Thursday, 24 May 2012

Open Notebook

1) Some questions I have been asking myself:

What are the gaps?
What is missing?
What could happen?
Who with?
Who else?

2) A potential name for a new piece:


(A word with a double meaning - To cling together/To cut asunder)

3) Another couple of pieces of knowledge to unravel thanks to James Peto's The Heart:

The Sufi link between the heart and the rose.
The idea that everyone's heart is different and that a surgeon has to get to know its character.
That hearts are capricious. That a surgeon must be humble.
That because there was a belief that the heart could be filled with feelings, it began to be viewed as a recepticle or jar.

Covet Me Care For Me close-up at Trove as part of Fierce Festival 2011 photo credit Katja Ogrin
4) An interest in Taxonomy/Taxonomies...

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Screen Talk

Multiple Screens used in my show Rat Rose Bird.  Photo Credit: Briony Campbell

A theatre student from Scarborough Campus Hull Uni asked me last week why I use screens in my work and I wrote a quick statement for her... It's rather dry, but thought I'd post it up here as may well be useful again sometime in the future. Who knows...Thanks Alice Wicker for asking me the question in the first place!

"I use screens in a variety of ways in my practice. Not all of works feature them but a sufficient number do to warrant identifying them as a medium that is an important part of my artistic palette. I use them as they allow me to draw attention to details that the audience might not otherwise look at, or be able to see, or otherwise have access to.

For example in Grafting and Budding they allow the audience another viewpoint of the live action (a different angle at a different scale). In this work the screen elevates the live action making it epic. The pictures I am making on the tabletop, with spices, apples, materials, become more important than watching me the performer 'performing' (or at least AS important). The screen also reminds the audience to look again. They are silmutaneously being shown alternative viewpoints of the same event. This is particularly important in Grafting and Budding as the work is all about what can be seen or read through looking at the surface of 'things' or people. If the audience can so easily be shown the same event from different angles what else could they be 'seeing'? Should they trust their eyes, or should they dig deeper?

Similarly in Give Me Land Lots of Land, the audience are able to choose to either watch the on-screen glamorous version of me, where I miraculously make objects appear from my mouth, or, the 'real' version lying on a dusty floor with the mechanics of the 'trick' exposed.

In Rat Rose Bird I use both live feed and pre-recorded footage. The live-feed is used to make a very small scene appear normal scale and the pre-recorded footage gives audience access to diary like clips that aren't made for the stage. These images are then relayed across multiple screens at the same time in order to draw attention to the movement of the clips. This again has the effect of elevating them/makes them epic/makes them something 'other'. The onscreen action almost becomes like choreographed dance scenes and the televisions take on a sculptural quality when viewed as objects. The pre-recorded clips hint at other histories and different narratives and remind the audience to remember.

The type of screen I use is also not an arbitrary decision - the television/the largescale cinema screen/the angle the live-feed is shot at and how these are presented in relation to my live body are always very carefully considered in relation to the idea I am trying to convey."


Thursday, 17 May 2012

For the love of objects...

My studio is nearly ship-shape and in order at last.  Only a few piles of thoughts, papers and folders to go through, and then I'm pretty much sorted in terms of everything finally having a 'place'. I guess then I'm onto making the NEXT PIECE (that had to be written in capitals in homage to some distant teenage self).  It's been an interesting process sorting through everything and one which would have been finished ages ago if I hadn't kept getting waylaid by random scribbles and threads of text.  Here's a nice thought I just came across in one of my notebooks: 

"If we give objects the friendship they should have, we do not open a wardrobe without a slight start.  Beneath its russet wood, a wardrobe is a very white almond. To open it, is to experience an event of whiteness." 
Bachelard's Poetics of Space pg87

Objects used in "Give Me Land Lots of Land..."
Its a strange fragment but I like it because if you know my work you'll know I DO love objects...and not just objects... furniture, things, 'stuff', the arrangement of them in the room, on the floor, against a wall... anywhere. I'm always experiencing 'a slight start' in relation to them...and hopefully enabling others to do so also. 

I am a resistant collector. That much I know. 

I must have copied the text down when I was thinking about objects and the work they 'do' in my pieces.  

BUT equally the idea of  'an event of whiteness' is also very useful...

'An event of whiteness'...  

I have a funny feeling I might come back to that...

Monday, 7 May 2012

Let's start with the heart

On the wall in my studio is a gilt-framed anatomical picture of the heart, red, blue, yellowing, clear. The pump. A muscle. Mapped out. Bloodless.  It used to hang in my bedroom. It's been out and about on tour. And now it's here on the wall in my studio in Deptford.  I'm wondering what it will see me doing in here... in this smallish space... mostly alone... day by day...
Perhaps stuff like:
Thinking, Making, Doing, Dreaming, Sleeping, Surfing, Sitting...
Writing. Drinking, Drawing, Cutting, Capturing, Carving, Printing.
Image credit: Nicolas Brodard
Things not yet thought of.
Making hands.
And boring stuff like reciepts. Phonecalls. Skype. Budgets. Lists.
Lots of lists. With things ticked off.
And Art.
Lets hope (!)
There at the centre.
The point of it all.
Some making, thinking and doing of


Okey cokey.
Deep breath.
Fingers crossed...