SUMMER 23/24

GLITTA SUPERNOVA: The Mother of the Haus


Creative director and co-founder Glitta Supernova is a recognised and award-winning producer, performance artist and changemaker. She is one of the driving forces behind this brilliant organisation, propelled by a deep desire to create a space for self-expression, acceptance and fun. We chat to the community maker and culture shaker about her dazzling life thus far.

When Glitta Supernova looks at her baby photos, she giggles at the naked child with a bell around her neck. ‘My parents were among the original long-haired hippies who migrated to the Northern Rivers of NSW back in the 1970s.’ She lived with her parents in a tent in Lennox Head, a community of around 400.

Glitta says this ‘free-range’ childhood gave her a deep connection to the land and animals, and instilled spirit and intuition that she carries to this day. ‘My parents tell me I wore the bell so they didn’t lose me in the bush,’ she says fondly.

In primary school she would regularly hold discos and shows in the garage, rounding up the local kids to teach them dance routines to ABBA or casting them in productions. But at 17, she realised there was nothing on offer creatively for her in the area, so she packed her bags and headed for Sydney. ‘The creativity and fringe culture in the city was exciting – it was alive and exploding with individualism, innovation, experimentation. I felt immediately that I had found my home and my people.’

Changing her name to Glitta Supernova (‘It sounds very cosmic, but the universe gave it to me,’ she says), the self-confessed shy and awkward child found her voice and confidence on the stage. She started performing in clubs with a group of friends, gaining connections, experience and insights and moved on to become co-founder of the first burlesque club in Australia, Gurlesque.

‘It was the ’90s, and there were limited opportunities as female performers.’ Burlesque – a combination of a variety show and parody, typically including striptease, did not yet exist as an entertainment option in Australia. Gurlesque was unique in that it was created as a safe space for women by women, to create and perform, explore and empower. It was about acceptance for all bodies, ages, abilities, sizes, sexualities and gender identities. At its peak, Gurlesque was running acclaimed shows in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide and was eventually picked up by the mainstream and was Green Room-nominated (which recognises outstanding achievements in theatre production).

Gurlesque ran for 11 years and from there Glitta created and produced multiple works across theatres and Australian festivals. She moved on to co-write and perform in two award-winning one-woman shows around Australia and internationally from the Adelaide Fringe Festival to Perth’s Fringe World, and in the renowned Spiegeltents and theatres across New Zealand and the UK.

Her art is always interconnected with universal themes from oppression to stereotypes, misogyny to patriarchy, always empowered by her own experiences of being ‘othered’. As a young woman who loved colour and sparkle, she was often called a ‘freak’, and today reflects as an LGBTQIA ‘elder’ on ‘the ongoing boxes we still squeeze women into as society renders us past our use-by date at a certain age’. She says she will always recognise diversity as a natural way to keep humanity balanced and embrace her identities. ‘My initial success felt like permission to continue speaking out,’ she says.

A decade ago, as Glitta was bobbing in the Mediterranean Sea while on holiday with her partner, came the lightbulb moment. ‘Why do we have to wait until we retire to live the life we want?’ They came back home to living in inner-Sydney but almost immediately chose to move away from the bustle of city life. They fell in love with the beach lifestyle, bush and quirky fibro houses of Umina Beach and haven’t looked back.

Realising there was a gap in contemporary arts and culture on the Coast, Glitta and Juan Iocco co-founded the Naughty Noodle Fun Haus, an intentionally built arts and culture organisation. Producing theatre, live music, art exhibitions, film nights, dance parties, workshops, youth activations and the annual Coastal Twist Festival. Naughty Noodle unites a vast community of creatives, business expertise and audience. Mixing all walks of life, it’s a place to engage, enjoy, learn and evolve together, with open minds and hearts, leading positive change in the region.

Nominated as a finalist for the 2020 Women of the Year Community Hero Award, Glitta said it gave expanded reach to the dialogue she has been speaking for 20 years. ‘To receive acknowledgement for your life’s work rarely happens, so this was overwhelming and satisfying all at once.’

She affirms that creativity is the greatest gift in her life. ‘I know for sure that creativity is power. It has the power to change your mindset and your life, your family, your town, the culture; each one of us has the power to bring about positive change. Creativity is my voice for sharing ideas, projecting experiences, sharing dreams and just having fun.’

When asked what her biggest achievement is, she ponders how we measure success. ‘It sounds corny but being yourself is the greatest achievement. Some of us have to fight harder for it than others. I have managed to find genuine self-love, a soul mate, lifelong friendships.’ She jokes that she has even grown something in her garden that the possums don’t eat. ‘I am not done yet. Let’s see what will unfold?’

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