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Luxville Magic in the Minerva Space

Story Box with Amy T

This month Ballarat artist, Erin McCuskey of Yum Studio, brings some creative magic to the Minerva Space with her multifaceted arts project Luxville: a fabulous, evolving story told through moving image, photography and word.

I caught up with Erin to talk BMI and Luxville, and she even wrote us a fictional short story based on an 1860s advertisement held in the Institute’s historical collection! You can also watch Erin’s films made about the BMI at the bottom of the website homepage.


Luxville Photoplay at BMI (Image by Yum Studio) 1860s Advertisements from the BMI Collection Erin McCuskey

Amy Tsilemanis interviews Luxville Founder, Erin McCuskey

What do you love about the BMI?

I love the sense of our connection with a fabulous past, and hope that it will impress upon our future a need to embrace the new. I love to stand in the Minerva Space and feel all that has gone before, and feel part of that as well as what is to come.

Do you have a favourite story about the place, old or new?

The library was once segregated by gender with a temporary wall. However the women who attended were deemed too noisy and the wall was removed but not before the women were scalded and a note made about it in the minutes. I love that women have always been a positive yet disruptive force against tradition and the status quo, allowing new thoughts and ways of doing things. Even if noisily.

How does Luxville differ from your past projects?

Luxville is being created beneath the public gaze, morphing as people contribute and engage with the concepts behind it. All that is influencing how I proceed with the works being created.

What excites you about it?

Luxville is a transmedia project, one story in many places. For me the learning is about how one art-form affects another, and how that in turn informs both my understanding of myself, and my understanding of how art impacts a community. I’m excited by the possibilities of an audience who is curious, and by the creation of works that challenge me.

What scares you about it?

The project destination is known, but how we get there is not. It’s scary because I don’t know, however I’m asking audiences to accept that not knowing is okay, so its a challenge for me and the audience together, and that works to connect us.

Tell us what’s happening in the Minerva Space on October 10th.

Luxville Photoplay is like a live TV show, anything can happen and that’s exciting. It’s a film shoot, a live performance by Luxville theatre maven Miss Nellie, hosting by Luxville Cultural Attache Lance DeBoyle. Guests will also take the Luxville Oath to commit to creativity, and take part in a citizenship ceremony. Dress code is fabulous, which can be whatever you want. Take a chance on adventure!

Find out more about Luxville and purchase your tickets here!

And read Erin’s fabulous Luxville Tale ‘Mrs Alexander’ inspired by the image below:

1860s Advertisements from the BMI Collection

“Mrs Alexander, what is the meaning of this?”

She looked up from arranging the splendid assortment of handkerchiefs some edged with lace, some with ribbon, others embroidered with fine hand stitching. Ordered from Paris, the shipment had just been delivered to her shop by Mr Proctor, who was still fussing over his vehicle outside the shop…

Intrigued? Read the full story here.

By Amy Tsilemanis.


Luxville Photoplay at BMI (Image by Yum Studio) 1860s Advertisements from the BMI Collection