interdisciplinary iconoclast + creatrix of awesome + platypus
san francisco bay area, usa / australia
Creatrix Tiara is an interdisciplinary iconoclast
exploring the liminality of being a queer female migrant minority
through performance art, writing, music, and whatever form fits the
message best. She is currently completing an MFA in Creative Inquiry at
the California Institute of Integral Studies while also actively
participating in community activist art around the Bay Area. She will return to Australia in mid 2014 and is actively looking for opportunities in Brisbane and beyond to apply her skills, education, and networking acquired in the US.
Creatrix Tiara has had so many people dispute her answer to “Where are you/your accent/your name from?” that she has contemplated taking on the approach of groundbreaking Victorian-era performance artist and writer Adah Isaacs Menken by changing her story every time. Add in other identity axes such as gender, sexuality, or politics and there’s enough material for multiple novels.
It is this constant state of flux, liminality, and being in between that has driven Creatrix Tiara’s life work - whether in her current foray in interdisciplinary arts and intersectional activism, or her past passions in social enterprise, alternative education, and media.
Creatrix Tiara comes from a long line of migrants and has herself lived across three countries (and counting): transience is second nature to her. To make sense of being the Other and to assert her own identity she turned to writing, and has been writing in various forms and genres ever since childhood – including being the most prolific Savage Garden fanfiction writer online in her teens; publishing EducateDeviate, Malaysia’s leading blog on alternative education and youth empowerment; and articles on the intersections of identity, culture, creativity, and politics for Autostraddle, The Scavenger, Racialicious, and many others. She has also contributed to Robin Sloan’s New Liberal Arts, proposing new subjects for college-level liberal arts education, and the Text Camp for the 2010 Next Wave Festival in Melbourne, Australia, combining art criticism with creative responses.
While Creatrix Tiara always had a love for performance, it wasn’t until she was cast in the 2009 Brisbane, Australia production of Eve Ensler’s iconic feminist play The Vagina Monologues that she dived deep into performance art. She gained notoriety in the Australian burlesque scene (as Tiara the Merch Girl) through an award-winning performance colliding her current explorations with the erotic with her Muslim upbringing, and has since developed a body of work that uses the erotic and the body to satirise and subvert stereotypes about race, gender, and sexuality – including challenging the burlesque scene itself. She has worked with Vulcana Women’s Circus, Vixen Noir, and Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens, and has performed across Australia (Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide) and the United States (San Francisco Bay Area, New York) both for grassroots events and gatherings as well as festivals such as Feast Festival Adelaide, the biggest LGBTQ arts festival in the Southern Hemisphere, and NYC Poly Pride.
Recently Creatrix Tiara has been bringing her writing and performance interests closer together through slam poetry and spoken word. She has been a feature artist at Culture Fuck, a monthly Bay Area open mic centered around anti-oppressive politics, and her performance of Polyester Girl Army for 2012’s Altered Barbie festival has grown into a cabaret for the 2013 Altered Barbie festival in November by the same name, challenging femmephobia and the notion of the “proper” or “right” woman. She is also interested in expanding her artistic practice through music and multimedia.
Creatrix Tiara is deeply interested in creative production and artistic direction – co-creating community spaces and outlets for those who occupy similar liminal spaces. She headed the organization of SlutWalk Brisbane in 2012, part of a worldwide movement against slut-shaming and rape culture. She has also co-produced or assisted with the production of events and organisations across Australia and the US, such as the Center for Sex and Culture and Femina Potens (both in San Francisco) and the Queensland Association for Healthy Communities (Brisbane). She also co-produced Megaherzzz, a long-running feminist radio show for iconic Brisbane community radio station 4zzz, and co-hosted ABC Australia’s My Australia, an international television show following the adventures of new migrants exploring Australian culture.
Creatrix Tiara is currently completing an MFA in Creative Inquiry at the California Institute of Integral Studies, where she is also a Fellow with the Center for Writing and Scholarship. She is also part of the teaching team for SOMArts’ Flag Stories, connecting youth in the San Francisco Bay Area with youth in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia working together on art projects about identity and citizenship using flags as metaphors.
She will return to Australia in mid 2014 and is currently actively looking for employment and creative opportunities that allows her to contribute the education, experience, and networking acquired in the US.Interests:
Performance art, writing, music, immersive experiences, Alternate Reality Games, transmedia, creativity, creative sexuality, feminism, anti-racism, queer issues, gender, race, culture, travel, intersectionality, social justice, magic, volunteering, art, performance, ideas, creative philanthropy, relationships, polyamoury, relationship anarchy, identity, the Internet, social media, cross-cultural communication, sex-positivity, activism, anti-slut-shaming, circus, burlesque, improv, stage work, singing, reading, glitter, media, television, radio, community cultural development
Skills: Project management, administration, research, stage management, event management, production assistance, media production (TV, radio, Web, print), editing, visioning, strategic planning, networking, cross-cultural communication, idea generation, writing (creative and professional), advocacy, presenting