23 August 2021

Get to Know the 2021 Toolkits Participants (Q&A)

Our second season of Toolkits for 2021 is kicking off! So we decided to pop in on some of our Season 2 Toolkits participants from Toolkits Performance Poetry, Digital Storytelling and Poetry, to get to know them better!

What are some of your interests?

Isidora (Toolkits Digital Storytelling): I’m really interested in writing, particularly scriptwriting both for films and theatre productions. I also dabble in photography and some editing here and there. Another interest of mine is directing and I hope to do some of that later down the line.

Julian (Toolkits: Poetry): Obviously writing and reading poetry are big ones for me! I used to also be a big fiction reader but have fallen out of it in recent years – trying to get back into things. I love to cook for people, so I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I also do a lot of arts and crafts (currently it’s watercolour painting and crochet) and I love to swim, although I don’t go as often as I should. 

Sher Ting (Toolkits: Poetry): Besides writing, I enjoy playing the guitar, fencing, tennis, hiking and watching movies. I enjoy a lot of these activities because it allows me to get out of my headspace, clear my mind and appreciate the outdoors. Usually it’s after that time spent outside that I can get back to writing with a renewed sense of motivation. I’d also recommend Dead Poets Society and Back To The Future to anyone who’s looking for new films to watch during this lockdown period!      

Sophie (Toolkits: Digital Storytelling): I spend a lot of time making art! Currently in lockdown and without a studio I’ve been working smaller and focussing on collage. I’ve also been hosting some group zoom collage sessions over the last few weeks. In not-lockdown-times I like going to gigs, and sitting in the sunshine with my friends. 

Katelyn (Toolkits: Graphic Narratives): I am interested in the crossroads between science fiction and horror, particularly the new weird. Often my poetry leans into speculating dystopian futures, mortality and the complex relationship between humanity and the environment.

Josie (Toolkits: Performance Poetry): Interests that have kept me inspired during the recent lockdown include going for long walks along the Maribyrnong River, during which either FaceTiming friends or listening to podcasts. Most recently, I have been smashing through episodes of Dissect, I’m loving listening it’s long form analysis of lyrics and musical production. When it’s not locked down, find me at the pool pretending to be a meri-creature doing laps then soaking in the spa, sauna & steam room. In the meantime, I love the comfort of bed to edit poems whilst listening to Eartheater.

Alicia (Toolkits: Digital Storytelling): My interests are pretty broad, haha. Outside of writing and reading, music is my main focus. I play bass and guitar in a few different bands and study Sonic Arts for one component of my double degree, I really enjoy experimenting with noise and soundscapes. I also am really interested in the life sciences, and study Geology and Palaeontology as the other component of my degree.

Aries (Toolkits: Digital Storytelling): Oh man — video games (Hollow Knight, Hades, Pokemon), musicals (Falsettos, The Lightning Thief), tabletop RPGs (D&D, Troika, anything by Rowan Rook and Decard)… the list goes on! I also enjoy tarot and amateurishly playing the bass. Above all else, the thing I am most interested in is being asked to talk about my interests.

What are you most looking forward to or most excited for about your Toolkits program?

Isidora (Toolkits Digital Storytelling): I’m excited to learn from Rory and my fellow group members about digital media, different art forms and overall broadening my horizons in a creative sense. 

Julian (Toolkits: Poetry): I’m excited to get to know the other poets and be a part of their creative process! I also think hearing a bunch of diverse work from my peers is going to push me to go beyond my comfort zone in terms of the types of things I write about and how I write about them. 

Sher Ting (Toolkits: Poetry): I’m looking forward to many things in the programme, it’s tough to single just one thing out! I’m looking forward to being part of a community of poets, where we can share our passion for poetry and our enthusiasm for different poetic works, while learning from the skills and knowledge of one another. I’m looking forward to experimenting with different types of formal poetry, such as sonnets and villanelles.     

Sophie (Toolkits: Digital Storytelling): I’m really looking forward to challenging myself! I’ve not let my writing have the spotlight like this before, so I’m excited to grow from this experience. 

Katelyn (Toolkits Poetry) I am most excited to further develop my writing skills through Toolkits, and learn from mentors and peers. 

Josie (Toolkits: Performance Poetry):  I’m looking forward to playing with language and it’s sounds. After Toolkit’s first session with everyone, hosted by Manisha, I felt I had returned home, to a home I did not know I had within, or had been missing, it’s amazing to have stumbled into a creative form, amongst the infinite artforms and feel a sense of belonging. I am most looking forward to experimenting and developing my craft in deep listening and seeing what narratives arise.

Alicia (Toolkits: Digital Storytelling): I’m really looking forward to learning the ins and outs of experimenting with digital design and interactivity. I have recently fallen in love with written works that have been partnered with aural elements to create mood, wholeness and a feeling of intense vulnerability. I love the feeling when you can read a story and it seems to come alive in your imagination, and I think that sound can be a very useful tool to help transport the reader to that realm.

Aries (Toolkits: Digital Storytelling): Digital storytelling is such an exciting medium that while it would be a cop-out to say “everything”, it’d also be true! If we’re narrowing the answer down, I’d say I’m most excited for trying out as many different tools and formats as possible. The role that form plays in digital storytelling is crucial to the author’s message – and to the author’s play! I’m super excited to make a lot of weird stuff 🙂


What are you currently working on/What do you want to work on in Toolkits?

Isidora (Toolkits Digital Storytelling): I hope to work on storytelling by merging different art forms in Toolkits, while still focusing on writing and literature. I’m unsure of what that’s going to look like at the moment. However, I’m very excited to see where it takes me.

Julian (Toolkits: Poetry): I’m currently working on trying to identify common themes through my work so I can start collating poems into collections. In the past, like a lot of people, my poetry has mostly been concerned with feelings and the internal world – I’m trying to bring some dynamism into it by pairing that with observations of the external world to really interesting effect. I’d like to also write more poems that are purely inspired by everyday objects and aspects of nature – for example, I’d really like to write a short collection which is a love letter to Brisbane/Meanjin. That’s a very new idea and likely something I’ll be putting a lot of thought into over the program!

Sher Ting (Toolkits: Poetry): I’m currently working on a collection of poetic works and hope to continue developing it in Toolkits. I also hope to experiment with different types of formal poetry, in addition to wild and exploratory free verse lineation that changes the way one interprets the poem. Like bifurcated texts!     

Sophie (Toolkits: Digital Storytelling): I’ve been writing a lot of poetry over the last year, and I’m excited to transform that into something new, something with more layers! Whilst I love collage as a medium, I think it’s also kind of my methodology when it comes to making. I like to have a lot of threads happening at once and trust that they’ll all make sense together. 

Katelyn (Toolkits: Poetry) Currently, I am working on making writing practice a part of my day to day life. 

Josie (Toolkits: Performance Poetry): I’m currently working on poems and prose from my project, ‘Politic of Mind’, It was my grandmother’s death that became a catalyst for this project; as I realised that I was not living fully in my truth. It is a philosophical-artistic project aiming to recontextualises my grandma’s politic – “the importance of knowing one’s mind”. Through the project I aim to critically examine the conditioning family ideology has had on my life. Topics of enquiry traverse; trauma informed pedagogy, neuro-diversity, erotism, jungain psychology, queer/trans thoery and political love. By contemplating life through these lens of inquiry I aim to create ‘future-ality’, – sepeifically empowering nuero-emergent & non-binary folks to have a strong sense of belonging and mental wellness in social dynamics.

Alicia (Toolkits: Digital Storytelling):During Toolkits, I hope to create playful works that I can integrate my visual and sonic arts practices within. I am quite new to the world of digital storytelling, and am very excited to see what is in store for me during the next 12 weeks!

Aries (Toolkits: Digital Storytelling): I’ve got a few ideas floating around that I haven’t started yet and am eager to get stuck into. One is a story about someone’s chickens laying progressively weirder eggs, and a protagonist agonising over whether or not to eat them. Another is a Bitsy game about picking up genders on a beach.


For more information on our Toolkits and Toolkits: Live program (which you can participate in right now!) visit our website.