Large-Scale Public Performance Art

“Primary Source was a group that changed the paradigm of public performance art in Australia”

Lead collaborator with Primary Source Raym Richards

Primary Source was a large creative collective that spanned various disciplines. Together we presented uncompromising public performance art.

City Blocks

Primary Source were commissioned to create a series of public performance art pieces for the Melbourne, Sydney and Perth International Festivals. These large-scale street performance works included The Ship of Fools, Sisyphus (the wheel), Big Words and The Sphere. All artworks were created by the performers over hundreds of hours. The Ship, in particular, was realised thanks to the engineering and building prowess of Tomek Koman. Members of this group went on to form numerous other creative ensembles including Roderick Poole (Strange Fruit), Betty Sargeant (PluginHUMAN), Tomek Koman (Five Angry Men). Numerous members of Primary Source went on to perform and work with Circus Oz (including Kate Kantor and Simon Mitchell).


“Primary Source have been the highlight of every festival and event they have participated in. They are a unique phenomenon, unlike any other performance group I have ever seen around the world. The scope of their imagination and skill of their execution are limitless.” 
John Romeril, Playwright.


“The kinetic splendour of the group’s street-scale spectacles is a result of rigorous attention to craft, in both design and performance. People respond to their clearly apparent skills. The work has also been characterised by a conceptual vitality that impacts in a fresh and arresting manner.”
Caroline Baum, Arts editor, Melbourne Sunday Herald.

The Sphere

“I believe Primary Source to be one of the most exciting companies to emerge in this country over recent years. The exploration of ancient myths as reflected in ‘Sysyphus’ and ‘The Ship’ taps into a deep seated philosophical and emotional core which both moves and amuses the spectator. Their work creates a magic in the streets, transforming the mundane into the bizarre. As an artist I find their work liberating, their art is a gift to everyone being both free and accessible.”
Jean-Pierre Mignon, Director Australian Nouveau Theatre.

The Ship

“Primary Source are performance artists who for the past two years have been one of the main attractions associated with the Melbourne International Festival of the Arts. They presented the most outstanding attraction of this years festival with their imaginative and sumptuous ‘Ship’.”
John Truscott, Director Melbourne International Festival of the Arts.

Inner Simulacra

Other projects by Betty Sargeant: PluginHUMAN