TRAVIS DE VRIES is a Gamilaroi creator of dark fiction, graphic artwork and fantastic worlds. Travis is a conceptual artist, performer, writer, composer and commentator genre spanning and boundary crossing creative work with a background in visual arts and Indigenous culture. Travis creates world within worlds, brings to life characters on the page and canvas from his ever growing, fantasy, parallel universe.
Travis creates unique, narrative led large-scale exhibitions combining multiple forms; paintings, drawings, projections and experiential sculptures focusing on recreating and evolving Indigenous and Western Mythologies for a modern era. Storytelling is at the heart of his practice, through the use of fable, metaphor, symbolism and storytelling tropes he invokes a deep connection with audiences to explore a range of both personal and universal themes including; Indigenaity, violence, destruction, politics, love, death and relationships. All of this comes together to create an experiential style of work that is both unique and familiar.
Diversity has long been a weak point for podcasting, yet in order for this golden age of audio to truly shine, it has to include all of us. That’s why several years ago, Spotify created Sound Up— Spotify’s podcast accelerator program that empowers First Nations individuals in Australia to tell their stories using podcasting—and amplifying them across the world. Sound Up is returning for its second year, with aspiring podcasters who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander (First Nations) invited to apply from March 31, 2021 for a four week virtual podcasting programme to be held from May 31, 2021 - June 25, 2021.
First Nations Australians have been passing down their knowledge, culture and history from generation-to-generation through storytelling for tens of thousands of years, with podcasting now a platform to now take that storytelling to the world through Spotify, allowing for these stories to be shared and heard by all.
Applicants don’t need to have any previous podcasting experience to apply for the Sound Up program, just a voice, a passion for the medium, and an eagerness to bring a podcast idea to life. From the pool of applicants, ten aspiring creators will be invited to virtual sessions of reflection, learning, creative development, mentoring, and networking facilitated by Travis De Vries and Brooke Scobie from Awesome Black.
Previous Sound Up winner and host of Spotify Original podcast Search Engine Sex, Rowdie Walden knows first-hand the opportunity available through Sound Up.
“Sound Up is a rare opportunity for mob to create a podcast alongside Spotify. Podcasting is such an incredibly fast growing medium, and as the oldest storytellers, I can't wait to see shows come out of Sound Up 2021. It's about time the world heard more of our stories."
Travis’ professional practice has taken him from performing on stage with Bangarra Dance Theatre across Australian, New York and Mongolia, to creating bespoke community programs for Indigenous performers through the Sydney Opera House, to performing his own live storytelling work at the Scottish International Storytelling Festival. Travis is an award winning visual artist, who has held solo exhibitions in Edinburgh (UK), Sydney and Regional NSW and has been part of numerous group exhibitions, art prizes and residencies. Travis has been a finalist in the Kings, Wood and Malleson Art Prize (2018), the Muswellbrook Art Prize (2017), NSW Parliament Aboriginal Art Prize (2015) (2013) and the Norville Landscape Art Prize (2014).
Travis is a trained dancer and fine artist and is alumni of NAISDA Dance College, where he was awarded the inaugural Chairman’s Award. He honed his skills in the industry, completing further training, both accredited and self-led in sound production, circus, digital art and design, photography and writing. Travis completed residencies with Lane Cove Gallery, Muswellbrook Art Gallery, The Australian Museum and Australian based physical theatre company Legs on the Wall.
Travis has a wealth of producing experience having worked as a producer for the Sydney Opera House and as an Independent consultant on a range of arts programmes. He has worked across large festivals including; Vivid Live, Graphic and Homeground, contemporary music, theatre and dance tours including; Damon Albarn, Flying Lotus and Hofesh Shector, and smaller, niche community projects such as Dance Rites, where Travis engaged Indigenous community dance groups across the country to converge on the Sydney Opera House for a two-day traditional dance competition, the first of it’s kind in the country.
Throughout his career Travis has sought out international opportunities and collaborations and was notably an alumni of The British Council’s ACCELERATE in 2016, travelling to the United Kingdom to meet with like minded creatives, exploring future collaborations. Travis also organised and participated in numerous international arts residencies. He travelled to Paris, France, Barcelona, Spain and Dublin, Ireland in 2015 to visit art galleries, venues and arts organisation whilst supported by the Sydney Opera House and the Australia Council for the Arts.
In 2018 Travis was the Create NSW Aboriginal Arts Fellow, completing a research residency in the Australian Museum, with the Aboriginal Artefacts and Rare Books Collections to create a new large-scale exhibition for 2019. Travis is the co-host and producer of BRORIGINALS, a comedy podcast that has grown a cult following over and has performed live at the Spotify Headquarters, Sydney and The Australian Museum and has a NSW tour organised for 2019.