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Emma Le Strange Presents: Optical Awakening

  • Jugglers Art Space 103 Brunswick Street Fortitude Valley, QLD, 4006 Australia (map)

Come on a polymathic journey into an artistic, scientific and cabarific extravaganza! Emma Le Strange presents “Optical Awakening”, a solo exhibition, where by the white peacock lands and illuminates your senses through performance and artwork.

The exhibition formally opens on the 2nd of December and runs until the 15th of December at Jugglers ArtSpace, Fortitude Valley.

The opening night, on Friday the 4th, proves to be one of enlightened entertainment. Optical Awakening will be officially opened by the Director of the Queensland Cabaret Festival, Alison St Ledger and will see performances from the artist’s muse and emerging cabaret performer, CeCe Shabam, cabaret aficionado, Melissa Cloake and Emma Le Strange making her stage debut as Delta de Milo.

Optical Awakening marks the creative polymath emergence of Emma Le Strange. Her art proves to be one of uniqueness as she forces the age old art forms of drawing and crochet into the contemporary scene. Emma explains that, “there is no doubt that drawing and crochet are still significant in a contemporary setting. It is my hope to bring this fact to light in Optical Awakening”.

Optical Awakening, the year long project, has encompassed costuming, fiber optic crochet, photography, realist drawing, etching, music and cabaret. Emma says “this exhibition is my renewal or even rebirth as I leave behind personal struggles and embrace my future in contemporary art practices”. Emma has been over-coming chronic illness since childhood that has resulted in daily, systemic pain, “it is important to me to show that you are not defined in life by what you can’t do, it is what you can do that is important and you don’t have to compromise when it comes to achieving your dreams.”

Emma Le Strange has constructed a victorian inspired corset and has adorned the front with crocheted fiber optic cable. This and a fiber optic peacock tail make up a costume worn by the featured performer, CeCe Shabam. Cassandra Croucher is a graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University and has dedicated many years to her first passion and profession as an educator. In 2014, Cassandra entered the Brisbane cabaret scene under the stage name of CeCe Shabam and has since created a variety of characters from the dramatic and dark to the cute and quirky. For Optical Awakening, Cassandra will create a cabaret performance based around the theme of the white peacock.

Emma Le Strange has worked from photographs of CeCe adorning the peacock costume to create a series of realist drawings. Half of these drawings are set behind LED lit, etched perspex, turning the drawings into light boxes.

Emma’s skills go beyond the creative. She has formal qualifications in industrial chemistry and loves to meld science, engineering and art. Also, in September, Emma received the Access Arts Achievement Award of $10,000 to write, illustrate and publish a children’s story book in 2016.

If you can’t make it to the opening night of Optical Awakening, don’t fear, the performances will be live streamed and recorded on Emma Le Strange’s you tube channel and will also be available on “wall” at the gallery throughout the duration of the exhibition. Visit her website at or Facebook page at for more details.

Earlier Event: November 27