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Samantha Bews

Samantha Bews creates works that beat bounce burn with theatricality.

Samantha Bews is a theatre artist working across numerous roles including installation artist, performer and writer. Her work is driven by these notions: theatre as a visionary framework; poetry in action as an artistic aesthetic; consciousness as it is expressed in a multi-dimensional, interrelated reality; and the abject as a portal to a new imaginary. More concretely her recent work has explored crisis and climate change; alternate modes of consciousness in people living with advanced dementia; and writing as a radical act of defiance in a neo-liberal age.

Samantha trained at the Victorian College of the Arts as an actor (1989) and action and the game remain primary forces in all her work. Her latest installations include Element (iteration ii) (George Paton Gallery 2021) and The Language My Mother Speaks (At Home residency MASC 2019) and the live art experiment Burning. Standing. Spitting. (Weird Sanctuaries residency with Punctum Inc. 2021). Samantha’s plays have been published by Currency Press, Playworks and Australian Script Centre, and she is a Playworks/Varuna Fellowship recipient. Her more recent written work includes Breaking Bread: A Dementia Awareness Café (Routledge 2020); Sam Bews: Artist’s Statement: Elements (iteration 2) (Care Ethics and Art eds. Jacqueline Millner and Gretchen Coombs Routledge 2021) and These Days a collection of poems published by Mark Time Press (2019).

She recently launched Solidarity in Print (Lot 19 2021), The Wanting Monster (Martine Murray and Anna Read Parachute Press 2021) and The Bread Horse and For the Record by poet Ross Donlon (2021). She leads Writing for Artful Connection at Artpuff at The Mill and on-line writing workshops that provide a space to try, fail, laugh, and have the occasional glimmer of something real nice.

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