Photos -Alex Clarke


Thursday 30th  and Friday 1st December 

8.30pm at the begining of Larkins Lane, off Keen St Lismore CBD 

A site specific performance for ARTSTATE 2017

“Their  work is exciting,dirty and raw, conceptually demanding, and questioning notions of ability and disability in a powerful and profoundly principled manner.”




The Overtopping is creative investigation into the community(s) response to the extreme weather event cyclone Debbie and its aftermath resulting in a rolling series of site specific micro performances, events and showings of projections over a number of weeks  using flood narratives as a starting point. Additionally a short but intense creative development will culminate in a performance of live art  including, movement, original live music, projections and puppetry in the Lismore CBD. (overlapping collected narratives and images, both moving and still like a flood of live art!



A man stands trapped on a bridge as the Flood waters rise. Another escapes from an island of rats swimming through a sea of spiders to reach the rising sun and safety. A community rallies and washes away the mud. These are true stories based around the extreme weather event Cyclone Debbie and its impact on Lismore. The Overtopping is a creative investigation into disaster and recovery, trauma and resilience. Lismore’s back alleys will frame these stories of adventure, bravery, comedy and love to create a site specific performance, combining dance, puppetry, sound art, projection, creative lighting, live storytelling and water art. The Overtopping is an overlapping of collected narratives and images set to original live music, both moving and still like a flood of live art! The Overtopping will showcase some of the best emerging and professional artists of varying ability working in Lismore, and explore the stories of this city and its people.


The creative team of The Overtopping  have a proven track record in a number of art forms and individual artistic practices in their own rights. All have had a very personal experience of the recent floods. They will be joined by other local professional and community artists who will also be involved in the Project, including:

A Choir under the direction of Peter Lehner

A troupe or dancers under the direction of choreographer/performer Phil Blackman,

Selected visual artists from the traditional and street art scheme,

Puppeteer, circus performers poets and comedians.


Zeb Schulz and Sunita Bala. Creative Leadership

Zeb Schulz is the founding Artistic Director of RealArtWorks Inc. Since 2002 he has worked collaboratively with community and professional artists to create new art that uses and transcends a number of traditional forms. Most often engaging artists with disability as professional collaborators Zeb’s work is an ongoing creative investigation of life itself. He has managed a creatively directed a number of large-scale projects including  'Rip Out your Labels" listed as one of the ten best RAF projects in 2005.  He has curated "This is Not What it Appears a ten screen sound and video installation developed in partnership with Lismore

Photo by Matthew Gledhill

Regional gallery. Zeb creatively directed/curated the Resistant Obsolescence exhibition at the Lismore Regional Gallery in 2014 and the (nothing is) Useless Exhibition Wagga Art Gallery in 2015.  Most recently Zeb directed ‘The Singularity” (a noise opera) at Artlands Dubbo in 2016 before touring the Australian East Coast with Polish avant-garde inclusive outfit Remont Pomp and Tralala Blip.

Sunita Bala is a member of Realartworks.Inc. As a creative facilitator, she has worked with emerging and professional artists of varying abilities to exhibit their stories in a number of mediums both in the Lismore and Wagga Wagga Regional Gallery.  Sunita was the Creative Producer and Co-Director in the Building’s Still Lives” a multimedia production that engaged over 100 emerging and professional artists to bring to life people’s stories and connection to place, a project that

Photo by Zeb Schulz, Art on your sleeve project Krakow Poland 2011

on completion was hailed by the local media as finally cementing Lismore’s place as the cultural mecca of the Far North Coast” . Sunita is the curator of the creative program for The Lismore Womens Festival and Founder of the Lismore Women’s Circle FNC. In 2017, in response to the Floods that devastated the town of Lismore, Sunita along with a collective of local artists created partnerships with ARTS NR’s, Creative Lismore, and Non- Arts Partners to create ARCH Arts Recovery Community Hub. She currently co-ordinates the Hub’s activities and will project manage Creative Lismore’s “ Art of Recovery” project that will engage local artists to transform unused CBD spaces into thriving creative spaces

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Phil Blackman is a choreographer and performance artist). He has performed throughout parts of Europe and South East Asia and is an Associate Artist with NORPA. This year,Phil was invited to be a part of a Regional/City exchange program, collaborating with Campbelltown Arts Centre’s (CAC) and Dance Integrated Australia in collaboration with Sprung! and R.E.D. Inc, a NR’s Disability day program.. He has facilitated workshops with Urban Theatre Project( Sydney)s, Martin Del Amo – independent artist, Julian Louis – Artistic Director NORPA.  His motivation as an artist and facilitator comes from great yearning to uncover or reveal an authenticity in his work and life. Most recently he was key artist in Norpa's Railway Wonderland and performer the NORPA /ARTS NR's collaboration  DreamLand

Photo by NORPA, Railway Wonderland

Photo provided by TK Bass


Tom Kelly, aka T.K Bass

Tom Kelly is a Cambridge educated multi instrumentalist who has toured internationally with a diverse range of ensembles, making appearances at major music festivals and venues from Glastonbury to Rainbow Serpent since 1995.

During the last decade in Australia he has worked as a music teacher for NRCAC and SAE and as part of a team of composers for the Squeaking Tribe Marionettes production at Woodford folk festival.

Tom is currently co-hosting 2 popular residencies in Byron Bay, promoting and performing in several acts whilst continuing to record, compose and tour on upright and electric bass, guitar and drums, traversing reggae, jazz, folk, blues and electronica.Tom will bring a wealth of experience and talent to The Overtopping

Photo provided by Tom Kelly


Marion Conrow 

is a regional Australian interdisciplinary artist, specialising in projection, sculpture and site-specific installation for over 20 years. Her focus is combining projection and sculpture to explore a sense of loss by capturing memory both real and imagined. Her unique technique creates holographic sculptures incorporating still and moving visual overlays exploring the interactivity between multiple projections and performativity. 



Photo by Marion Conrow

Marion’s work is evident in art projects nationally and internationally and has exhibited her work at major institutions, including QCP, QUT Arts Precinct, and the Australian National Museum. Marion has participated in residencies with Blast Theory (UK), Antagon Aktion Theatre (Frankfurt) and Artspace (NSW), and a two year residency at University of Queensland's ViSAC laboratory (Immersive VR) funded by Arts Queensland.  She has collaborated with many major figures in the arts works, notably with, Suzon Fuks & James Cunningham, and Denis Beaubois (“In the Event of Amnesia the City Will Recall”). Her recent body of work “UNRAVELLING 2016” was funded by ARTS NSW and Accessible Arts as she explored her brain injury sustained in 2007 in a car crash.



Peter Lehner. Actor, Musician, musical composer and Choir Director, Peter has over 20 years experience working with grassroots choirs, leading to some extrodinary successes such as the Melbourne Based Hard Knocks Choir whose self titled debut album was nominated for the ARIA awards. He has directed over 15 choirs both in the city including the Sydney Street Choir and regional towns and most recently has been working with Lismore based Winsome and healing voices Choir. Peter’s passion is using the medium of song as narrative therapy to bring to life peoples personal stories. He has worked on a number of high profile professional productions including choir master for NORPA’S The HOME Project and Railway Wonderland in 2015

Photo by Peter Lehner

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Multi award winning Krinkl Theatre crinkle wrap and sticktape discarded objects to create delightful visual images and puppets. Krinkl have an established reputation ion the region and have led may workshops of this nature - particularly with at risk or disadvantaged communities. They keep their audience on knife's edge between fantasy of animated and the  reality of rubbish. The recipients of numerous national and international awards, Krinkl's performances are non verbal and endeavor to raise the awareness of their audience on social and environmental issues. Krinkl were the key artists on the Building (S) Still Lives

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Photo by Natsky Photography


Gilbert was born in Lismore in 1963. he belongs to the Yaegl and Widjabul tribes of the Bundjalung Nation. Gilbert began painting in 1980s in Lismore with a group of Bundjalung men in a studio called the Chocolate factory. He worked closely with brother Oral Roberts, a close working  relationship that still exists today.

Gilbert is currently the director of the Nimbin Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Nimbin. He is teacher and mentor. He works for the North Coast National each year running the Aboriginal Art Space.

Photo by Gilbert Laurie

Gilbert is passionate about his culture and is often asked to perform the the fire ceremony that his grandfather taught him.

Gilbert has appeared in many group exhibition. He was the winner of the peoples choice award in the National Parks and Wildlife Indigenous art awards in 2005 and 2006. He is a not only a fine artists but also a musician and a strong cultural man.


Andrew was born deaf. His first language is Auslan. He doesn’t read or write English.

He went to school at the North Rocks Institute for Deaf and Blind Children in Sydney and owned his own business before moving to the North Coast, where he discovered he had a talent and deep passion for painting and circus

Aerials are his passion. He is also a natural at clowning and miming, and, being deaf, Andrew has very versatile communication skills. He has performed at the Tasmanian Circus Festival and with Ashton's Circus and now resides in Lismore and is strong advocate for the deaf community

Photo by Andrew Pasrry

Andrew Parry - Aritist confirmation

The group of post-disability emerging and professional artists have made exhibitions/installations at Lismore and Wagga Wagga Regional Galleries in 2014 and 2015.  In 2016 they presented a showing of part creative development/part interactive artwork and part performance in the old Dubbo Goal as part of Artlands. In February they toured the East Coast with “The Singularity – A Noise Opera” collaboration with Polish Avant Garde group Remont Pomp and Rabih Beani, as part of MOST ii – an national and international cultural exchange.a paragraph.


The Useless Assembly is a group of Artists from the Northern Rivers of NSW utilising obsolete technology and experimental process to create interactive and multi-disciplinary art.  Involving core artists from RealArtWorks Inc. and electronic outfit Tralala Blip.


Photo by Zeb Schulz


Blind from birth Mike Smith is a songwriter, musician and visual artist. He knows no boundaries and is a strong advocate for the disability community. He has made 2 solo albums and is working on his third. He was part of the inclusive outfit THE BRIDGE  that traveled and toured Poland with two other Polish bands with disability in 2013. He was a key artist in the Rewrite the Score project at Orange Conservatorium of Music in 2014. He recently toured the Australian East Coast with 20 other musicians in an experimental noise opera. Mike will be a key musician and songwriter for THE OVERTOPPING

Photo by Natsky Photography


Paul is an interdisciplinary artist based in the Northern Rivers of NSW. Paul has worked as a professional musician and musical facilitator of community and professional projects for over 25 years. He is a founding member of acclaimed post-disability arts org RealArtWorks Inc. and has been a lead musician with various inclusive bands including BandWagon, The Bridge and the Useless Assembly (ongoing). Paul uses art and music as a means of  balancing the extremes and filters this through to everyday existence

Photo by Paul Schulz


Extenuating the energy of live performance is what Richard likes to do best. Whether it be with bands, theatre, dance or circus indoors, outdoors, tent or venue. On the road with Mickelangelo and the Blacksea Gentle, International touring with Ellison’s Ensemble, Strange Fruit or The Famous Spiegeltent, Rich is a home behind a lighting console. Trained as a dancer at the VCASS and ABS, professional experiences on stage in Australia, Europe, Japan and New Zealand with companies like Sydney dance company. His experiences have shaped and styled his belief in the importance of the backstage arts. Rigging, lighting, design, tempory structures and site

Photo by Rich Morrod

managing have become notches on his belt. Highlights in these areas has been becoming the tent boss for the Famous Speigaltent, designing a LED Bikini for Circus OZ a glowing Meat costume for the Town Bikes and site managing the Garden of unearthly delights. The last 6 years has been spent being a dad in the northern rivers of NSW, collecting and fixing lights, designing , operating and collaborating with local groups like the Realartworks, Norpa, NRC, Lismore Lantern parade, Bleach festival, Spaghetti circus and the Mullum Circus Festival. Collaborating on The Building Still lives in 2016 on the weekend festival THE HOMECOMING with the Northern Rivers Conservatorium and Realartworks required working with over 150 artists and to an audience in excess of 1,500 people. Richard will bring his very unique and experimental approach to this new project that is bound to delight and engage the audience 


Keith Cameron has a background in metal fabrication and has had a substantial interest in creative art throughout his life. He has enjoyed various mediums in his career ranging from drawing and painting and his now specialty of sculpture. He experiments with abstract, contemporary and traditional forms and techniques.

Keith has exhexhibited currently.ibited his work throughout Australia and was successful at the Thursday Plantation Sculpture Show in 2001 winning  with his “Famous Dancing Chair”  Keith’s outdoor sculpture park which includes a constructed 500 seat amphitheatre that holds many of his large sculptural pieces not being

Photo by Keith Cameron

In 2014 he was one of the key artists in the Resistance Obsolescence exhibition, hosting creative developments at his studio, teaching welding and sculpture and collaborating with post disability artists to create large scale sculptural interactive pieces for exhibition in the Lismore Regional Gallery


“Creativity is an incredible human force. I think this project is very positive in a number of different ways eg.creatively environmentally and in reforming communities. I would be honoured to be part of this project”



Keith fosters an appreciation of art and the creative process within the rural communities of his local area, his sculptures using a unique blend of recycled and new materials and the natural elements to evoke a feeling of beauty, texture and life within the landscape .


AnA Wojak is an award winning cross disciplinary artists working in performance, painting, assemblage, installation and theatre design, with a particular interest in site specifically, ritual and altered states. Often durational in nature, she creates visually poetic performances that resonate with a visceral depth. She has been exhibiting for over 30 years with many works in public and private collections and shorlisted for many awards including the Archibald Prize.

AnA has held residencies both in Australia and overseas. She continues to create work reflective of her environment.


Friendly shapeshifting fox obsessed treasure hunter, tinkerer, sonic tweaker and fragment reassembler Brandon will collaborate with artist AnA Wojak  to create  an experimental kaleidoscope of sound light and movement

THE SITE- The Overtopping is a site specific event

The Lismore CBD and Back Alley Gallery and Lismore Waste Centre

Photos provided by Lismore Counmcil

The Back Alley Gallery, famous for its street art will be the stage for THE OVERTOPPING  performance during ARTSTATE

Activated shop spaces will hold performances, installations and unexpected happenings

The Waste sorting Shed and containers  will be the site for workshops, exhibitions and performances

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