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|IT STARTED AT THE YELLOW HOUSE
About a million years ago there was the Yellow House
on Macleay Street in Sydney, started by surrealist
artist Martin Sharp. Full of pop-art, the canvas was
the house itself, walls, floors and ceilings were
covered in paintings, scuplture, and masks.
You’d often run into brilliant make-up artist Richard
Sharah who hung out with painter Bruce Gould. Bruce
was a fabulously eccentric guy who was doing shows
with Sylvia and the Synthetics, underground drag
performers who threw fish and other goodies onto the
audience. Pre Rocky Horror 'little Nell' Campbell
would do an occasional show. Talented occult painter
Rosoleen Norton, the witch of Kings Cross might wander
This was a time when mime artist Lindsay Kemp lived
in Sydney, he transformed the Glebe Theatre into his
own magical performance space. Polish Laboratory
Theatre’s Jerzy Growtowski brought over his play
Apocalypsis Cum Figuris and started a school in
Armidale. Actor/playright Steven Berkoff was a regular
visitor, acting in and directing his plays. All of
these amazing people held extensive workshops, which I
loved, especially Berkoff’s.
With a little support from the arts council I founded the Sydney theatre ensemble Abba Dabba, performing original group penned plays in an abandoned church we renovated into an arts workshop and performing space. We’d usually start a performance at midnight, sometimes cops would show up…..and stay, applauding along with everyone else.
Having met so many talented Brits I couldn’t wait to
get to London, I’d been corresponding with the E15
acting school. Hated England when I got there and
split for Berlin. It was love at first sight.
I was experimenting with electronic music, painting
and film so I combined these diverse elements into
solo multi-media installations. Other artists invited
me to collaborate on their projects….. and life was
Then the wall came down.
Hullo New York.
I thought the best way to gate-crash NYC was to get my
ugly mug on television so I created Krash Boom TV,
featuring performance artists, electronic bands and
the club kid scene…..and of course shamelessly
promoting my music and videos.
I met my muse Anitra who became the KBTV co-host and
we started performing as The Elephant Of Celebes,
changing it later to Men Smash Atoms which is more
apropriate for the kind of noise we make.
I loved the historic Tunnel club and decided it was
the perfect setting for my feature length version of
Hamlet, 'Rotten in Denmark - a psuedo Elizabethan film
noir’. To get around renting the space (they wanted
two grand a day) we showed up in our fab Elizabethan
clobber when the club opened at night, pretending we
were doing a KBTV shoot. Talk about guerilla
filmmaking…..it was a lot of fun.
Neoclassical Nudes and Dandies is my solo ambient
project. See a link to this and other delicious
propaganda at www.nicodemusweb.com
SYLVIA & THE SYNTETICS