Penelope Bartlau

Penelope Bartlau is an established multi-disciplinary artist specialising in theatrical visual interpretation and creative writing. Her practice includes devising image-based experiences that activate audiences. Penelope generates, creates and directs projects which respond to people and places and which are defined by ambition in purpose and by astonishing beauty. Her works inspire awe, wonder and curiosity and provoke thought and feeling. She aims to make us feel differently about the world and for us to question what we think we know about time, place and fact.

Passionate, driven, collaborative, organised and a sustained improviser. Penelope thrives on change, welcomes uncertainty, believes in "not knowing" as one of the greatest providers of inspiration. She loves research, play and is dedicated to equality.

Penelope is highly skilled at drawing artists, non-artists and non-arts industries and technologies together in the generation of unusual experiences engaging with broad audiences. Fascinated by hidden, obscured, denied, unrecognised, invisible and unsung stories, Penelope’s interest lies in unearthing these stories, which are often historical, an interpreting them for contemporary audiences.

Penelope works in installation creation and theatre devising and often her works combine both. Her written works range from short stories to poetry and plays.

Penelope is highly skilled in puppetry, performance, installation design and creative writing. She has worked professionally in the arts for 30 years and is currently the Artistic Director for Barking Spider Visual Theatre. She has generated, collaborated and directed works with diverse communities across Australia and internationally. Her multidisciplinary creations are presented in sites as wide-ranging as museums and galleries, theatres, site-specific/heritage buildings/locations, in-school residencies, scientific collaborations and for works radio. As a part of Penelope’s practice, wherever possible, she works with young people as equal creative collaborators and innovators.

Penelope has worked as the Artistic Director of Barking Spider Visual Theatre since 2006, and Creative Director at Women's Circus 2016-2018.

DISPATCH by Penelope Bartlau

We acknowledge that we live and create on unceded lands. We pay our respects to the First Peoples of Australia, and to their elders past, present and future.

© Australian Plays Transform 2022