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John Curtin College of the Arts alumni Nikita Dunovits-Ferrier has been selected for the 2023 Perth Festival Lab!

The Festival Lab is an annual opportunity for up to ten emerging practitioners from any artistic discipline to get stuck into the big ideas in the Festival program and reflect on their own artistic practice.  

Of the ten participants selected, three are College alumni with Georgi Ivers and Kimberley Parkin joining Nikita for the Festival Lab. 

Nikita (pictured above) was a Gifted and Talented Drama student who also studied Musical Theatre and Media Arts at the College.

After graduating from JCCA in 2012, Nikita moved to Melbourne/Naarm to study Film and Television at Swinburne University of Technology, majoring in Writing and Directing, with her graduate short film El Niño achieving festival success both nationally and internationally.

She returned to WA and has been working in the art department for film and TV for the past six years, most recently working on films such as Blueback, How to Please a Woman and Sweet As. Blueback premiered at Lotterywest Films in November as part of Perth Festival. 

In addition to her work in the film industry, Nikita is also a practicing visual artist whose work has featured in numerous exhibitions.

Recently we caught up with Nikita to chat about her life since school and her thoughts on the Festival Lab.

“In my own arts practice I have been experimenting with the form of collage, utilizing imagery from vintage magazines.”

Her work explores the juxtaposition of images and creating meaning through layers. Most recently her work featured in the 2021 Bunbury Biennale.

Nikita is hoping to be inspired by her participation in the lab, explaining “I applied with the hopes of getting in and challenging myself creatively, being exposed to all facets of the art world through the festival and in turn feeling inspired to take risks in my practice.”

Nikita has fond memories of her time at John Curtin, stating “I spent a lot of time in the theatre, learning, rehearsing and performing. I loved being backstage during performances, getting ready in the greenroom or hiding in the wings watching the audience arrive. It was at school that I really developed a love of theatre which then transitioned me into the world of filmmaking.”

“I am grateful for studying at John Curtin as it gave me the tools to become the creative person I am today and allowed me the freedom to pursue a life and career in the arts” she added.

Perth Festival continues to 5 March 2023 with many opportunities to immerse yourself in the arts.

This year Fremantle Arts Centre Director and College alumni Anna Reece, has been appointed as artistic director for Perth Festival.

Anna said the role was an “incredible privilege”.

“The opportunity to creatively lead and care for the future direction of Perth Festival is both rare and extraordinary and the most incredible privilege,” she said.

“It is a role I have aspired to hold since I first began my professional career in the Australian arts sector almost 20 years ago.” 

Anna Reece by Duncan Wright for Perth Festival

We are so proud of our alumni and their continued passion for and work in the arts. Check out the following productions, all featuring JCCA alumni!