As part of a 3 year international Residency, (that I am one of 8 Artists) I was in Auckland in April this year.
Each Artist was offered the opportunity to show a piece of their own work (that they had already made) at the Basement Theatre as part of an international co-lab Festival.
I thought a lot about which of my one on one pieces of work I would share but in the end decided against it for many reasons.
The main reason being that I have spent almost the last 10 years working in a very specific and solitary (or with one or possibly 2 other collaborators) way.
I’ve been studying through my practice the art-form of one on one and micro performance, constantly experimenting and developing my learning in this form for a long focused period of time, so, I was feeling like I wanted to try and open that practice out a little.
My one on one work also does not fit neatly into an hour long slot and usually run in half hour slots, I would have needed at least the whole day to make it worth it (for audience reach anyway). So I decided against showing my own work on that ocassion.
Instead, me and my colleague Abby decided to collaborate on her one on one piece she was interested in developing and that felt like a perfect thing to do. So refreshing and a luxury within this Resendency to have the opportunity and access to artists over a prolonged period not based in Scotland. The experience reminds me of the period (of a good ten years) in my career when I was younger and collaborating lots and putting out lots of new works. It’s healthy to rememeber all the work you have done in the past. It is an important part of the present…
It was really lovely for me and Abby to work and talk together from afar and then have some intensive rehearsal time when we met back up in Auckland.
I learned such a lot from the experience and found it super useful to be outside of the performance side of this form and to break it down and be an outside eye for Abby.
Companies talk a lot about the lack of funding in the Arts and how difficult it is; try being an independent Artist, it really can be crippling, swinging between both brutal and beautuful, that’s a tough place for Artists to be.
When Artists make work that is perhaps not the easiest to articulate (to those who have the dosh) via words and boxes, funding can be a bit shite and funding bodies can be painfully patronising with their feed back (or lack of) so the results are; I tend to do the lot when making my work these days, from performance to direction and scenography. The current Industry and funding systems in place certainly encourages Artists to have to be multi skilled.
The themes in Abby’s short work explored the ageing process, different cultures and female identity - spookily a lot of what I am thinking about after my year out of travelling with my family. Also being a mother who is getting older and who has been completely wrapped up in her young daughter. We’ve felt like one being for so long…
Shaker Quaker was around 6 or 7 minutes long and a very brave, beautiful, honest, intimate and humourous work.
I would love to dig deeper into it all with Abby.