Raft Development Artist - Meet Zachary Lopez

Legs On The Wall just had a great showing of a new work, The Raft, co-directed by Gavin Webber and Joshua Thomson. For this development we were joined by some incredible artists with diverse training and backgrounds. We caught up with Zachery Lopez to discover more about him and how the development was for him….

Zachary Lopez in The Raft, 2019 Development. Photo by Jordan Shields

Zachary Lopez in The Raft, 2019 Development. Photo by Jordan Shields

What was it like working on the Raft?

As a performer and collaborator, I have never worked on a development like The Raft before. This process; as quick and intense as it was, forced out a physicality that speaks beyond dance. The apparatus had a life of its own. If you weren’t alert 100% of the time, the likelihood of collision and that impact with the raft and yourself could share similarities with a tinny and a tsunami. 

What was a standout in-development moment for you?

 What stood out in the development was the continual fear the performing artists and myself had when working with the apparatus itself. Collectively, our fears of being claustrophobic, the varying heights and the strength of this inanimate object had, sometimes took its toll. However, the choice to stop and options to forget about it once 5pm struck is not necessarily an option for those who face similar fears seeking asylum and refuge. This perspective and realisation was also a standout.


What's so important about this production?

The underlying message this production will potentially have on communities nationally and hopefully abroad will have an immense impact on their perspectives of Australian migrant communities and those wishing to seek refuge in Australia. This production is important as it sheds light of the power and control within a system that is fundamentally damaged and in need of repair. 

What are you up to now that we've finished this development?

After an inspiring couple of weeks with Legs on the Wall, I will be continuing on with my own project as well as other creative developments with Australian choreographers. As part of my Young Creative Leaders Fellowship, I will spend some time in the studios developing movement ideas whilst continuing to strengthen relationships with the Western Sydney Migrant Resource Centre. I will also head home to Yuggera country (Brisbane) for a creative development and then later on in the year I will be working with Marrugeku on their second development of Jurrungu Ngan-ga.


Andrew Batt-Rawden