More dates

The 2024 Annual Bloomsday in Melbourne Seminar and Lunch

Price FREE – $80 AUD + BF Get tickets

Event description

MAIN SPEAKER: Erin M McCuskey, film artist

TITLE: “Dancing out of time”

Lucia Joyce’s archive was decimated by her nephew at pains to protect the legacy of her famous father. All that remains of her creative dancing life are the photographs by Berenice Abbott and some tantalising reviews of her prowess. It was Paris, between the wars. The Roaring 20s. Much of the culture, fashion, and self-expression were considered scandalous. Hemlines were up and stockings were down. Modernism erupted as a flame in the form of women wildly dancing. They had created the new. It is young women particularly who embraced the change with its promise of freedom. However, freedom was not to be Lucia’s destiny. Like many difficult women of the time there was a much simpler solution.


Instagram  -

Erin M McCuskey website  -

Yum Studio website -

Bio McCuskey's art is cinematic, multilayered film using archival, found and captured moving image. She uses screen language of the half-dark, overlay and blur to reflect her long-sightedness (hyperopia). Working at the intersection of cinema and art, she explores themes of feminisms, memory and death. Known for her use of muses, she explores the idea that joy is resistance and that expressing culture through dance is a way to protect our hard won freedoms.

McCuskey's love of the moving image grew from lounge-room screenings of family films created by her father. The youngest girl of a large Irish immigrant family, she studies the once prohibited Gaeilge (Irish language) and Irish mythology to understand concepts of home and belonging.

“Film artist Erin M McCuskey's work is indeed one of Australia's great 'unknown pleasures' ... fusing analogue film (created and archival), music, dance, literature, theatre and a visual artist's perspective into digital cinematic works that are firstly sensual and delightful, and secondly resonantly poetic and deep." (Bill Mousoulis - Unknown Pleasures).

SECOND SPEAKER: Dr Steve Carey, DPhil (Oxon)

TITLE: ‘fading out… you can’t see her now’ (Finnegans Wake p226): Reimagining Lucia

Lucia Joyce has come to represent something, maybe many things, though quite what is hard to articulate, not least because her own voice is so notably lost to us. The themes of Bloomsday in Melbourne’s new play for 2024, Samuel Beckett and the Rainbow Girl, include memory, fame and the toll it takes, art as self-therapy, madness and perhaps above all the silencing of voices. Playwright Steve Carey talks about Joyce, his wife Nora and his children Lucia and Georgio; the young Samuel Beckett; how we turn facts into stories; and the experience of seeing your words transformed by a director, a cast and a creative team.

Bio Like Joyce a ‘collapsed Catholic’ and eldest the son of Irish parents, Steve wrote his doctorate on ‘Comedy in James Joyce’s Ulysses’ at Jesus College, Oxford under the supervision of Joyce’s biographer Richard Ellmann. He is Treasurer of Bloomsday in Melbourne and wrote the screenplay for Love’s Bitter Mystery (2021). He is a Clinical Hypnotherapist.


- This event is being held in the Rooftop Bar at The Arcadia Hotel. There are no lifts, and several flights of stairs.

- There are vegan and vegetarian options on the menu: you'll be ask for dietary requirements during the checkout process.

- The lunch will finish at 2.15pm, leaving you plenty of time to get 700m to the theatre either by walking, by public transport or by your own transport.

Powered by

Tickets for good, not greed Humanitix donates 100% of profits from booking fees to charity

Refund policy

Refunds are available up to 14 days prior to the event