Two Queensland export award winners are collaborating on a unique project to showcase Queensland’s talents in circus and urban art to an international audience.

Brisbane’s Circa Contemporary Circus was named best Creative Industries exporter at last year’s Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards and has taken its physical theatre to 40 countries.

Unable to tour due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, the Circa team has not wasted its time but has instead collaborated with another award-winning Brisbane business, UAP, on a unique global arts project.

UAP – the 2017 winner of the Creative Industries award – creates public artworks worldwide, and has joined with Circa to deliver public art installations that showcase performances Circa has developed.

Circa Artistic Director, Yaron Lifschitz, said the Cube Studies project reflected changing global realities.

Cube Studies is an export program that embraces the world’s changing social and legislative environment,’ he said.

‘At this moment, we are all experiencing extreme levels of uncertainty, and engagement between audiences, spaces and presenters is extremely challenging.

‘But creativity, imagination, shared experience and shared humanity are needed now, more than ever.’

Cube Studies premiered at the La Strada Festival in Graz, Austria on 26 July, and will go on tour to venues and festivals around the world that are eager to bring their audiences out again.

Each creation will be unique, editioned and documented, able to be staged indoors or outside, and will provide presenters with a solution to the challenge of managing social distancing while connecting with audiences.

UAP Founder Daniel Tobin said he believed the productions would be welcomed by audiences after the challenges of recent months.

‘As our communities begin to re-emerge from lockdown, Circa’s Cube Studies will enable and encourage the populace to re-engage with public life,’ he said.

‘Sculpture and performance will combine to create safe, socially distanced vignettes to give hope, entertain and strengthen people of all ages.’

With international travel restrictions in place, the Cube Studies premiere in Austria was performed by a cast of 24 acrobats from Graz instead of Circa’s touring ensemble, who are all currently in Brisbane. The Austrian cast was coached by Circa’s creative team over Zoom, and the performance will promote Circa’s role in the project.

Likewise, the Graz cube – designed by Daniel Tobin from UAP and fabricated in Austria – will also showcase Queensland’s urban art capabilities.

TIQ has worked with both Circa and UAP over several years to help them expand their footprints in overseas markets.

TIQ and the Queensland Government are continuing to offer Queensland exporters a range of government support during COVID-19.

Photo: © La Strada Graz / Nikola Milatovic

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