Rose Wintergreen | Launch Bubble | Sunday 15 March 2015
March the 8th is International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate and highlight the valuable contributions women make to our world. One day is not enough, so this is part of a month-long series of posts celebrating female artists.
Today’s feature artist is Malia Walsh, a theatre and circus artist with serious stamina and resilience. I first met Malia when I was writing a magazine article about how Australian artists were using crowdfunding. I was blown away by how shy she seemed, but how driven she was to keep putting herself out there, no matter how uncomfortable it felt, to make sure her art connected with the people who needed it.
At the time, she had applied unsuccessfully for arts grants three times for the project she was working on, even though she had a lot of support from professional grant writers, and people in the arts with established credibility and connections. She resorted to crowdfunding, because even though it was scary as hell, she was determined to make her project happen.
1. What art do you make?
I make theatre and circus smooshed together. I aim to create work that is comical, fun, noisy, thought provoking, skilled and stupid.
I work mostly on my own or with two spectacular boys in Circus Trick Tease. I love working with a variety of creatives including Tim Tropp (fashion designer), Zoe Porter (painter) and Chris Carlos (events organiser and performer) to name a few.
2. What is one of your proudest achievements as an artist?
Three jump to mind immediately:
- Closing show at the Edinburgh Fringe, I produced our show at a 300 seat venue on my very own as a fresh new girl on the block. We got a standing ovation and my techs up the back stripped down to their underpants and brought me beer.
- Performing for Mick Jagger and meeting him after. He held both my hands and said I was amazing.
- The roar of the crowd as I performed hula hooping into the splits in the Artist Bar at Adelaide Fringe last year when I was 38 weeks pregnant.
3. What has been a challenge recently, and how did you overcome it?
It’s been quite difficult to find any time recently with a new baby, I struggle to practice, I struggle at gigs because I’ve been up all night feeding, I struggle not eating chocolate bars every 10 minutes, I struggle to form sentences… but, holy cow he is totallllllly worth it and it’ll get easier right… right?
4. What are you most excited by creatively right now?
Marshmellows and hula hooping.
Also, all the incredible women I’ve been watching here at Adelaide Fringe including Sarah Ward, Tessa Waters, Sarah Stewart and Adrienne Truscott.
5. What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given about growing your career as an artist?
MY DAD ALWAYS SAID, IF YOU MAKE A MISTAKE, MAKE IT BIG SO EVERYONE THINKS YOU DID IT ON PURPOSE.
Also, someone said to me once, never ever do a half-assed job. You never know who is watching.
6. Where can we find your work and connect with you?
I’ll be co-directing the next development of RUE.
After that I’m developing a work for Children at La Mama “Children smell like Poo”.
A new work by Circus Trick Tease is due out in November. Details here.