About Ngioka’s Residency

This LGI Residency sees Ngioka develop new work Birrpai. After completing the first of three weeks in residence in early 2020, Ngioka returns to the studio in February 2021 to continue her residency following delays caused by COVID-19 restrictions. More from the artist:

“I created Birrpai for the Next Wave Festival 2020 but now is co-commissioned by Chunky Move and Next Wave for the YIRRAMBOI festival 2021.

“This work extends from my 2019 YIRRAMBOI Festival work Blood Quantum about my mother’s story. Birrpai turns my father’s story into a contemporary dance work, putting a First Nations perspective on colonial photography. Who has the power over their image? Imagine seeing images frozen in time of your great-grandmother in museums taken by people documenting an ‘exotic’ sighting. 

Birrpai is my new dance work and a photographic exhibition with the idea of shifting the gaze and refocusing the colonial lens that has publicly framed my ancestors. I have been creating it at Lucy Guerin Inc’s WXYZ Studios with Joel Bray (Dramaturge/Movement Director) Theodore Cassady (Mentor) and Daniel Nixon (Sound Designer).”

About Ngioka

Ngioka Bunda-Heath is Wakka Wakka, Ngugi from Queensland (matrilineal) and Birrpai from New South Wales (patrilineal). She completed her Advanced Diploma in the Performing Arts (Dance) at the Aboriginal Centre of the Performing Arts and her Bachelor of Fine Arts (Dance) at the Victorian College of the Arts.

After graduating VCA, she accepted a traineeship with Bangarra Dance Theatre with their Youth Education Program Rekindling. Ngioka is currently a Performer and Choreographer for Mariaa Randall’s Indigenous Female Dance Company DUBAIKUNGKAMIYALK (DKM). She has travelled overseas, dancing in Noumea, New Caledonia with Compine Maado, Banff in Canada as part of the International Indigenous Dance Residency and took part of the World Dance Alliance in France. Ngioka performed in Los Angeles for the International Association of Blacks in Dance Conference and Festival and attended the First Nations Dialogues in New York.

About LGI Residencies

LGI Residencies offer artists the freedom to explore new ideas, develop new works and cultivate their choreographic practice. Studio space and administrative support are offered by LGI, as well as the invitation to share outcomes of the residency in a way that best supports the artist in residence.

For more information on LGI’s residency program and the other 2020 Artists-in-Residence, please visit the Residency tab on our Programs page.

Birrpai is co-commissioned by Next Wave and Chunky Move as part of Chunky Move + and presented in association with Blak Dot Gallery. The project is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria, Brunswick Mechanics Institute, Lucy Guerin Inc and the City of Moreland. Chunky Move + is supported by the Besen Family Foundation.

Image from WIP showing at Chunky Move, Friday 28 February 2020