Renae Shadler – Yawn

“I had the most wonderful, vibrant and whimsical experience connecting with a lovely human today at Glenferrie Station. It was positively perfect, thank you so much for brightening my day” – Email feedback from participant, Natasha Swan

Yawn is 1 of 5 interactive artworks that make up In-ya-ear, a public engagement project presented at various Metro Stations in Melbourne, Australia between 2013 and 2015.

In-ya-ear aims to connect people in public spaces. Created especially for each site, the intent is to make us more aware of how we subconsciously affect each other every day in order to strengthen our sense of community.

In-ya-ear consists of 5 participatory activities:

– Yawn: This activity looks at the contagious nature of a yawn and its possible scientific link to empathy. Part portraiture, part participatory event, Yawn includes making and screening a short film of accumulated yawns over the duration of the installation.

– Stories at the Station: A verbatim soundtrack created onsite with members of the community. Interviewees are invited to tell a story about a time when they connected with a stranger.

– Crush Candy: A reinvention of Candy Crush, the game app, involving three participants. Each participant is given one of three matching bright objects and asked to complete the set by finding and connecting with the others. A question is then revealed, ‘What do the three of us have in common?’

– Shuffle: Members of the public listening to headphones are invited to play their own music on portable speakers for all to hear. The project artists and participant then create a performative response to the music together, creating a pathway from private to public.

– Strange Not Strange: A facilitated encounter for two strangers in the form of an instructional audio work. Movement, language and touch are explored from within a ‘green haven’ created by potted native trees.

Visit the In-ya-ear WebsiteView Prague Yawns


Company: Renae Shadler & Collaborators

Lead Artist: Renae Shadler

Collaborators: Rebecca Jensen, Virginia Francia

Sound Design: Robert Jordan

Site Co-ordinator: Cameron Stewart

  • yarra city council logo
  • maribyrnong city council
  • Borondoora

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About Renae Shadler

Renae is a Melbourne-based performer and performance maker working across theatre, visual art, contemporary dance and live art. Since graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts with a Bachelor of Dramatic Art in 2010, Renae has created trans-disciplinary performance that investigates contemporary culture’s effect on the human condition.

Her works include: Phone Shrine (Light In Winter Festival 2014, Village Festival 2014), Y? (Melbourne Fringe Club 2014), Ida, Give me a lemon (Venice Biennale / Museum of Everything 2013), In-ya-ear (PQAU 2015, Metro Trains 2015/2013, Yarra Trams 2013) and Polly’s Party (La Mama Theatre 2012, Melbourne Fringe 2012, Adelaide Fringe 2012).

In 2014 she began creating large-scale public engagement projects with people across generations, such as We Art Corangagmite (Robbie Burns Festival 2014), Let Me Count The Ways (Art Is… Festival 2014) and Can You See What We See? (Gippsland Arts Festival 2015).

Visit the Renae Shadler Homepage