Award-winning playwright Melissa Reeves was all set to take up her library residency in 2020 - until that was derailed by COVID-19. She has now commenced as our 2021 playwright-in-residence and Melissa has said it was incredible to work in such a beautiful space.
Melissa Reeves is a Melbourne Playwright. Her most recent play is ANTHEM, co-wriiten with Andrew Bovell, Patricia Cornelius and Christos Tsiolkas, composer-Irine Vela for the Arts Centre Melbourne, presented in the 2019 Melbourne Festival,and the 2020 Sydney and Perthe festivals.
Other plays include an adaptation of AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE for Belvoir St., CARAVAN, which premiered at the 2017 Melbourne Festival, co-written with Angus Cerini, Patricia Cornelius, and Wayne Macauley, HAPPY ENDING, FURIOUS MATTRESS, THE SPOOK – which premiered at Belvoir and was awarded the 2005 Louis Esson Prize for Drama in the Victorian Premiers Awards, and two AWGIES for best new play, SWEETOWN - awarded the Jill Blewitt Memorial Playwrights Award in 1993, IN CAHOOTS and ROAD MOVIE.
She has co-written a number of plays including MAGPIE, (with Richard Frankland) and WHO’S AFRAID OF THE WORKING CLASS and FEVER (both with Andrew Bovell, Patricia Cornelius and Christos Tsiolkas, composer-Irine Vela) – the former of which won best play in the Queensland Literary Awards, two AWGIES for best new play, and the Jill Blewitt Playwrights Award in 1999.
Angus Cerini is a multi-award-winning writer, performer and theatre maker – and was the 2019 playwright-in-residence at the Melbourne Athenaeum Library. His residency followed on from the highly successful residency by Patricia Cornelius in 2018.
Angus is the winner of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, the NSW Premier’s Literary Award, a Helpmann Award for Best Play, an AWGIE Award for Best Play, a Sydney Theatre Award for Best Play, multiple Green Room Awards including Best Play, the Patrick White Playwrights’ Award, the Griffin Play Prize, the David Williamson Prize and RE Ross Trust Awards, and has received numerous award nominations.
Angus creates theatre projects through his company Doubletap and has toured this work throughout Australia and in Ireland, England, Hong Kong and Germany.
As part of the 2019 Rare Book Week celebrations, the library once again hosted an artist-in-residence. This year it was Melbourne-based cartoonist Chris Gooch who worked on and spoke about his latest graphic novel, Under-Earth.
Chris won silver in the Ledger Awards for excellence in Australian comics, and was described by the Library Journal as demonstrating a masterly sense of storytelling and character development. He was selected for a 2016 TRANSIT artist residency at the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo and his story Mooreland Mates won the 2017 Melbourne Lord Mayor's Creative Writing Award.
One of Australia's most awarded playwrights, Patricia Cornelius was the library's first writer-in-residence. In 2018 Patricia worked out of the library for a four-week period and a rehearsed reading of her play, In the Club, was held in the Athenaeum 2 for members. The reading was directed by Susie Dee and brought to life by a cast of six.
Australian artist Deborah Klein was our artist-in-residence in 2018. During her time in the library, Deborah developed drawings and linocuts for two artist books influenced by female characters in gothic novels, and enjoyed discussing her work with library members. Deborah has held solo and group exhibitions in Australia and internationally since 1988. For more information on Deborah's work visit http://www.deborahklein.net
Renowned librarian Richard Overell, who for 26 years oversaw the acquisitions and conservation of the rare books collection at Monash University's Louis Matheson library, has been a longtime friend of the Melbourne Athenaeum library. He shares his expertise with us through yearly talks in the library about collecting rare books as part of Rare Book Week. His talks display his extensive knowledge of book collecting across a wide range subjects including children's books, travel guides, dust jackets, and cookbooks.
Acclaimed cartoonist, illustrator and writer Judy Horacek was artist-in-residence at the library during Rare Book Week in 2017. For more information on Judy Horacek visit https://horacek.com.au/
Visual artist Anne Kucera was artist-in-residence at the library during Rare Book Week in 2016. Anne, who create pop-up books, gave a talk on the wonderful world of the moveable pop-up book, where she discussed the origins of moveable books, from their evolution to their now collectable status and their future conservation. For more information about Anne's work, visit https://annekucera.com/
In 2015, as part of the library's 175th birthday celebrations, a projection was commissioned as part of White Night. Multi-disciplinary artist Lisa Anderson collaborated with Penelope Bartlau of Barking Spider Visual Theatre and Olaf Meyer of Multimedia Events to realise a vision that saw three 3-metre inflatable Athenas suspended on the Athenaeum Theatre's canopy. The figures projected light and historical images that were visible from Swanston to Russell Streets. For more information on Lisa's work visit https://www.lisaanderson.com.au/
In 2015, during Rare Book Week, artist and RMIT academic Ruth Johnstone created the art installation White Library. The installation represented blank tablets as repositories of future knowledge or a lost body of knowledge. More about Ruth's work can be found at https://www.ruthjohnstoneartist.com/about.html
Japanese-born Australian artist Kyoko Imazu was our artist-in-residence during 2014, and demonstrated and spoke about her beautiful tunnel book creations. For more information on Kyoko's work, visit http://kyokoimazu.com/home.html
Barking Spider Visual Theatre
As part of 2013 History Week, Barking Spider Visual Theatre and the Melbourne Athenaeum Library presented Ex Libris. A live performance and an interative poem installation, Ex Libris was a playful and experimental look at the Athenaeum Library's past and purpose. For more information on Barking Spider Visual Theatre see https://barkingspidertheatre.com.au/
A painter, printmaker and book artist, Bruno Leti was our artist-in-residence during Rare Book Week 2013. More information about Bruno's work is at https://www.artspace.com/bruno-leti
Book sculptor Nicholas Jones was artist-in-residence during Rare Book Week in 2012. More information on Nicholas Jones can be found at http://www.bibliopath.org/