Melina Wightman and Lia Stark (both 23), are two artsy ladies who enjoy creating and practicing their performance art (as well as updating their tindr profiles) at Vis Ink. Melina and Lia are prevalent in the theatre world of Brisbane (and beyond), the women behind local theatre success Love Letters. The girls have a sweet kind of sisterhood that can be witnessed in their Instagram snaps. They seem to have mastered the art of combining business and friendship-Melina describes working with her best mate as ‘an immense pleasure’.
Melina is a doe-eyed, loud-mouthed QUT theatre graduate who pays the rent working as a barista “I’m living that sweet art graduate hospo lifestyle, as much as I make fun of the trope I really enjoy working as a barista… One day I hope to be able to support myself purely off artistic means, but as a young artist still developing my craft and a name for myself in the industry, art is my part time job, my hobby, my cruel and tender mistress”!
Melina became active in the theatre circuit early in her university degree, working with Vena Cava productions on multiple projects, most notably curating and coordinating a multidisciplinary arts festival Fresh Blood. Melina has previously collaborated with Ruby Donohoe in several different capacities on projects such as Kabul, and Eye Resolution. More recently – ‘I worked with the Suicide Ensemble on the shows The Reality Event: Game/Suicide which was performed at Anywhere Fest 2015 and the 2015 Melbourne Fringe Festival’.
Melina loves theatre, visual art and food, and cites Broad City, Sex and the City, and her relationships as her primary inspirations – ‘I suppose when you’re an artist, cathartic release is to turn your life qualms into some resort of physical representation of that’.
‘is an invaluable source of resources and space, I’m a poor young artist gal, and spaces like this that are free to hire for rehearsal and meetings are sooo important’!
‘is so friendly and inviting, easy to access and such a depth of resources to support young creative people’!
‘It’s always booked out’!!!
Lia is twice a university graduate (in both fine arts and marketing) and a café worker with a distinctive cloud of dark curly hair and a dry wit- “When I’m not having an existential crisis about my life, I’m keen on travelling, doodling and hanging out with my dog. I’m still young, so right now I am just trying to absorb as much of the world as I can and funnel it into my work and writing”.
Lia, like Melina, has previously collaborated with Ruby Donohoe, although on a different project, An Act of Intimacy, and has also worked with Vena Cava Productions, writing and directing two original works for the Fresh Blood festival. Lia has also worked internationally – ‘For 6 months last year, I had to the immense honour of working with immersive theatre masters Punchdrunk with their Off-Broadway show Sleep No More. It was large-scale, deep-end, on the job learning. Also in New York, I studied with the Imporabale Stage, a female-run movement and physical theatre company based in Brooklyn.’
Lia loves theatre, literature, comedy, feminist theory, and ‘ARTS OF ALL KINDS’. Lia’s inspiration is derived from a piece of sage advice ‘(You should always aim to be the person you needed in high school) and that has just always pushed my artistic endeavours. If I had hilarious, feminist, sassy, independent successful woman to talk about human relationships, high school would have been a lot more bearable. So that what I’m trying to be’.
‘a safe space for young creatives. It’s free. It’s there to help us make the best art we can.’
‘A+ facilities, free printing and a place to network and experience other artists’.
‘Keycards are such a pain! I wish you could be staffed 24/7 but I know thats not always possible’.
Find out about Melina and Lia’s current project, Love Letters: