We're excited have young artist/musician/writer Gabriela Georges perform at the Bowery Theatre as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival. Her show 'Rise & Fall' offers a personal meditation on how grief and relationships evolve past loss, using poetry, music, and her beloved mum's belongings.
1. Describe what you do and your artform(s):
I transform my personal experiences into spoken word poetry, songs, and performances as a way of processing them, and then support others to do the same. My practice includes playing music, writing, performing, and facilitating workshops with different community groups, particularly those who don't see themselves as "artists". I currently facilitate creative grief workshops and events with adults (through The Grief Cocoon), nature-based workshops with toddlers, and creative writing workshops with young people and adults who are detoxing and/or recovering from drug and/or alcohol addiction.
In all my outlets, I try to create inviting spaces for people to think, feel, reflect, play, or express.
2. Which artists have influenced your practice and why?
As a teenager, I was heavily influenced by musicians, such as India Arie, Ben Harper and Lauryn Hill, because they were so vulnerable and honest in their work. I really appreciated how clearly they were able to articulate their thoughts and feelings through songs.
As a younger adult, I became inspired by the work of more poets, such as Khalil Gibran, Maya Angelou, and Ali Cobby Eckermann. I connected to how sincere and simple their work was, while also being quite profound.
In more recent years, the most inspiring and influential artists to me have been Mother Nature and the people around me - peers, mentors, workshop participants, and friends. I love the stillness and creativity of nature, as well as the reflective and brilliant minds of those around me.
3. Your show delves into some very personal experiences, as an artist how do you navigate challenging emotions to share your story?
Well, I don't share my work unless I feel ready to and I know that I've processed the experiences and feelings they reference. There have been times when I've become emotional while performing and, in those moments, I stop and take a minute to compose myself before continuing.
I think it's important as a performer to consider why I'm sharing the work I've created and what I'd like the audience to take away from hearing or watching the work.
4. What can people expect from Rise & Fall? And how do you want them to feel after the show?
They can expect an honest, reflective, and heartfelt show about the relationship between my Mum and I, before and after she died. They can expect moments of quiet, space for reflection, and storytelling through spoken word, music, and performance.
I'd like the audience to feel like a weight has been lifted off their shoulders, and to walk away with a sense of comfort and relief.
5. If you could collaborate with any artist – past or present – who would you collaborate with and why?
I would collaborate with my Mum - she was a brilliant seamstress! We made a couple of dresses together, which I designed and she sewed, but there is still so much more we could've created together with all the fabric she collected.
6. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I'm not exactly sure as I like to leave room for life to surprise me. But eventually, I see myself living on a river/lake and creating things for fun every day - alone and with others. I see myself growing The Grief Cocoon, sharing the power of art as a tool for processing grief with people worldwide, and advocating for a more grief-friendly society.
*Rise & Fall is sold out*