CQU academic challenges communities to climate, social action through performance

14 August 2023
Two women in blue and orange shirts with iron motifs pose on red ironing boards in an outdoor location, the image has a blurred effect.
Patty Preece (left) and Melania Jack are The Ironing Maidens

CQUniversity Digital Media lecturer, musician and artist Patty Preece is taking their art to new audiences, with a project running community workshops alongside the challenging performance. 

Hot & Heavy is a new show by The Ironing Maidens, a duo featuring Preece and Melania Jack.

The immersive, interactive experience will premiere at Cairns Festival in August 2023. 

Part installation, part performance, part banging dance party, it challenges audiences and participants to imagine a non-binary, de-capitalised, de-colonised, de-extinction future.

Preece said the workshops introduced participants to the basics of electronic music making, and dance improvisation across a variety of styles including contemporary, hip hop and dance hall.

Hot & Heavy addresses pressing social and environmental issues related to gender, labour, and the environment, and it sheds light on how issues like modern factory labor and the domestic space are interconnected,” they explained.

“We’re seeking to raise awareness, challenge inequalities, and advocate for a more just and sustainable future – and the workshops are giving people in regional communities new and creative tools to contribute to the cause too.

“Community members can also explore the themes of the show, actively engage in dialogue, become part of the performance and envision alternative futures for their communities. 

“By creating spaces for the community the project aims to inspire change and empower individuals to make a positive impact in their communities.”

The Ironing Maidens are inviting fans to support the community workshops through a crowdfund initiative

To attend Hot & Heavy, get tickets now for Cairns Festival shows across Friday 25 August – Sunday 27 August 2023. 

And learn more about The Ironing Maidens and the community workshops here

Earlier this year, Preece’s art installation wowed attendees at the International New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME) Conference in Mexico City and won two of the event’s major awards.

They are also completing a Master of Arts at CQUniversity, with a research focus on sound and feminism.

Watch Patty Preece and Melania Jack explain the Hot & Heavy project on YouTube