In the lead up to International Women’s Day, we sat down with a few NIDA Women to discuss what the day means to them and how they are helping NIDA students find their artistic voice. Our first interviewee is Design Lecturer, Sue Field.
“This is my philosophy, I really do think women shouldn’t be on the same page. That they should be in a different book and in the end you can write your own book and really write your own destiny and not conform to mediocrity and convention. I think it’s that that drives you through this industry to really become innovative and original and have an original voice.
I always thought I’d be an artist, painter and rapidly realised that there was something missing, anyway I discovered about NIDA and I heard about NIDA and I was really lucky I got in and I have to say it was the three best years of my life.
International Women’s Day I think it’s it forces you to really reflect on women’s achievements and how far we’ve got particularly in the last hundred years.
I looked up the ‘International Women’s Day’ and it used to be called ‘International Working Women’s Day’ which I actually think is a much more dynamic much stronger title because I don’t think ‘working women’ just means women and economics but also the working woman at home, you know, looking after the children, looking after elderly parents, whatever, I just think it’s a much more exciting title and a shame they changed it.
My most inspiring woman in the Arts and I’d have to say I’m going to focus on ‘Performance Design’ is Gabriela Tylesova. So, she graduated from NIDA in the year 2000 and she’s the most incredible woman in the Arts. She’s an international and national designer across ballet, opera, musicals, film, everything. She has two young children, takes them all around the world with her. She’s a real standalone designer and so she’s not a ‘female designer’ she is actually an international huge designer and she stands alone in her own right as just being extraordinary.
So my advice for young women who want to go into theatre design or performance design is is really to have a love and a passion for the Arts. I think to survive you absolutely need to love and have a real passion for what you’re doing because it is, it can be really tough and it can require a hell of a lot of hard work I’ve never become jaded, I’ve never, I’ve always remained idealistic I’ve never become cynical and embittered and so I think, I really, I really reveal this to my students.
I was a single mother, I did two Masters. Now I’m doing my PHD plus I practised for 15 years, I’ve covered through from film, opera, I mean I had a fabulous career and now obviously I’m working full-time here and I think being a good example, is probably very encouraging, particularly for the female students.”