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Painting Wall

Living Portrait Theatre Project

Coming Soon​!


The Living Portrait Theatre Project is a community arts experiment where collaborating artists Issy Hart and David Wells invite members of the community to enter a small performance space and be transformed into a living portrait. 

The project aims to spotlight and celebrate the local community in a way that is surprising, playful, accessible and fun. 

We value the making of a shared creative experience that celebrates our wider community and their stories.

Window Theatre

Collaboration between David Wells and Neil Thomas

Links to Other Support Material

Letter of Support

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Artist Biographies



David Wells is an artist that works across Dance, Music and Theatre performance. David’s performance history includes …


The Urban Dream Capsule This was a durational installation performance in windows at International Festivals including Melbourne, Ghent, London, Montreal, Wellington, Perth, Chicago, Galway, Sao Paulo, Singapore and Hong Kong between 1996 and 2006.


Collaborations with Neil Thomas include performance installations The Blue Thong Club and The Blue Rinse Club for Melbourne Festival.


Mantalk, an improvised theatre duet with songs, with seasons at; Melbourne Festival, Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Victorian Regional Tour, Performance Space Sydney and Darwin Festival. The Melbourne Recital Centre in 2012.


HUTCH a mobile performance concept for the Big West Festival 2015.


Thomas & Wells Artists in residence Arts Centre Melbourne in 2017/18. City of Maroondah 2019/22 and City of Wyndham2019. Other highlights include White Night Festivals 2017/18, the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and HOTA QLD Disruptors program.


David has collaborated with Tim Humphrey and Madeleine Flynn since 2007 on The Megaphone Project This is an interactive public sound sculpture which continues to be presented highlights include Sydney Opera house 2009, and Washington DC 2011, Philadelphia and Asheville USA, Sydney festival 2013, Anti festival Finland 2014 and Ansan and Gwangju Festivals Korea 2015.


Greenroom Award winning 5 Short Blasts 2013 Pivot at The Darwin Festival 2018.


Weekly Ticket Footscray a 15 year once a week durational performance installation at Footscray Station beginning in 2016.


Born in a Taxi David was a founding member of ‘Born in a Taxi’, creators of outdoor, interactive physical performance. ‘Born in a Taxi’ have an extensive performance and touring history since 1989.

David’s other performance history highlights include: Artist in residence at the Melbourne Zoo, The Go Show, Melbourne Festival 2006. Solo show The Corridor Dancehouse 2006. Polyglot Theatre How High the Sky Melbourne Festival 2012 and seasons in Macau and Hong Kong 2015. Clock It a dance event at The Substation Newport commissioned by The Big West Festival 2013.


Community Arts David also has an extensive history working in Community Arts. Highlights include Artistic Director of FOG Theatre 12 years and Big West Festival refugee program. The Humour Foundation 2012 - present, working in collaboration with vulnerable adults and running training sessions on creative strategies for Nursing home staff around Australia. He recently finished a project with Wintringham collaborating with brain injured homeless alcoholics 2023.


New Projects

Wild Canary award winning duet with musician Moses Carr and have been performing regularly locally and regionally at Festivals and Events since 2021


Living Portrait Theatre 2023 collaboration with Opera singer and Cabaret Artist Issie Hart.

Issie Hart

Operatic, chaotic, Iconic: multi-award-winning soprano Issie Hart (They/Them) has been terrorising cabaret venues around the world for over 15 years and is one of the finest vocalists ever to come out of Australia. Issie has performed on mountains, rooftops, bridges as well as theatres and circus tents around the world. Hart is also a creator of theatrical, operatic and cabaret works that have toured extensively across Australia and internationally.


Hart has worked in theatre, opera, independent film, community radio and television and more.


Hart’s work has been described as ‘The Rarest of things... Theatre that mattered’ Arts Hub Australia and ‘Radical, Transgressive Chic’ The Guardian, UK.


‘A powerful soprano instrument…lebhaft und lustig’ Daily Review


‘A truly original, delightful, accomplished show… Hart is a talented, charismatic artist with an impressive vocal range’ Kate Copstick, The Scotsman


Hart was a member of the creative development team of award-winning circus cabaret show, Rouge and toured with the show for 3 years. Winner of Overall Best Circus and Physical Theatre Adelaide Fringe 2020, Weekly Best Circus winner Perth Fringe 2019 and Adelaide Fringe 2018.


5 Stars: The Advertiser, Daily Mail UK, Out in Perth, Ed Fest Magazine and many more.


Hart has also received a number of awards in prestigious Australian classical singing competitions including: Liederfest, Sydney Eisteddfod, South Street Eisteddfod and many more.


‘Gutsy and Likeable’ Cameron Woodhead - The Age.


Hart is the founder and Artistic Director of the new Ballarat Cabaret Festival.


‘Hart is amazing, she projects a voice better than any I’ve heard this (Edinburgh) festival. I loved it.’ ScotsGay


Hart runs a successful studio as a singing teacher, director, dramaturg and creative mentor and has worked with artists of diverse backgrounds, experience levels and abilities. As a coach and mentor, Hart has guided students through beginner AMEB exams through to tertiary level classical singing exams. Hart has helped students develop and create their own cabaret and theatre shows and artistic concepts. Hart is a passionate coach and finds teaching and mentoring valuable and rewarding work.


‘An Undeniably Fine Singer’ Tim Richards - The Age


‘Musical Genius’ Arts Hub

Opera in the Air

Collaboration between Issie Hart and Jillian Pearce

Explorations Gallery

Images from our investigation sessions as we begin to develop the project, explore ideas and create our collaborative practice. 

These images are from Test #1 explorations on 25.9.23

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