Initiation OA_RR was originally commissioned for the Melbourne Arts festival RISING and is a follow-up to Rennie’s 2016 work OA_RR.

“The work is a road trip going back to the suburb of my birth and relates to my experiences growing up in the 1970s and 80s working class western suburbs of inner Melbourne. I was born in an urban environment where traditional notions of initiation, were experienced in a completely different way to my ancestral home of the Kamilaroi/Gamilaroi people of North
Western NSW.”

This three-channel video is accompanied by a newly commissioned operatic score from Yorta Yorta woman, composer and soprano, Deborah Cheetham AO and performed by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

Initiation OA_RR premiered at RISING 2021 & later at the National Gallery of Victoria.

It was commissioned through RISING’s A Call to Artist initiative, a program supported by Creative Victoria, City of Melbourne and Besen Family Foundation.

Image stills by Justin McManus