Australian Artistic Director and Creator

Inspiring creative thought. Empowering people to share their stories.

Can you remember a performance that changed the way you saw the world?

I develop artistic works and community engagement art projects with organisations and individuals, creating lasting impact through music, live performance, film, and digital content.

My work shares diverse human stories and world views and gives audiences and co-creators the opportunity to develop their own unique perspective of the world around them.

Examples have included One Sky Many Stories, which asks audiences ‘What Do The Stars Mean To You?’, and The Dirty Red Digger, comparing contemporary sporting culture with sporting culture in WW1.

Photo: Keith Saunders

My work as an Australian Artistic Director has been described as ‘refreshingly unbiased’, and I am frequently approached to develop creative responses to prompt new ideas and non-normative ways of looking at the world.

In one instance I was approached by ecologists to develop a show about the sexual determination of bearded dragons. We were an unlikely but trail blazing match. Noone could have anticipated that their research would produce both the cover of Nature magazine as well as the performance ‘Sex and Dragons’!

I compose new works, curate performances, work as an artist-in-residence, and direct the co-creation of community engagement art projects and community cultural development.

I look forward to working with you to develop a creative vision and bring it to life through a new artistic work that has lasting impact.

“Excellent!!! Every now and then something comes along and takes you completely by surprise… would add vital dimensions to your understanding of Australian social history.  In terms of genre it is almost wonderfully impossible to categorise”

John Davidson

Audience member

“Altogether it was an artistic coup, sensitively conceived and rendered”

Chris Latham

Festival Director, The Canberra Times

“Sollis is the guiding spirit behind the Griffyn Ensemble, with quirky and delightful programs exploring new territories and spaces”

Vincent Plush

The Australian

“He’s converting a scientific finding into a performance. It’s so important that scientists try to spread knowledge and merging science and art is wonderful.”

Prof Stephen Sarre

Scientist, University of Canberra Institute of Applied Ecology

I empower people to share their stories.

I produce work that has a powerful impact.

My broad artistic, educative, and community experience has allowed me to direct the artistic vision and create new artistic works with the following types of organisations:

Businesses, such as Wesfarmers and Canberra Airport
Major Performing Arts Organisations, such as Musica Viva Australia, and direction of The Griffyn Ensemble
Festivals, such as the National Folk Festival and Sound Scotland Festival
Arts Centres and presenters, such as Barkly Arts – Tennant Creek, Belconnen Arts Centre and Four Winds – Bermagui
Research organisations, such as University of Canberra Institute of Applied Ecology and Sydney Observatory
National Institutions, such as National Gallery of Australia and National Arboretum
Embassies and foreign missions, such as the Embassy of Argentina and the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
Individual donors and philanthropists

These projects have engaged diverse audiences, empowered communities, connected networks and audiences to new ideas and perspectives, and inspired creative thought. My work has been known to share diverse worldviews, question assumptions and help people realise that their unique experience is worthy of expression.

Selected Highlights

Dirty Red Digger

Conscription, class war, and Rugby League.
Live music, archival footage, and documentary film combine in The Dirty Red Digger: The story of World War I in Australia through events in Rugby League between 1914 and 1918.  Performed by Michael’s chamber group The Griffyn Ensemble.

The Bermagui Project

In conjunction with Four Winds, The Griffyn Ensemble, and Scotland’s Red Note Ensemble.  The project was created collaboratively with Bermagui residents, directed for a video installation and live performance. This excerpt was co-written and performed by students from
Bermagui Preschool.

One Sky Many Stories

Bringing one of Australia’s most prolific indigenous songwriters, Warren H. Williams, together with stories from members of the Tennant Creek community, Central Autralia. One Sky, Many Stories immerses audiences in an exploration of indigenous and western cultures through the night sky.

To find out more about developing inspiring artistic work and
community engagement art projects,
get in touch here.

Reach Me

Here’s how to contact me.

Belconnen Arts Centre
118 Emu Bank
ACT 2617, Australia

+61 411 113 769

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