NIDA acknowledges the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the lands on which we learn and tell stories, the Bidjigal, Gadigal, Dharawal and Dharug peoples, and we pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past and present.

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NIDA MAKES 2023: Sets, Costume and Props Graduating Exhibition

On display in the Nancy Fairfax Foyer until 27 November was the 2023 NIDA Makes exhibition, which showcased the students' 3rd-year final works. On display were projects from the Costume, Scenic Construction and Properties and Effects courses.


Jess McIntosh, The Lover Knight and Tanne Patterson, You Built a Time Machine...Out of Volkswagon Beetle? (BFA Properties and Object)

Each piece was meticulously handcrafted and personally chosen by each of the students to capture their wide-ranging skill set and immense creativity that was developed during their NIDA experience. Marcelo Zavala-Baeza, Course Leader for Properties and Objects, acknowledged the hard work and resilience of these talented students. ‘Their first year at NIDA brought forth distinctive hurdles, demanding a blend of on-site classes and remote work. Successfully navigating this phase necessitated thorough constraints, encompassing COVID testing, mask-wearing, and social distancing. They came out the other side with unwavering determination, showcasing not just resilience but also the invaluable hands-on education at NIDA. As they commit countless hours of hard work and dedication to their craft. Over the years, this group matured both individually and as a cohesive unit, actively engaging in various productions and collaborative projects. Their involvement spanned operas, musicals, live cinema, traditional theatre, exhibitions, short films, and installations. Proficient in traditional and cutting-edge technologies, they embraced inclusive and sustainable practices, fostering collaboration within their cohort and across diverse NIDA Bachelor of Fines Arts (BFA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) courses’.

Delan_Woods_and_Gaia Stein

Delan Woods (BFA Costume), Cyber Dandy and Gaia Stein (BFA Properties and Objects), Redwood Apothecarium.

Upon entering the exhibition, we could see costumes created for two group projects: the Jane Eyre Project featuring costumes designed for a theoretical TV drama set in 1840, and The Bias Project which presents dresses designed for a fictional NYE party in Kings Cross in 1938. Then, there were traditional Japanese costumes showcased in Michiru Encinas' piece Urashima Tora Kimono, followed by a majestic garment in Maverick Durkin’s piece How a Narrative is Told Through a Single Garment. A mode of ecologically regenerative textile fabrication was demonstrated in Nina Price’s piece Algae Bioplastic. An artificial enhancement in a Sci-Fi style costume was presented in Natalie De Palo’s piece Transhuman. Finally, an art deco futuristic costume was displayed in Delan Woods’ piece Cyber Dandy. The BFA Costume students have learnt and developed techniques in costume cutting, pattern making, fitting and construction, fabric dyeing, art finishing, and new technologies, including corsetry, leatherwork, tailoring, and millinery, to create intricate and imaginative pieces of costume.

Maxime Armand  and Tommaso Patelli

Maxime Armand , The Sphere and Tommaso Patelli, Exoskele Tom  (BFA Scenic Construction)

In the Scenic Construction display, was a gargantuan exoskeleton from Tommaso Patell, a life-size dalek by Eryn Douglas, and a 3D CAD sphere and immersive installation by Maxime Armand. Skills acquired such as timber and steel fabrication, rigging, structural, mechanical, and electronic concepts led them to constructing from the ground up these artistic complex pieces of set.

Michiru Encinas and Ari Gilbert

Michiru Encinas (BFA Costume), Urashima Taro' Kimono and Ari Gilbert (BFA Properties and Objects), Animatronic Wings.

Properties and Effects featured a set of captivating creations: including realistic puppets and props in Gaia Stein's display of Redwood Apothecarium; armory and weapons in Jess McIntosh's display of The Lover Knight, and animatronic wings and furniture displayed in Ari Gilbert's Animatronic Wings and Sweeney Todd Barber Chair; a movie magic prop displayed in Tanne Patterson's You Built a Time Machine... Out of a Volkswagen Beetle?; a life-like body parts shown in Zali Kassi's display of Baudrillard’s Hyperreality; and a miniature moving model shown in Connor Palmer's display of Deadaleum 3D Zoetrope.

Natalie de Palo and Eryn Douglas

Natalie de Palo ( BFA Costume), Transhuman and Eryn Douglas ( BFA Scenic Construction), Dalek.

Props major works were made using traditional techniques such as drawing, drafting, sculpting, metalwork, woodwork, leatherwork, model making and casting, pattern making, scenic art, as well as digital design and fabrication processes. The result is exquisite objects that harmoniously blend functional design, structural integrity, and attention to detail.

Nina Price and Zali Kassi

Nina Price ( BFA Costume), Algea Bioplastic and Zali Kassi ( BFA Properties and Objects), Baudrillard's Hyperreality.

Marcelo Zavala-Baeza said: ‘NIDA Makes serves as a culmination of their educational journey, offering a glimpse into their personal interests and applied experiences. The outcomes showcased in this graduation exhibition not only attest to their growth as professionals but also provide a solid foundation for their entry into the entertainment and arts industries. As they embark on their respective careers, we extend our best wishes and express gratitude for the pleasure of witnessing this unique group’s development—both professionally and as compassionate individuals ready to confront any challenges that lie ahead.’

Maverick Durkin and Connor Palmer

Maverick Durkin ( BFA Costume), How a Narrative Is Told Through a Single Garment and Connor Palmer (BFA Properties and Objects), Deadaleum 3D Zoetrope.

In showcasing this new generation of makers and storytellers, sustainability was also a clear focus. The raw materials used in the exhibition are all either recyclable, or able to be reused for future NIDA productions and student projects.

Download the exhibition booklet featuring students’ profiles and realisations. We encourage you to explore the students’ digital portfolios and websites, leave a message at the welcome wall for our graduating students and, most of all, enjoy NIDA Makes 2023!

Or check out the digital walk-through below.

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