FUSE Fund Recipients 2024

We’re thrilled to announce the recipients of the 2024 round for FUSE Fund!

Congratulations to:

Zena Cumpston for Return

The North Preston Lifesaving Club for Out of Order

Oliver Ayres for I’m Ready To Talk Now

JOLTED Arts for The Jolted FUSE.

These projects will be developed and showcased across FUSE 2024. FUSE Fund aims to support local artists and organisations to present high quality arts projects and events as part of Darebin’s multi-arts festival FUSE. 

Zena Cumpston (Barkandji) ngarta-kiira (to return to Country) #1–#10 2023 Melbourne, Wurundjeri Country linocut collage and kopi on Fabriano paper 76.0 x 56.0 cm

Name of project: Return

Artist: Zena Cumpston  

Artform: Visual art (with music and workshop guests)  

Return is a visual art exhibition by Barkandji artist, writer and researcher Zena Cumpston. For many years Zena has worked to bring together many community groups and projects to share research, writing and exhibitions aimed at empowering Country and community, illuminating Indigenous ecological knowledge.  ‘Return’ features artworks, performances and workshops celebrating the plant knowledge of southeastern Aboriginal peoples, with a particular focus on the cultural landscape of the Darebin area and the plants of Wurundjeri Woiwurrung Country.  

This exhibition will include both Indigenous and non-Indigenous guest collaborators as part of public programs aimed at engaging diverse audiences with Indigenous knowledge, plants of place and the deep knowledge of Country embedded within them. ‘Return’ will provide opportunities for learning, art making, conversation and for empowering actions in our own backyards, balconies and nature strips to support biodiversity and to embrace our shared responsibility to act as custodians of the lands we call home. 

Psychopathy, mixed media 2018. 2. 'Hands - work in progress' Billie Parsons 2020

Project name: Out of order 

Artist / group name: The North Preston Lifesaving Club

Artform: painting, sculpture, photography, drawing, installation 

Out of Order is a group exhibition of new contemporary art by artists with disability presented by the North Preston Lifesaving Club (NPLC).As an artist run initiative, NPLC create and work for artists with disability, queer and / or BIPOC, the first of its kind in Victoria. 

 Oliver Ayres I’m Ready To Talk Now Photo. Photographer Claudia Howarth

Name of project: I’m Ready to Talk Now  

Artist: Oliver Ayres

Artistform: Experimental Theatre 

'I'm Ready To Talk Now' started as an experiment during Oliver’s first year at VCA and was initially explored during a limited season at Melbourne Fringe Festival. In this development, the piece will be extended into a longer version and the design realised to its full potential. ‘I’m Ready To Talk Now’ will be engineered to be as close to totally accessible as possible, and each audience member is entitled to a unique version of the work based on their access needs. Participants will be invited to experience the work from a bed while looking through a projected window. All audio is delivered through noise-cancelling headphones and all dialogue is open captioned. At any point during the performance an audience member can choose to leave. 


There are 3 events produced by JOLT Arts presented at JOLTED Arts Space in the FUSE Festival.

Project name: Mountain Black Turbine Sky 

Artists: Rotor Assembly: James Hullick & Hamish Upton 

Genre: industrial and electronic percussion music 

Show: Mountain Black Turbine Sky (60 min) was first performed by Rotor Assembly in 2018 at the Melbourne Recital Centre. Since that time Hullick has developed the work further such that it has now mutated into an abstract sonic art theatre work in the vein of Samuel Beckett. There is a loose narrative or concept that underpins the work: two industrial monastic workers feed the pollution machine. Video in the production is by James Hullick.   


Project name: Scrapper 

Artists: by Noise Scavengers. 

Genre: found sound and junk percussion music 

Show: Inspired by legendary junk and found object acts such as Stomp and The Blue Men, the Noise Scavengers offer audiences their own version of junk and found sound music making. Scrapper is a 40 min show that delights in junk and electronic audio play and exploration. 


Project Name: Select Naturalis 2.0

Artists: by The Amplified Elephants. 

Genre: ambient electronica, spoken word and field recordings 

Show: After releasing five albums in 2 years The Amplified Elephants are looking forward to re-developing an older and shorter work titled Select Naturalis. The new version of the project Select Naturalis 2.0 has been expanded into a full length production and explores the process of natural selection from the perspective of sound and sounds in the environment. This production includes The Amplified Elephants working with a bespoke audiovisual interface named Resonance which moves sound through the space via a multi speaker diffusion system. Resonance has been developed by the Duckworth Hullick Duo and researchers and technologists at RMIT University, and in collaboration with JOLT Arts. 

Image descriptions

Photo credits:
Image 1 FUSE News, FUSE Darebin
Image 2: Zena Cumpston (Barkandji) ngarta-kiira (to return to Country) #1–#10 2023 Melbourne, Wurundjeri Country
linocut collage and kopi on Fabriano paper. Photographer Christian Capurro
Image 3: Psychopathy, mixed media 2018. 2. 'Hands - work in progress' Billie Parsons 2020
Image 4: Oliver Ayres I’m Ready To Talk Now Photo. Photographer Claudia Howarth
Image 5: JOLTED Arts Space logo 

Image description
Image 1: A banner featuring musical instruments and black writing on purple
Image 2: Black and white artwork on paper 
Image 3: Grey sculpture of hands 
Image 4: A person seated in front of an open window behind a projector with the words "I should have warned you." 
Image 5: Black and white logo 


FUSE News December

Read blog post
Presented By