Bringing communities together
In 2009, Nicola-Jane le Breton and Silvia Lehmann developed a potent and original process for gathering disparate perspectives and voices in community and weaving these into a cohesive, collaborative script for performance. This process has since been applied by Nicola, Silvia, Annette Carmichael and Linda Bradbury in over six major multi-arts productions in south-western Australia, exploring themes such as:
- Life in a rural community – Unravelling: Denmark Stories (Brave New Works, Denmark, 2009)
- Connections & disconnections to land and Indigenous people – Our Secret River (Brave New Works, Denmark, 2010)
- Reconciliation and healing with Indigenous people and place Solace + Yearning (Brave New Works, Denmark, 2012)
- The richness & vulnerability of rural communities in Ravensthorpe, Hopetoun & Jerdacuttup – Wheel of Fortunes (Ausdance WA’s Future Landings 2013)
- The complexity of how young people feel about war, from the fun of online gaming to the fear of terrorism – My War? (Vancouver Arts Centre, Albany, 2014)
- Intergenerational exploration of concepts of time and perceptions of ‘now’ – The Creation of Now (Brave New Works, Denmark 2015)
- Exploring relevance of archetypal stories of women told in the Old Testament — Living Testament (Brave New Works, Denmark, 2016)
Warm data labs
In November 2019, Nicola will complete her training as one of the first Warm Data Lab hosts in Australia by the International Bateson Institute. This is a tool for exploring and responding to “wicked” issues, acknowledging the complexity of many of the challenges that face us now, personally, in community and ecologically. The Warm Data Lab creates “a living kaleidoscope of conversation” that leads to deeper and more connected (transcontextual) understandings, supporting us to respond with wisdom and sensitivity.
Contact Nicola to discuss the possibilities for applying this process in your arts practice or project.
Nicola weaves together elements of ritual, meditation, storytelling and creative writing in purpose-designed projects, events and retreats. She delights in collaborating with environmental educators, ecological and indigenous guides, and other arts practitioners to create meaningful rites of passage and rituals for deepening connectedness and developing community.
As well as holding Diplomas in Conservation and Land Management and in Community Services, Nicola has trained with John Seed (Deep Ecology), Cat Blanke (Acting for the Future We Want), Ian Bland (The WholeView Process™), Jill Kennedy (The Virtues Project™). Nicola is currently being mentored in wild ritual leadership by Canadian storyteller and water carrier, Randy Jones.
Nicola is a Kundalini Yoga and meditation teacher (Level 1), certified by the Karam Kriya School Australia, 2018.
“I feel…that it is your poetry group workshops [that] have created such depth of commitment, cohesion and creativity in the Denmark writing community. It was my privilege to come into that atmosphere and build on it.”
“…[Nicola] has been exceptional, demonstrating an ability to listen to community members and encourage them to embrace the joys and challenges of writing. …She is community-focussed working both in a paid and voluntary capacity to encourage local people to express their stories and the stories of their town… Nicola is passionate about literacy and the potential for story and poetry to transform people’s lives.”
“Nicola has contributed significantly to the development of the CSL [Centre for Sustainable Living], providing ideas, running writing workshops and helping administer many of the great education and community development programs run at the Centre. Most recently she conceived and organized our inaugural Nature Writers’ Retreat, Writing in the Wild 2011, which was acclaimed a great success by all facilitators and participants involved. She also supported the Sustainable Men’s program and several youth arts programs and was our Writer-in-Residence at the Tip Shop in 2011.”
“I witnessed the work of Nicola-Jane le Breton during the recent Writing in the Wild Nature Writing Retreat – an event that Nicola conceived and brought to fruition with little support from elsewhere. Her work was most impressive in its thoroughness and care. Nicola dealt with the many people involved with consideration and respect to each one, even during the times of inevitable organizational stress. She showed a high level of professionalism in her attention to the many small and large tasks involved in pulling together such an event. Her excellent organizational skills were matched by her well-balanced approach to completing all the various tasks (publicity, forms, event and volunteer management, catering etc) and highly refined interpersonal skills.”