A Match Struck Twice

Art direction, design and live performance | 2018


‘A Match Struck Twice’ is a live performance piece with accompanying artworks, posters, musical composition, a film and a printed book created through collaboration between art director/designer Tim Jetis, and composer Damian Barbeler.

It delves into the relationship between Justice and Protest and engaged 200 Year 9 students at Monte Sant’Angelo Mercy College for six months, resulting in a suite of artworks and visual material which cumulated in a live musical production in November 2018.


“From here the music is like an unstoppable force, driven by optimistic but determined youth: dragging us towards a more just future.” 


Artist Statement

Damian Barbeler | Monte Sant’ Angelo Resident Composer

In creating a music on the theme of justice I wanted to compose something which would cause my audience to reflect on injustice in their own lives. To this end the work evokes a range of complex emotions. It is sometimes cruel, disturbing and even violent in tone. At other times there is a sense of ‘rising up’, of rebellion and protest. And finally there is a kind of defiant celebration.

This complexity in emotion was helped by the contribution of yr 9 students from the Extension English class. They wrote the lyrics. There is strong emotion in their words. They are frustrated by the world we adults have created. They are very aware of the world’s injustices and feel a genuine desire for change. Their words “A match struck twice, she burns again” suggests someone who had been hurt one too many times and now is inspiring us to do more.

There is some specific word painting here. We hear a literal representations of ‘striking’ in the piano and the tambourine. Early in the piece these strikes give injustice the ascendency. This darker side of humanity is reinforced via visual images created specifically for this piece by Tim Jetis in a section I refer to as a “silent aria.”

In the third and final section, the tables are turned, the Taiko drums enter one by one, ushering in a sense of change. The lyrics tell us that “one becomes two, two becomes three” as the movement for change gathers momentum. From here the music is like an unstoppable force, driven by optimistic but determined youth: dragging us towards a more just future.

Let me say a brief thank you to all my colleagues who have helped realise this ambitious project. The students in this work are performing sometimes complex, professional standard music. it was only with the help of the enthusiastic and talented staff of the performing arts department at Monte Sant’ Angelo that this work could have be achieved. Thanks to all.

Tim Jetis | Art Director/Artist

Much of the creative work for A Match Struck Twice began with contributions from the yr9 english extension class (directed by Tim Curry). From very early on in the creative process composer Damian Barbeler and I visited the class and discussed various ideas around the theme of justice. We knew from the start that we would end up with a large amount of written content, certainly much more than Damian needed for musical lyrics. It was a nice opportunity then for me as an artist to take the other poetry and prose from this collaborative process as the inspiration for visual work. 

These images actually use the text itself as part of the visual content, and inspired other narrative responses in me. In the end we have a series of artworks which capture the essence of vulnerability, fragility and loss. With the student texts remaining an essential element that bring yet another opportunity for reflection on injustice in our lives. The paper is also specifically chosen for its delicate and fragile character, exposed, simply hanging on small clips. 

 As a modern twist to the musical concert platform experience these images also appear via animated projections during the middle section of Damian’s piece. The appearance of these additional words presented mutely, rather than sung reminds us of all those in the world who do not have a voice, and for whom the idea of justice is a distant, mysterious fantasy.



Commissioned by Monte Sant’Angelo Mercy College, we worked with 200 Year 9 students to develop and deliver a multi media project that investigated the topic of Justice and Protest. Ensuring a clear key alignment to the curriculum and creating a cohesive framework to investigate the themes provided, the students were asked to produce poetry on the set themes and a large collaborative art practice was born out of responding to the poetry produced by the students. After 6 months of working closely with the students and teachers at Monte, we created a suite of artworks and visual material which cumulated in a live musical production in November 2018.

All proceeds from ticket sales from the concert as well as any profits from the sale of Tim Jetis’ artworks went towards the school’s Timor Leste Project



For Damian: “You worked tirelessly at every step – respecting (and understanding) our girls’ abilities yet stretching them, coming at this project with relentless positivity. Thank you for SO much time, morning rehearsals, English lessons, liaising with Tim Jetis (Graphic artist). You have been incredibly generous with your time and talents. We’ve received so much feedback; people just loved the piece.”  

For Tim: “Such beautiful artworks. Thank you for your skills, work with students, the beautiful programme and generous offer to donate the proceeds of your artworks to Project Timor.”

For the project: “Congratulations to all involved in this music extravaganza, ‘A Match Struck Twice’ a very powerful and moving performance!”