Tamara Saulwick creates contemporary performance works for theatres and public spaces. Building on over twenty years experience, Tamara's individual practice has coalesced in recent years into a singular and compelling voice. Utilising digital, mobile and analogue technologies, with a particular emphasis placed on the role of sound in live performance, her works reflect on how we connect, confront and negotiate with one another. Tamara's work has toured nationally and internationally, been adapted for radio, received funding from local, state, national government bodies, and philanthropic organisations.
In 2017 Tamara was appointed Artistic Director of Chamber Made, the prestigious Melbourne based company, which has been innovating at nexus of performance, sound and music for thirty years. In 2016 Tamara created and premiered Chamber Made's Permission To Speak (Arts House) in collaboration with composer Kate Neal. In her role at Chamber Made, Tamara continues to conceive and direct new works, collaborate with lead artists from outside the company, and mentor emerging artists exploring the intersections of performance, sound and music.
Tamara's piece Endings, a work for portable record players, reel-to-reel recorders and performers was co-commissioned by Arts House and Performance Space. Endings premiered in the Sydney Festival in 2015 followed by a season at Melbourne’s Arts House . The work has since toured to Canada, the UK (Brighton Festival) and Ireland (Dublin Theatre Festival) in 2017, and returned to Canada (PuSh International Festival of the Arts, Vancouver) and US (On the Boards, Seattle) in early 2018. Endings was nominated for a 2015 Helpmann Award for 'Best New Australian Work', received a Green Room Award for 'Design and Realisation' and was nominated for best 'Contemporary & Experimental Performance'. In 2016 ABC Radio National’s Soundproof commissioned Tamara along with composer /collaborator Peter Knight to adapt Endings for radio.
Other recent works include Alter, a participatory sound and light installation for 16 iPads and 16 people commissioned by Arts House for the Festival of Live Art. ‘'As if we had summoned a set of windows into another world.' (Owen Richardson, The Age). Tamara was resident artist with Blast Theory (UK) in September 2015 to develop this work. Alter toured to galleries, cultural centres and universities in Beijing, Xi-An, Chengdu, Guangzhou and Shanghai, China through April 2018.
In 2016 Tamara was commissioned by The SUBSTATION to create Newport Archives, an audio walk inspired by the site, history and people connected to the Substation and its surrounds. In 2013 Tamara presented PUBLIC an audio performance work for the Big West Festival. 'Public explores the porous borders between public and private behaviour, and is the most sophisticated, not to mention enjoyable, work I've seen in this vein since Back to Back's Small Metal Objects.' (Cameron Woodhead, The Age).
Tamara’s multi Green Room Award winning solo work Pin Drop premiered at Arts House in 2010. In 2011 Pin Drop was presented by the Malthouse Theatre, then toured nationally in 2012 with Mobile States, and was later adapted for radio (ABC Radio National) in 2013. In 2014 Tamara presented Pin Drop at Tramway in Glasgow as part of a season of Australian contemporary performance and dance works. Earlier works include site-specific Seddon Archives commissioned by the Big West Festival (2011), Imprint (2005) and map folding for beginners (2001).
Tamara was the recipient of an Australia Council Theatre Fellowship 2015/2016. Her work has received funding/support from Arts Victoria, Australia Council Theatre Board and Inter-Arts, City of Melbourne, The Myer Foundation, City of Maribyrnong, Big West Festival, Arts House, Dancehouse, The Substation and the Highpoint Group. Tamara has been supported by federal and state funding bodies to undertake professional development opportunities at Sonica (Glasgow 2017), ISPA/COIL/UnderTheRadar (New York 2017), Blast Theory residency (UK 2016), Siti Company training (New York, 2007), Time_Place_Space_5 (QUT, 2006), and Dah Teater workshop (Belgrade, 2003).
Tamara has a PhD in Performance Studies from Victoria University (2016), a Masters degree in Animateuring/cross-modal performance from the Victorian College of the Arts (2001), a B.Ed in Drama, Dance & Design from Victoria College, Rusden (1986-1989) and is a graduate of The John Bolton Theatre School (1991). Tamara’s doctoral research was concerned with dramaturgies of sound in live performance. Tamara has presented papers at numerous academic conferences and is a contributor to a collection of essays in ‘Testimony, Witness, Authority: The politics and poetics of experience.'