‘Imagine living in a world where to touch is your only source of information and to touch is not allowed. Welcome. You have just landed on the ‘Planet of Usheria’. There will be tourists from Earth attending this planet’s ’local Museum’ for an exclusive personal tour guided by two Deafblind Ushers. In this Museum, to touch is the key to unlocking the imagination of living in a world without sight or sound.
Audiences will enter through a sensory museum of the women’s memories, from busy streets to institutions, where no touching is not allowed, where smells evoke emotion, where meeting someone is through feeling their face, where touch is freedom in information, guidance so vital to trust, to participate and express oneself. Through white puppet canes, a shrine of Guide Dogs, to sing and play piano, to run free even if one cannot see; glowing hands in the dark touch one another to speak, to connect and remember the forgotten.’
Artistic Concept – Jodee Mundy
Early February of 2014 augurs a much anticipated work-in-progress showing of Australia’s only professional arts project that creatively engages the Deafblind community. Led by artist and director Jodee Mundy, The Museum of Imagined Touch has been created with members of the Deafblind community and features the work of Deafblind artists Heather Lawson (puppeteer) and Michelle Stevens (pianist).
The Museum of Imagined Touch explores Deafblindness as a contemporary living experience. The project has been developed collaboratively drawing on the unique insight, knowledge and language of the Deafblind community. Jodee Mundy and her artistic team set out to create a sensory live-art work that invites audiences to enter this culture and experience its unique and tactile relationship to sense, space and the everyday Deafblind navigation of the world.
Crafted to engage all senses, The Museum of Imagined Touch showings will lead small groups of 25 people per showing through an immersive and thought-provoking live experience. Running from February 11 – 13 2014 and taking place at the Polyglot Theatre , South Yarra, The Museum of Imagined Touch is creatively produced and directed by Jodee Mundy and supported by the the Australia Council for the Arts, Able Australia , Arts Access Victoria , Auspicious Projects , Arts Victoria , Polyglot Theatre and St Paul’s Cathedral .
Artistic Team: Jodee Mundy, Michelle Stevens, heather Lawson, Jodie Ahrens, Medina Sumovic, Tim Humphrey, Madeleine Flynn, Jenny Hector. Mentor: Sue Giles.
About the Artist
Jodee Mundy is an award winning performer, director, producer, sign language interpreter, cultural broker and community arts facilitator. Jodee grew up bilingual in Australian Sign Language and English because everyone in her family is Deaf except her. Passionate about increasing artistic participation for marginalised communities, Jodee’s work has seen her collaborate with organisations and companies such as Polyglot Theatre, Snuff puppets, Arts Access Victoria and Westside Circus.
She creates both solo performance and community driven works through diverse live forms that include physical theatre, visual theatre, multilingual theatre, circus and puppetry. Presently, Jodee is a recipient of an Australia Council Community Partnerships Structured Mentorship grant.
Jodee is using this career development opportunity to exchange knowledge and process with her team of industry mentors. She hopes to forge a dynamic balance between managing a growing community demand and her own artistic aspirations.
For more info about Jodee, her artistic practice and unique process, please visit her website .