It’s been a busy and exciting month for me within my residency at the museum, full of threads of inspiration and opportunities to explore areas of knowledge that I previously knew little about.
I have been developing a jam-packed plan of activities and performances that I intend to deliver over the course of my residency, as well as identifying the different visitor/participant groups that I would like to engage with for particular elements. I have also been sewing seeds for potential collaborations with other artists and organisations that will play a major part in the development of my work and practice over the next year.
As I am undertaking more research into the area of exploration, particularly focused within the Enlightenment era and Cook’s famous voyages, I am discovering that I am drawn to particular themes and narratives that creatively inspire me and are offering strong departure points for developing dance work.
One aspect I am particularly preoccupied with at the moment is the notion of encounters, both those that took place between Cook and the indigenous peoples of the Pacific and New World during the voyages, but also, encounters as a broader consequence of exploration of any kind. This interest has inspired the first piece I am choreographing as part of my residency called There are only encounters, which will be a promenade piece, performed by myself and dancer Ingrid Hatleskog on Sunday 12th July 2015 at The Queen’s House, where the Art & Science of Exploration exhibition is being displayed and certainly worth a visit. The piece will explore the personal and physical effect of encounters and consider how this relates to the process of representation and misrepresentation of either party, using the beautiful 17th Century house as a maze of meeting points.
I have been working weekly with the brilliant Tidemill Cultural Explorers, in sessions where we have been developing ideas and creative responses to the themes of Traveller’s Tails through dance, art, film and discussion. In collaboration with the Cultural Explorers I am trailing dance workshop ideas for my residency and unpicking some of my exploration related interests such as: how does the body explore landscapes, the unknown and documentation through different mediums. I am constantly impressed by the group’s imaginative ideas and creative responses to the tasks we are investigating. A highlight for me so far has been the dance landscape drawings the students created, by one person recording the movement phrase of another through a pastel drawing, they all produced some really beautiful and unique pieces of art.
Cultural Explorer’s movement landscape pastel drawings
This week I will be having my first session with the Explorer Family group, which I am very much looking forward to. I will be working with the group monthly to design and develop new family workshops for the public, investigate collections and experiment with hands-on family activities. Our first session will be a voyage in search of unknown places and an introduction to the Kangaroo and Dingo.