17 February 2016

Spotlight On – Maurial Spearim


With Blak & Bright: The Victorian Indigenous Literature Festival just around the corner, Express Media had a chat with performer, storyteller and Fresh Blak Writer Maurial Spearim.

Don’t miss Maurial on Saturday February 20 in Fresh Blak Writers.

What kind of writing do you do?

I started writing poems, songs and am now moving into writing for my first one-woman show BlaaQ Catt and will be performed as a part of the Next Wave festival on the 17th-22nd of May 2016

What are you currently reading?

Gamilaraay Yuwaalaraay Yuwaalayaay Dictionary

Seven Stages of Grieving by Wesley Enoch and Deborah Mailman

What inspires your work? Where do you find this inspiration?

The work that I write and perform is inspired by our history, it is one of the major influences in my work. I get inspiration from all forms of life, art and environments, being a performer and writer I am constantly observing my surroundings.

Who were your earliest mentors and how did their guidance shape you as a performer and storyteller?

My earliest mentors would be my father and aunty taught me from a young age of my traditional stories and dances. I believe that our people are natural storytellers as it was/is how our songlines were/are passed on. Their guidance and support help shape the woman I am today in all aspects of my life and in particular as a performer and storyteller. From there I did my first drama class in year 6 and loved it and studied all throughout high school, then I went to TAFE where one of my mentors told me about VCA and encouraged me to apply.

You completed a Bachelor of Dramatic Arts at the Victorian College of the Arts – how did this formal training influence your practice as an artist?

VCA has great training it was a whole other world, taught me so much about acting, voice, movement and performance that I never knew about before studying. At the time I remember thinking what does this have to do with acting and not quite understanding at first but now working in the field it all comes together as to why/how it helps my performance, and implementing all I have learnt has really helped with my preparation  for performances.

You work a lot with other young artists, through co-creating and performing work, as well as delivering creative workshops. What significance does collaboration hold for you (culturally, creatively)?

I think it is important to collaborate with other artists as it gives you a chance to grow and challenge yourself in ways you may not have, had you not worked with others in creating new works be that writing, theatre/film, song, dance or workshops. Most of my collaboration is intertwined with our culture and our history; I find it a great source of inspiration to co-create with artists and to implement in culturally appropriate creative workshops.

Why is the Blak & Bright Festival important to you?

Blak & Bright Festival is important not only for me but for our community, as it is a much needed platform for our stories to be heard, seen, shared and performed at; for our mob but also for the wider community as it will open up conversation that need to be had in relation to Indigenous voices stories within the industry.

What are you most looking forward to about Blak & Bright in 2016?

I am looking forward to hearing and seeing as much as I can throughout the festival.  There are so many amazing writers and artists part of this, that it is hard to nail it down to one particular session. I can’t wait and am looking forward to share my story in Fresh Blak Writers.

Maurial Spearim is an Indigenous woman from the Gamilaraay nation on her father’s side, and on her mother’s side she is from the Kooma/Muruuwari nation. Maurial is interested in exploring theatre, song, and dance through the expressions of the body and the utterance of the voice and has had an introduction to storytelling, dance, and song from performing her traditional song and dance since she could walk. Maurial has continued to work with a wide range of artists, much like herself, who have a passion to co-create, develop, and perform.