Griffith Film School alumnus Alex Podger is part of a team of award-winning Griffith creatives putting their stamp on this year’s Bleach* Festival.

Alex is a renowned designer and fire artist, who has wowed audiences at high-profile events like Dark Mofo and Woodford Folk Festival. He is responsible for site design across Bleach* Festival, including the blockbuster production of Verdi’s Requiem at the Home of the Arts (HOTA), featuring opera and orchestral students from the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University.

“Being involved in Bleach Festival is an incredible experience,” he said.

“I’m really excited about the Verdi Requiem – it’s a really contemporary reimagining of the work, and we’ve got some surprises up our sleeves.

“There will be a long, candlelit entrance and large-scale fire sculptures…it’s going to be very different than your usual concert-hall experience.”

Bleach* Festival Artistic Director and CEO Louise Bezzina is a Griffith creative arts alumnus, and according to Alex, there is a strong Griffith presence across the festival.

“It’s been interesting to see how many Griffith students and alumni are involved,” he said.

“The musicians from the Queensland Conservatorium are absolutely brilliant and half the crew I’m working with are Griffith graduates.

“I think Griffith’s partnership with Bleach* Festival is very positive and powerful – everyone is going to benefit and it’s a fantastic opportunity for students to be part of a large-scale project while they are studying.”

After graduating from a Bachelor of Film and Screen Media Production, Alex worked in film and advertising before making a name for himself with stunning site-specific works that feature his trademark fire sculptures.

“Film is really the art of making the impossible, possible,” he said.

“All of the skills I learned at film school, like problem-solving, collaboration and finding your own creative voice, I still use every day.”

Alex points to projects like the large-scale ‘Winter Fires’ installation at Dark Mofo and directing the spectacular closing ceremony at Woodford Folk Festival as career highlights since graduating from Griffith.

“What I love the most is the chance to make interesting and unique work all over the place,” he said.

“I get to work across different parts of the entertainment and art world, and mix it up – from film to festivals to putting on my own shows.”

Griffith University Deputy Vice Chancellor (Engagement), Professor Martin Betts, said the partnership with Bleach* Festival would provide a remarkable opportunity for creative arts students and alumni.

“Griffith has been recognised as the number one creative arts university in Australia and our partnership with Bleach* Festival gives our students and alumni absolute access and participation in a world-class event.”

Bleach* Festival has attracted more than 470,000 people since 2012. The program features work across all genres including dance, theatre, contemporary music, opera, installations, circus and major public events.

The full program is available on the Bleach* Festival website.

Tickets for Verdi’s Requiem are on sale at