodley’s works are powerful and haunting, conveying his perception of life and place. 

DADAA has supported Woodley for more than a decade – originally as part of his health recovery but more recently to gradually extend a practice that places him back in Country. Ellenbrook Arts provided Woodley with his first exhibition opportunity back in 2007.

Emus painted by Aboriginal Artist Des Woodley
Desmond Woodley, Waidjeroop (Many Emus), 2010, acrylic, pencil and charcoal on canvas, 40 x 75cm. Courtesy private collection.

DADAA Executive Director David Doyle said that DADAA has invested heavily in its Aboriginal Arts program based at the organisation’s Midland location.

“DADAA’s eastern region hub has become unique in providing skill development, exhibition opportunities and community engagement for emerging and professional Aboriginal artists with disability,” said Mr Doyle.

“Through DADAA’s programming and partnership approach, and with support from the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, Desmond is now able to present a significant body of work to a broad public audience.”

Executive Director of Ellenbrook Arts Gemma Ben-Ary said that Woodley’s career got its early start at the Ellenbrook Art gallery with the exhibition Coming Together curated by Lisa Wolfgramm in 2007, which eventually led to him becoming a well-loved, highly collected artist in Western Australia.

Here, there and back again is a fitting way to present the past twelve years of Woodley’s practice, featuring collected artworks from many private collections, alongside new works,” she said.

”We are absolutely thrilled to have this exhibition here and look forward to sharing it with the community in Ellenbrook, and providing a rewarding experience for visitors coming from further afield.”

In working alongside Woodley over several months, Indigenous Curator Esther McDowell (Kickett) noted how subtly he tells his story, presenting a fresh and sure perspective of Bibulmun/Noongar country.

“Having been surrounded by Desmond’s work, I have begun to see Bibulmun/Noongar country differently thanks to Des’ art,” Ms McDowell said.

“His style is unique and stands with the dynamic practices of contemporary Aboriginal artists that have come to the forefront within Western Australia over the past ten years.”

Screenwest and the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority have also supported Des’ work to be placed in Yagan Square – both as an animated showcase on the Digital Tower (to be launched as part of NAIDOC Week celebrations) and as a permanent mural in the Market Hall.

Exhibition runs 15 June – 31 July at Ellenbrook Arts gallery.

Nexus Arts Grants for 2019 are now open

Nexus Arts Grants are a unique opportunity for young people (aged 16 to 25) with disability to develop their skills and careers as artists. The grant offers support for individual mentoring with a professional artists, and successful applicants work on a project of their own choosing.

Nexus Arts Grants are open to Western Australian artists only. There are three levels of funding: $2000, $5000 and $10,000. This grant round closes on 31 May at 5pm.

Find out more and download application materials on the Nexus Arts Grant webpage.

Board Changes at DADAA

After more than a decade of service to DADAA, we were sad to see Jan Court leave the position of Chair of the Board. She is replaced by Harry Bray, who has been Treasurer on the DADAA Board since 2014.

Harry has acknowledged Jan for her ten-year commitment to DADAA.

“Jan played a central strategic role in managing the complex partnerships that resourced, designed, built and operate the Wangaree Community Centre in Lancelin, one of DADAA’s three hubs,” he said.

“Jan leaves a strong regional program and helped DADAA transition to the NDIS. We thank her very much.”

In addition to a change of Chair, DADAA also welcomed two new Board members – Perth Festival outgoing artistic director Wendy Martin and Associate Professor Justin Brown from Edith Cowan University.

Harry said that both Wendy and Justin bring expertise in key areas relevant to DADAA’s current business growth – contemporary arts programming and digital access and technologies.

“As Artistic Director of Perth Festival for the past four years, Wendy has embedded disability arts into core festival programming,” said Harry, a local business owner and philanthropist.

“DADAA’s four-year partnership with the Festival has seen international disability performers and directors come to Perth to work with emerging and established artists, and to expose audiences to international best practice in disability arts.

“As DADAA continues to build its contemporary arts practice as a leader in disability arts, Wendy’s vision and knowledge will be invaluable.”

In recent years, DADAA has also expanded its access and inclusion programming for people with disability using digital technologies. Justin, who is Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning for the School of Science at ECU, is an expert in e-learning, accessibility and web-based technologies and has been an invited expert on the World Wide Web Consortium’s Research and Development Working Group.

Artlink School Holiday Workshops

Get on stage with Circus WA

The DADAA Artlink School Holiday Program is back with inclusive school holiday workshops with Circus WA. Enjoy three days of circus skills, games, slapstick comedy, clowning and physical theatre. Tailored to your own abilities, these workshops are guaranteed to be a whole lot of fun with something for everyone.

NDIS-enrolled participants are encouraged to register. A small number of sponsored places are available for those not enrolled in the NDIS.


Monday 14 January, 1.30 – 3.30pm
Wednesday 16 January, 1.30 – 3.3opm
Friday 18 January, 10am – 12noon

Tuesday 15 January, 1.30 – 3.30pm
Thursday 17 January, 1.30 – 3.3opm
Friday 18 January, 1.30 – 3.30pm


Circus WA Big Top
Old Fremantle Boys’ School
92 Adelaide Street

contact and booking

Please book as places are limited.
Contact Belinda Mettam, Artlink Artsworker
T: (08) 9430 6616

City of Fremantle / DADAA partnership wins State Honours

The partnership between the City of Fremantle and DADAA that has revitalised the Fremantle Old Boys’ School was recognised at the State Arts and Culture Partnership Honours at the State Theatre Centre earlier this week.

Nominated by DADAA, the City of Fremantle was recognised in the Metropolitan Local Government category. The partnership has established an arts hub in the heart of Fremantle that supports people with a lived experience of disability from across the metropolitan area to choose Fremantle as their destination for arts and cultural participation.

“This iconic building now connects the WA disability community with professional artists, broadening how we as a community view ourselves at this significant time as the NDIS rolls out across Australia,” said David Doyle, Executive Director of DADAA.

The State Arts and Culture Partnership Honours acknowledge the outstanding contributions of individual philanthropists, businesses and organisations who partner with arts and cultural groups across WA.

Image: DADAA Executive Director, David Doyle (left) pictured with David Templeman MLA and Deputy Mayor of the City of Fremantle Ingrid Waltham at the awards presentation.

COMING UP: The Other Film Festival

Changing how the community sees disability

DADAA has teamed up with Arts Access Victoria to bring The Other Film Festival from Melbourne to Fremantle for the first time!

On 6 & 7 October in our very own cinema in the Fremantle Old Boys’ School you can catch amazing films from around the world by, with, and about people with disability.

And, as part of the festival, we’re also proud to present the inaugural Act-Belong-Commit WA Stories short films showcase made by DADAA artists!

Click here to check out the wonderful films that will be on show!

For more info please email us or phone 9430 6616.

Digital Dialogues Arts Mentors Wanted

DADAA is looking for new arts workers to join our team!

If you have previous experience in running arts-based programs to provide mentoring workshops for groups and in one-to-one sessions we would love to hear from you.

DADAA has received funding from the Department for Communities to offer up to 40 artists the opportunity to develop their digital and arts skills for 2 hours a week over a 40-week period. Workshops will be conducted in a combination of one-on-one and group settings. Workshops may include but are not limited to: digital art, animation, film-making, drawing, painting, mixed media, performance and music.

The workshops will be based at the DADAA Fremantle Hub. This is a casual contract for 12 months and workshop hours can be flexible.

To put forward an expression of interest please email us your CV and cover letter.

Applications close: Friday 28 September, 5pm.

Contact us for more information.