What is Colony?

Colony is a grand narrative, linking together characters and locations from across a number of artistic productions. It’s a universe of stories with its heart in Western Sydney, Australia. Those stories stretch from pre-colonial times to the 22nd century, and will be released over several years.

Colony begins with When the Tide Comes In, which tells the story of Sam – a young woman from a Sydney of the 22nd century.  Sam is important in the Colony universe because she is the keeper of all the stories. Through her we get to experience all the other art works.

They explore Australia’s diverse ancestry, philosophy and perspectives, the implications of past and future changing environments and what traditional wisdom can offer contemporary culture.

Colony is centred around Western Sydney because it is one of the most diverse regions on the planet. This is where you can walk down the street and meet the whole world. Everyone here has their own truth, their own way of being, built on widely different ancestral traditions that between them span something close to all of human history.

CuriousWorks works with communities to create art that celebrates this country’s diversity. Working with community has no set art form. There is only the heart of what the community wants to say, and then pulling together the best art forms possible to support that. So, individual Colony stories will come to you in a range of art forms and styles. Sometimes the chapters are told at large physical gatherings such as film screenings, theatre performances or through multi-platform works. Sometimes these are more intimate events, such as readings of works in progress or contributions from our developing artists known as the Curious Creators. And sometimes the stories are only released in this online Colony universe. 

Our individual works linking into the Colony narrative include Myth, A Counting and Cracking of Heads and Riz. All of these productions can be appreciated as individual works, but following Colony will give you additional perspectives and storylines. 

Use the ‘Engage’ tab above to check out our upcoming events. 

If you enjoy Colony, you can help sustain its future (and that of CuriousWorks) by visiting our donations page. Your contributions are tax deductible. Stay in touch with Curiousworks’ news and events by using the links in the gold stripe above to subscribe to our e-news and follow our social media.

You can contact us here.

The Colony Artists

Colony is created and produced by CuriousWorks – and involves all of our staff, artists and Curious Creators. It’s the brainchild of S. Shakthidharan, our founder and artistic director. After years of research, planning and artistic angst, the concept was launched at Carriageworks, Sydney on 8 March 2016, but in many ways the stories and characters had been in creation years earlier.

Colony Credits

Executive Producer – S. Shakthidharan
Story Development – S. Shakthidharan and Aimée Falzon
Communications and Web Development – Gary Spink
Producer – Vanessa Hyde
Community Managers – Guido Gonzalez and Caitlin Newton-Broad
Illustrations – Aimée Falzon
Graphic Design – S. Shakthidharan


Supporters and Partners

Colony is supported by Australia Council for the Arts, Arts NSW, Nelson Meers Foundation and Screen NSW. Key partners are Carriageworks, Belvoir and Streaming Museum (NY).  The development of Colony was made possible through Shakthi’s role as Associate Artist at Carriageworks from 2013-2015.