Storytellers in Residence

As part of the Creative Leaders program 2020-2022, two Storytellers in Residence were engaged to reflect the unique aspects of the south west through the eyes of young creatives. Film makers Mitchell Withers and Emily Bissland were engaged to make work that inspires connection to the region through creativity, imagery and story.

About the artists:

Mitchell Withers is interested in sharing stories through his films and is a collaborator at heart. He graduated from Curtin University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts and was drawn to documentary as a deeper way of communicating. With co-collaborator Tom Allum, he founded WA based Barking Wolf production company, and produced documentaries and audio stories for over six years before moving to Victoria. Recently he spent a few years in Warrnambool where he collaborated on many things, including the pivotal piece, Ngantanwarr, An Open Door with Uncle Locky Eccles, Uncle Rob Lowe, and Port Fairy Winter Weekends festival.

Women with blonde hair laying in dirt in a field.
Image: still from Mitchell’s shoot with young dancer, Jorja Hermon, as part of his residency

Emily Bissland has lived in Warrnambool for eight years working as a producer at ABC South West. Emily has a gift of story development and several of her video pieces have reached wide audiences, most notably the Warrnambool ‘Accidental Wombat Mural‘ story. She’s a passionate artist, always working on stories on the job and in her spare time. In recent years, her audio documentary about the healing power of group singing titled, When the People Sing, was selected to open the SONHOR Radio and Podcast festival in Bern, Switzerland.

Watch Emily’s film:

The Storyteller in Residence project is a component of the Creative Leaders program, funded through the VicHealth Everyday Creativity Program and supported by partners to the South West Creative Industries Strategy.