Open Source

Open Source is a new program designed to support groups or collectives of young artists to move their practice and careers to the next level and beyond. 

The program is designed to inspire young emerging independent artists to think strategically, and to support them in approaching big ideas while meaningfully engaging with the sector.

Open Source has two strands: Music and Performance. Both strands offer artists three-month residencies at Backbone, where they are invited to design their own professional practice development programs. Artists are then supported by Backbone’s staff in the implementation of these programs

2018 Residents

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Visual Art + Performance

Ashleigh Djokic, Nevin Howell, Siobhan Martin.

Nina is a graphic novel and performance project that is exploring environmentalism, queerness, and coming of age in a science fiction/fantasy context. It is for young people who are scared, but determined to change the world.

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Global Sanctuary

Youth Team
Grace Edward, Natal Jimna, David Jon

Global Sanctuary are a group of young people from the Kakwa Community. They are creating a forum theatre project that is aimed at investigating the increasing gap between elders and young people within refugee and migrant backgrounds.

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Ruby McGregor, Daniel Dunne, Phoebe Sheehy, Sam Mckenzie

Lexicon are a six-month-old punk inspired band straight out of the heart of the Brisbane music scene, citing influence from bands like X-Ray Spex, Wire and Bikini Kill. They want to combine the music and design platforms they all work within to create a more bespoke live experience to take with them on a midyear regional tour.



Live performance
Kelsey Adams, Regan Ainslie

Kelsey Adams and Regan Ainslie are HalfHitch: a duo writing, flying, moving, creating, and making their way through the fringe art community. They are the brains behind Fast and Loose, a scratch night for brand new performances to be presented and discussed in an open feedback format.


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Melina Wightman

Melina Wightman will be taking new work The Family Project through the earliest stages of development. The project deals with themes of family, nostalgia, domestic violence, mental health and relationships.


Samuel pankhurst

Live performance
Samuel Pankhurst

A producer, curator and bassist, Samuel Pankhurst is the leader behind Vomit Cabaret. 

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Spilt milk collective

Dion Smith-Phasey, Paris Williment

Spilt Milk Collective is the result of almost 10 years of friendship and theatrical productivity between 17 and and 18 year old Dion Smith-Phasey and Paris Williment. They will be producing Moth (written by Declan Greene), a dark, vulnerable, authentic and deeply connecting work.

Stephen Quinn

Stephen Quinn

Performance Art
Stephen Quinn

As a performance artist, Stephen has worked with many artists from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines. In his residency, Stephen is exploring collaborations with actors, dancers, performers, visual artists, designers, writers, and musicians who are interested in creating a 'gallery of performance art' based in Greek Mythology.

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THe Sui ensemble

Daniel Gough, Sampson Smith, Esther Dougherty, Pavle Banovic, Martelle Simon-Green, Finley Kube, Adam Sleeman 

The Sui Ensemble are a group of 7 performers, devisors, musicians, academics and visual artists (all under 28) who collaborate to make performance that mobilises audiences. These performances are environments and scenarios that require the active presence of an audience to be complete. In theme, we are driven to explore notions of the unanswerable, making work that can be political, sexual and playful.

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Turtle juice records

Record Label
Kendall Layt

Turtle Juice Records is a record label created by Kendall Layt for LGBTQIA+ musicians. TJR will be opening the doors of Backbone to young LGBTQIA+ musicians who wish to learn more about the independent music recording and producing process.

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Unqualified design studio

Design + Performance-making
Shane Sugrue, Stirling Blacket, Josh Wilkinson, Amy Learmonth

Unqualified Design Studio is a collaborative practice working in the space between art, architecture, events and engineering. They design interactive experiences with a view to inspire and engage audiences. 
Drawing on the concept of 'serious play', UDS’s goal is to generate meaningful social interactions in the public realm through spatial interventions, physical installations, performances, spectacles, community workshops, and games. 


Ruby Donohoe

Performance art
Ruby Donohoe

Through a discourse of motion sickness and bodily estrangement, LUNG WATER is an interdisciplinary work that weaves dance, time-based sculpture and performance text as it tends to the rising tides of annihilation, grief, slow terror and the soft sublime. LUNG WATER explores the simultaneous radical intimacy and radical alienation we experience with the personal body as a hinge in unpacking our conceptions of "other".


2017 Residents

Hawkes Bay Youth Theatre

Hailing from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, Hawkes Bay Youth Theatre are an ensemble who tell visceral stories with a multi-arts approach.


Nicole Harvey

Investigating Butoh, Body Weather and Scripting with psycho-physical stimulus scripting processes.


Share House Theatre Company

Devising professional, accessible performance art for young people.


Open Practice

An open space for dance practitioners to facilitate and research movement practices drawn from their current interests and explorations.

Magnetic North Theatre Company 

MNTC is an emerging ensemble of creatives with one goal: make stories for people who experience marginalisation. 


The Big Crew

The Big Crew is a crew of like-minded artists passionate about active creation, working across many media forms.


The Sui Ensemble

Creating theatre and events that affect and involve audiences in new and innovative ways.


El Telon Theatre Company

Collaborating with people from diverse backgrounds to create art that is enriched by multiculturalism. 

2019 Residents

The next round of Open Source Residency applications will be open in November 2018. Sign up to our mailing list to be one of the first to find out when applications are open.