Imagine by Alison Lester
Jolyon James is a multidisciplinary visual artist, writer and performance maker. Between 2014-2021 Jolyon was the Artistic Associate and lead artist with Arena Theatre Company and has held teaching and directing roles at The Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) and Monash University. In 2019 Jolyon wrote, directed and designed Robot Song, winning the prestigious 2019 Helpmann Award for Best Children’s Production. Robot Song has since been selected twice for inclusion on the VCE Drama Playlist and won two Drama Victoria Awards. Robot Song perfectly showcases Jolyon’s skillset, methodologies and collaborative practices. The show incorporates live performance, interactive live animation, animatronics and large-scale puppetry with an original musical score composed by Nate Gilkes. Robot Song has toured extensively throughout Australia and secured multiple international dates including the Imaginate Festival in Edinburgh and U.S and Canadian tours. In addition to writing and directing, Jolyon is a professional animator, illustrator and photographer embracing new technology in the realisation of all his works. In 2021 he co-created Heart VR, a hybrid live performance and virtual reality work, taking young people on a journey deep into their own hearts. TRAPPER, another co-creation with Arena Theatre Company, combines slam poetry with large-scale remotely operated kinetic sculpture, and was showcased at the Sydney Opera House and Arts Centre Melbourne. Hidden Creature Gallery employs live animation and augmented reality technology to bring to life stories and characters created by young participants. Having already toured extensively throughout Victoria, Hidden Creature Gallery participated in Adelaide’s DreamBIG Festival 2021 and Castlemaine State Festival to over 1,000 young people.