Friday, May 13th, 2016

Final Blog Post- Faye Brammah

“Site- specific performance may appropriate a pre-existing spatial configuration, annexing the architectural features of site to distribute its audience – staircases, balconies or the terraces of a sales ring, providing prospects unfamiliar or impossible to conspire in the auditorium.” (Pearson, 2010, 176)

“The Third Beam” is a site specific piece and installation and performance by three young women which took place at Lincoln Drill Hall. The Drill Hall was first opened to Monday, May the 26th 1890. The piece took place Wednesday 4th May 2016 beginning the installation at 12 which went on for five hours. Our performance was five hours long. Two hours were just being specific installation times, another three beginning at 14:00pm with the installation still being run behind the performance. It only involved 8 separate, one- to- one performances. The pilgrimage, installation and performance gives the public a brief encounter with the death of a 17 year old school girl during in her gym class. Her name was Rosamond Acworth. We chose to look at her death as it was unusual occurrence.

Rosamund

Rosamond

Our piece was held in the main auditorium, under the third beam where Rosalyn “did not fall” to her death. “Whilst the auditorium often locates performance ‘over there’, necessitating projection and a particular economy of vocal and physical rhetoric, site- specific performance many be ‘just here’, ‘up close’.” (Pearson, 2010, 176). The installations and pieces were placed approximately where we believe her death took place. From a visual of the pilgrimage we made from Lincoln Christ Hospital School, along with a 1900’s gym class being played behind the installation, you can see Rosamond’s ‘possible’ final journey from her school to the Drill Hall. We do not know if this is the actual route she took, but we took it upon ourselves to recreate her final journey.  Our video showed us, walking, with a length of rope, down from the school and in to the Drill Hall. This ran for a few minutes and was developed whilst our performance took place.

Under the third beam and the spot.

From the first instance, when we delved in to the history of the place I looked for anything dark and slightly mysterious, but coming across a young girls death in the building came as quite a surprise to me. The location itself being a drill hall you’ll have expect the obvious, soldiers training and war time memories but not that it would have been used as a hospital, a saw mill, a gentleman’s club, a gymnasium, a place to hold to ballot papers for elections, or even a concert and performance venue.

Site specific was an extremely difficult module for me. At first when I entered the class I had no idea what it was about or what to expect. I didn’t know it was live art, installations, the history of a building, performances etc. Site has helped developed my outlook on ‘performing’ as a whole as it’s not just learning by script and developing character. It is fully comprehending and understanding the area’s history and how to re-enact a short period of a realpersons life.

The Process

“Our chief anxiety here might be of disorder, for no one seems to be in control” (125, Pearson)
Our process began when we began to look at the differing histories of the Drill Halls use. With so many to choose from it was always going to be a lengthy process. Once we had discovered that a young girl had died there, we knew we wanted to do something for her memory.  We didn’t know what we we’re going to focus on but when we discovered there were different articles from old newspapers relating to her passing. We began to gather as much information as possible from divers source material concerning the actualities as to what had happened to Rosamond and began to look in to her cause of death. Finding out this information we discovered that she had died taking part in a gym class she didn’t normally attend.

Our trip to the local archives greatly assisted us in discovering the newspaper article which encapsulated the facts. We took a great deal from this. We originally decided to have the newspaper article being read over headphones for members of the public to listen to as they watched some video footage about Rosamond but that was later altered. This was changed as we didn’t have the time, nor the equipment to carry this on to its full potential. Changing this helped us figure out our idea for a performance piece and the installation.

Our process soon changed in to an installation and performance when we saw and chose the space we wanted to work in. We wanted to utilise the rope in our work, as it’s what she slid down during her cardiac arrest which lead to her death. We wanted to involve the everyday things Rosamond loved in our piece. That she was a librarian influenced our piece greatly. From this information you can begin to build a profile of a person, which we did. We decided to look at filling the room with as many books as possible. We came to the conclusion that we should use a book for every year of her life, leading to us using 17 books to commemorate her.

We decided to work out just where Rosamond “did not fall”. We found a square section under the third beam where it had been explained in the newspaper article, that she was 3ft up the rope before descending. The words “she did not fall” kept becoming prominent to us within the article as they we’re repeated.

We had to change multiple bits of our piece as they weren’t as fitting for as we thought they would have been. We didn’t want to make anything seem in any form offensive as we were working with death, which is an emotive subject and people can become easily offended or emotional upset by the information shared. Many of the public had no prior knowledge of Rosamond and there are no memorials to her in Lincoln, other than a stained glass window at the Cathedral, a prayer desk and a book case in her old school, Lincoln Christ Hospital School.

Stained window     

There were many different challenges we faced in site. One being the performance side. We couldn’t work out a way to have a performance with the installation. The performance side of the piece came much later in the process. We then began encountered problems in accessing information. Most people didn’t know anything about Rosamond until we began asking questions and gathering our information. The only source we gained information from we’re the archives, which gave us some history and clarity, such as the newspaper article, which helped our performance greatly, as it was a big part of our installation. The information from it was used to inform the audience, with correct facts about Rosamond. We originally had four members of our group, which quickly became three as a member wanted to focus on another project within the Drill Hall.

Our ideas which worked well were our installation, performance and pilgrimage. Our installation piece wasn’t originally a component part out our process as we were going to create a video of a pilgrimage, keep that on loop and just let the audience watch that whilst we read aloud  the newspaper article. Changing that idea we decided to incorporate the 17 books. We decided to remove the pages from the books and write on them. What we would write would come later, but this would add to our secondary school girl aesthetic. For our performance, to have a time slot sheet, so members got a complete 1- to- 1 experience. Meaning they would get a completely new feel and almost be enveloped in a segment of Rosamond’s life. “What I find most exciting about One to One performance is the opportunity it affords the spectator to immerse themselves in the performance framework set out by the practitioner. This can be a seductive / scary / liberating / boring / intimate prospect and an even more intensive experience.” (Zerihan, 2007) The process would involve members of the public being brought in by one of us, having them having follow instructions including, closing their eyes – almost like a trust exercise. They would then be asked to kneel, whilst still having their eyes closed, and then asked to lay on their backs for the full experience of being.  Meanwhile the spot light beamed down upon them.  After they had heard Rosamond’s story, they were then asked to open their eyes and would be laid directly under the rope and the spot where “she did not fall”. This would be a personal experience for some participants. After they had been asked to opened their eyes and looked at the rope, they we’re then asked to stand and watch our pilgrimage, which would have been – perhaps – the last route Rosamond ever took from her school. Since we didn’t know the exact route we began at the school, walking down Wragby Road, then Lindum Road finally joining Broadgate to make our way to the Drill Hall. Our pilgrimage from her school became our pre and post-performance, followed by our installation and 1-to – 1. We walked from the Drill Hall back to the school to lay the lilies from our performance at her school gate. We also left a memorial piece at the Drill Hall, with 3 pages, 1 that each of us had written on during the performance and a photo of Rosamond, to enable more people to have an awareness of her.

Trial one of the book pages.

Trial one of the book pages.

We had a lot of work we had to scrap within the piece. We we’re originally going to use headphones and a sounds scape to accompany our video. We ran our piece with both and concluded that we enjoyed the silence best with the piece as it gave a more personal and daunting experience instead of having sound which can make you less in touch with your other senses. Another piece we changed was where we we’re going to invite members of the audience to follow us up to the school and experience the walk. This was changed due to it being personal to us. Another piece of work that was changed but was left in the piece was the audience laying lilies within the spot light. These we’re intended to be a gift for Rosamond as a thank you from us for her story. We moved these to the school gates as we didn’t want audience members to end up having to lay within the lilies. We thought it would be a nicer gesture for Rosamond for us to take them to her school so she could ‘see’ that we and other people are still thinking about her all these years later.

Our inspirations were taken quite quickly after watching, ‘The Many Headed Monsters ‘slides and presentations. “The Many Headed Monster is an original and inventive resource for anyone interested in contemporary performance practices and their relationships with audiences.” (Sofaer, 2010)
During The Many Headed Monster video clips and presentations we came across William L. Pope. William L. Pope does many visual and public performances in the name of art. He is best known for a pilgrimage he did called “The Great White Way.”  His crawl was 22 miles long and went on for 5 years. He was equipped with a skateboard and a superman costume. This piece influences used a lot for our pre and post- performance. It gave us a clear indication that we wanted to do a pilgrimage but not in such severe circumstances.
Another site performer who influenced us a lot, was our very own, Michael Pinchbeck. His piece “The Long and Winding Road” influenced our use of speech and text in the sense of everything was complete truth. We would have a direct conversation with a singular audience member but not make much eye contact with them as they were told to follow our instructions and keep their eyes closed for a lot of it. “In 2004, Michael embarked on a five- year live art project. He packed a car with the belonging of his brother and drove to Liverpool where he died in an accident in 1988.” (Pinchbeck, 2009)

Reflection

Pages at 17:00.

Pages at 17:00.

We had 8 members of the public to sign up to participate with our performance piece about Rosamond, but freely let members of the public walk through the auditorium so they could see what was happening during our performance if they didn’t have the chance to sign up. A clear estimation of the audience members walking through and around throughout the day would be about 40 members of the public. The estimation made, I would say all of them learnt new information about the Drill Hall and the incidents that had taken place there.
Our group got a lot of praise from the audience. Their involvement was all much appreciated even with the problems we encountered with one woman not being able to participate in the laying on the floor part. She could not do this due to disability, but we worked around it and she was extremely thankful to us for involving her and making Rosamond’s life known in hers. Every reaction was different, the first audience member seemed quite shocked about the information we were telling him but the rest of the audience seemed intrigued and thankful that we had made her life known.
The final performance for me as an individual did not trigger new ideas. I thought our performance was well rehearsed and worked incredibly well with the installations. Our performance worked particularly well because it gave Rosamond a new lease of life. More people have learnt about her life, even though it was short. The public has learnt how clever Rosamond was as a teen and how her death has affected our three lives differently. Our performance worked well because it shared information and history about the Drill Hall that members of the public would never have known.
Our final performance could have been improved by having more performance time and less installation time, so more members of the audience could have witnessed what happened to Rosamond. We could have shared her experience with many other people. If we could do our performance again I would suggest improving it by using the sound scape and keeping it fully as an installation and use our recorded voices to read the newspaper article.

Finally my engagement with Site Specific theory and practice has completely changed my understanding of where you can perform. As we we’re supposed to be looking at anon- traditional venue we did find this difficult as we we’re actually in the auditorium area. We also learnt how to use the venue differently though. We used it differently as instead of performing like you would on a stage in an auditorium space we decided to use all the space we could. The floor was our stage. Our piece was specifically focused on making the area look as less of an auditorium space as possible.

Our site specific piece, placed in an auditorium, made in to a-non theatrical space signifying a young girl’s death.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9P5i2rGZqI8- Pre Performance
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7p3yRC6vcQ- Post Performance

 

Performance Day.

Performance Day.

site3

Bibliography

Pearson, M. (2010) Site Specific Performance. London: Palgrave Macmillian

Pinchbeck, M (2009) The Long and Winding Road. Available from: http://michaelpinchbeck.co.uk/long-winding-road/ [assessed May 4th 2016]

Sofaer, J. (2010) Live Art Development Agency. The Many Headed Monster. Avaliable from: http://www.thisisliveart.co.uk/publishing/access-all-areas-is-a-combination-of-artists-writings-creative-dialogues-cr [accessed May 6th 2016]

Zerihan, R. (2016) Live Art Development Agency. Available from : https://blackboard.lincoln.ac.uk/bbcswebdav/pid-1155911-dt-content-rid-2084614_2/courses/DRA2035M-1516/DRA2035M-1516_ImportedContent_20150807123831/DRA2035M-1415_ImportedContent_20141103010200/One-to-one%20Performance.pdf

Friday, May 13th, 2016

Bread and Cheese Hall.

Site Specific Performance  final Blog post

Zara Cain

 

The history of our piece

 In the 1850’s there was a famous factory called the Ruston’s factory which is now known as Siemens. This organization was run by an industrial manufacturer called Joseph Ruston. The company was known for the manufacture of narrow and standard gauge, locomotives and steam shovels. They became Ruston Practor and Company in 1857 when Joseph Ruston joined them. From 1866 they built a number of six coupled tank locomotives one of which was sent to the Paris exhibition in 1867.

Whilst the Ruston’s factory was making a profit in 1890 Joseph Ruston decided to build the Lincoln Drill Hall. £10.000 was spent to build the hall, primarily for use by the military and the police but also to ensure that it was accessible to Ruston’s employees and the general public.

The factory workers at the Ruston’s factory wanted a pay rise whilst the Drill Hall was being built, but Ruston refused this stating “Don’t deprive me of my bread and cheese.” From then on the Drill hall to the workers was known mockingly as the “Bread and Cheese Hall”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rustons

Rustons Factory from Riverside Path at al (2014)

Joseph Ruston

Joseph Ruston (1835-19897) from Graces guide to industrialisation at al (2016)

 

Our influences 

Site Specific performance focuses primarily on place and the history behind that place, but there are many fragments to Site Specific performance. Mike Pearson in his article Performance and Archaeology displays that “Performance and archaeology favour body, object, place, activity and context” (Pearson, 2001). With our piece we wanted to create theatre that uses senses, objects and the body; using these will assist in building the narrative.

From the beginning our group was interested in using senses. Janet Cardiff’s piece ‘The forty part motet’ creates a sound-scape using speakers.

Forty separately recorded voices are played back through forty speakers strategically placed throughout the space. The sounds that the audience can here are from a 40-part choral performance of English composer Thomas Tallis’s 16th century composition sung by the Salisbury Cathedral Choir.

From the picture below one can note that this creates an emotional evocative sound sculpture that would feel intimate even with in a public space. These emotions are felt through the sense of hearing. We decided to use some of Janet Cardiff’s ideas of senses in our piece. 40 part motet

40 part motet from Julia Fryett at al (2013)

 

We were also influenced by Bobby Baker with her use of natural resources in her piece ‘Mad gyms and kitchens’. This piece demonstrates how Bobby Baker achieves the ultimate ‘well-being factor’. Throughout the piece Bobby will use vegetables and different types of foods and throw them at walls letting all of her anger out.

On researching this it was interesting to see how the actor can use food in different ways. The use of food can enhance a piece by picking up on the audiences senses; by doing this the audience can feel certain emotions for the piece by relating the senses to the memories they have of the food, to the piece of theatre they are watching, listening and smelling. Lynne Gardner from the Guardian states ‘Like all of Bakers work you leave feeling better than when you came in. It’s not a show but a priceless gift wrapped in theatrical box of tricks’ (Guardian, 2004)

Bobby baker mad gyms

Mad gyms and kitchens from Daily life ltd at al (2011)

 

Our main stimulus evolved from the art sculpture ‘Bread’ which was produced by the contemporary artist Anthony Gormley. In 1980 Anthony Gormley produced a piece of art that used bread and his body as his main material.

He sourced 8,000 loafs of bread and stored them round his four floored London home in Peckham. He worked alongside the Artist Vicken Parsons and she talks about her time spent with Anthony on this project. “Once the bread was dry (and some of it mouldy), we waxed it. We got huge slabs of wax that we smashed into pieces and melted on a camping stove. Each piece was dipped and squashed between boards; the wax couldn’t be too hot or it would turn in to toast. I didn’t have any part in the eating. That was Anthony’s job. I drew around Anthony, then he drew within that to get the 3D form, and we worked from this as we built the piece.” (Guardian, 2012)

Anthoney Gormley Bread

Bread Works, 1979-1982 from Anthony Gormley at al (2012)

 

Anthony Gormley in his YouTube channel ‘Taste’ states ‘that bread seems to express something about our relationship with the material world; it is the industrialization of the very stuff of life, the thing on which we depend.’ (Gormley, 2015) It was interesting listening to Gormley talk about bread as a material, a product and not a food. I was inspired by his idea of looking into bread and its industrialization. It makes me want to explore the juxtaposition between nature (flour, food, water and yeast) and its industrialization (factory, bleach, process) and the journey between them.

(Tate, 2015)

 

Our process

The Handbook on drifting (Extracts) which was given to us by Michele at the beginning of this course was of great assistance. One of the points that I felt was most beneficial was “avoid ending your ‘drifts’ in the pub or sinking slowly back into the everyday.” (Extracts, 2006) Site specific performance I believe is at its best when it explores and discovers stories that are unknown to the general public. Whilst drifting throughout the Drill Hall and around the streets of Lincoln I tried my best to go to areas that I had never visited before, doing this I noticed small things that usually I would not. ‘Going back to the everyday’ for me would be putting my earphones on and walking around not noticing the people, their interactions, the buildings, the weather or the world around me. It is important that whilst drifting you open up your mind to new experiences and ideas and this for me was a positive way to start sourcing ideas.

At the beginning of our process our group sourced a bird’s eye planned view of the Drill Hall. Our main aim was to build a three dimensional version of the Drill Hall, but through practice with other resources such as paper and blocks we found this unsuccessful. Looking at the floor plan of the Drill Hall we came to a decision that not only would it be easier building it in this way but we could also use the bread in an interesting way. Using whole pieces would be difficult so we experimented by using paper.

In the example bellow we cut up the paper into small rectangles and we created a miniature version of the Drill Hall. By actually physically getting up and creating it we found it easier to recognize what worked and what did not work. We knew that cutting the bread up had a positive effect on our piece and we realized that the bread could represent bread soldiers that we have with a dippy egg. Knowing that the Drill Hall used to be a training unit for soldiers in World War 1, it seemed only right to incorporate this into our work.

IMG_3842

Birds eye plan, Drill Hall from Zara, Chloe and Alice at al (2016)

 

4,000 men served at the Lincoln Unit in World War 1 we knew that we would have to create 4,000 bread soldiers. We calculated that we would need to collect 57 loafs of bread to create this piece and on top of that sourcing the cheese and flour to go with it.

James R. Hamilton in his book the Art of Theatre states that “If theatrical performances are to be regarded as the products of a practice of art making, performances must be observable, appreciable and evaluable as achievements.” (Hamilton, J.R. 2007) Understanding and using Hamilton’s theory we decided to create a video that would explain what our piece was focusing on. Hopefully the audience will then observe this and it will highlight the achievements we have made.

The short film shows images and videos of the process of bread making. Our group visited the windmill and used these images in our overall performance. Hamilton states that “An interest in achievements in works of art involves an interest in details, an interest in answering questions, why this detail is present and not that one and what this detail can tell us about the whole work.” (Hamilton, J.R. 2007) After reading this article I began to understand how important detail is in site specific and in performance in general. To make the piece successful as a performance we would need to make the story clear and detailed.

We recorded the videos and images on a sunny, bright, and still day. We understand that weather can change the perceptions of a performance instantly, our group believe that our piece is happy and uplifting and so doing it on a wet and windy day would have caused a mismatch in the piece that may have led to some confusion for the audience. We focused on details when filming our video, taking into account the angles we filmed at. When filming the windmill I recorded it slowly showing all of its angles; I felt that this created a calm and relaxed atmosphere and it starts to tell the story and represents the journey of bread.

(VIDOOO15, 2016)

 

We also recorded a short video of the kneading of bread as this was important as part of breads journey and also the journey of our performance. We used a wooden chopping board as opposed to a modern plastic one as we wanted to express the era of the late 1800’s. When filming we needed to make sure that all of the resources and props were ones that would have been used at the time, otherwise an inaccurate prop would distracted from the meaning of the piece. The final video will be playing throughout our performance on a loop; this video will be playing whilst we create the miniature version of the Drill Hall.

(Needing of Dough University Project, 2016)

 

The piece will be performed in the ‘Phill Cosker Sweet.’ We chose this room as it had bunting in it which suggested a ‘Great British bake off vibe’ which in a sense provided a link between the current and the historic. Given that the main idea in our piece is bread making, we feel that the link between the bread and the bunting suggests a subtle/unconscious connection in the audience that will be both uplifting and inspiring.

When we pitched our ideas to Conon he suggested that our ideas were too literal and so we looked to change some aspects of the piece. Initially, I found Conran’s critique difficult to deal with. However, in performance, it is important to accept that initial ideas need to change and develop and I have tried to recognize that writing, planning and rehearsing site specific performance is an ongoing process and one should not become too attached to an idea early on in this process.

When we initially explained our ideas to Conon he was positive about the idea of expressing the industrialization of bread, cheese and flour and how we could portray this in our piece in a unique and artistic way. Performance and Place by Lesly Hill and Helen Paris introduces the idea that ‘Live art is one of the most vibrant and influential of creative approaches in the United Kingdom: A research engine driven by artists who are working forms, contexts and spaces to open up new artist models, new languages for the reputation of ideas, new ways of activating audiences and new strategies.” (Hill, Paris, 2006) In a sense live art needs to be vibrant to be meaningful to the audience and by using the space around us effectively we hope to make the piece less literal and more creative.

Our group will incorporate Janet Cardiff’s influence of the ’forty part motet’ which I explained in more detail in my influences. We will place three separate speakers in each corner of the room and through the speakers we will play factory noises, to create “an installation of industrialization”. Whilst the sounds are being played the actors will be placed in the middle of the room with a station of bread, cheese or flour; we will be wearing black dresses, hair nets and aprons and we will be moving our materials from one side of to the other for one hour.

(Factory Noise, 2016)

 

There will be a table placed in front of the three stations; the table will hold a number of different kitchen utensils such as an egg timer, cheese grater, scales and foods such as eggs. In the middle of the table there will be a red stiletto which we will incorporate as the room where we will be performing used to be a room for dance classes and on the door as you walk in there is a sign that states “No stilettos shoes in this room.” This will create an interesting juxtaposition between industrial production and leisure for the audience.

IMG_4105                                            IMG_4366

No Stiletto Shoes in this Room from Zara, Chloe, Alice at al (2016)                 IMG_4366.JPG from Michael Pinchbeck at al (2016)

 

During the performance, each actor will go up to the table and incorporate a kitchen utensil into our piece. For example I may decide to pick up the scales and weigh the bread before I cut it and place it into a pile. This is a symbolic representation of the industrialization of bread, showing how bleach is added to the bread to turn it white and questioning other production techniques in the making of bread that we may not know about. 

IMG_4367

IMG_4367.JPG from Michael Pinchbeck at al (2016)

 

In the last hour we want to create chaos and for the audience to feel the intensity in the room. In this hour we will use and take anything that we want to and add it to our materials. We are also allowed to use each other’s materials. In this hour we experiment and create different textures with the foods and use them on parts of our bodies. For example, I mixed bread, cheese and water and turned it into a thick paste and used it on my face like a beauty cream. In this hour we use our bodies as the materials as well, making footprints with the flour and so forth.

In the “chaos hour” we want to suggest the suppressed anarchy (and anomie) that can lie beneath the surface of regimented industrialization and the workers whose lives were (and are) governed by clocking on and clocking off.

IMG_4375                            IMG_4164

IMG_4375.JPG from Michael Pinchbeck at al (2016)                           IMG_4764.JPG from Zara Cain at al (2016)

 

Evaluation

The main aim of our piece was to display and express the industrialisation of the basic staple of our diet, bread; not only to show how it is made, but also to understand who makes it. Because Site Specific is a performance specific to the site it was vital to make the link between the sites history and our performance. We did this by incorporating written text into the performance which was accessible to the audience as they came through the door. The text gave a brief history behind the piece and what we were attempting to achieve by the performance.

When we spoke to the audience after the performance, they gave positive feedback about this aspect advising us that it had increased their understanding of the performance and the history that lay behind it.

I believe that it would have been helpful for the group to practice with our materials more, but this proved difficult due to the cost of them. We could have used other dummy materials and practised for the full 3 hours rather than the 30 minutes we originally did when rehearsing.

A major issue that we faced was in the performance and structure of the last ‘chaos hour’. In rehearsals we had only performed it for approximately ten minutes and so we had little understanding as to how much physical and mental energy this scene would need from each of us.

In the performance I feel that we started the “chaos hour” too early which meant that after 20 minutes all of our extra props such as the eggs, water and sugar had been used up and I feel that we then struggled as to how to take the performance to the next level and so the end of the performance was something of an anti-climax.

If I was to perform this site specific performance again I would make sure that we rehearsed exactly as we intended to perform in the “chaos hour” to ensure that even though it was “chaos” it was structured chaos which would have led to the audience experiencing a more fulfilling finale.

 

Bibliography 

 

Books 

1. Hamliton, J.R (2007) Art of Theatre. Landscape and environment: Arts and Humanities Research Council.

2. Paris, H. Hill, P. (2006) Performance and place. London: January 1.

 

Audio recordings 

1. Factory Noise. ( 2016) The factory noise [Audio Recording] Youtube.

 

Video 

1. Needing of Dough University Project from Zara, Chloe and Alice at al (2016) Available from

2. VIDOOO15 from Zara, Chloe and Alice at al (2016) Available from

3. Tate (2015) Anthoney Gormley Breaking Bread. 11 October. London. Available from

 

Newspaper articles 

1. Gardner, L. (2004) Bobby Baker Mad Gyms and Kitchens. The Guardian, 2 March 2004.

2. Parsons, V. (2012) Anthony Gormley Baking Bread. The Guardian, 3 May 2013

 

Journal articles 

1. Pearson, M. (2001) Performance and Archaeology. Performance in Archaeology, 55-58. 

 

 

Photographs 

1. Joseph Ruston (1835-19897) from Graces guide to industrialisation at al (2016)

2. Rustons Factory from Riverside Path at al (2014)

3. 40 part motet from Julia Fryett at al (2013)

4. Mad gyms and kitchens from Daily life ltd at al (2011)

5. Bread Works, 1979-1982 from Anthony Gormley at al (2012)

6. Birds eye plan, Drill Hall from Zara, Chloe and Alice at al (2016)

7. No Stiletto Shoes in this Room from Zara, Chloe, Alice at al (2016)

8.  IMG_4366.JPG from Michael Pinchbeck at al (2016)

9. IMG_4367.JPG from Michael Pinchbeck at al (2016)

10. IMG_4375.JPG from Michael Pinchbeck at al (2016)

11. IMG_4764.JPG from Zara Cain at al (2016)

 

 

 

Friday, May 13th, 2016

“To them, to us, to you. to the glorious dead. Cheers.” Final blog post- Jordan Shiel

Final Blog Post

29

Framing statement

A drop. A glass. A bottle. “Communion” was a site-specific performance that took place on 4th May 2016 in the “Room Upstairs” at the Lincoln Drill Hall. The piece aimed to connect the audience’s affiliations with drinking and wine to the historical context of the space. Our site was once used as a gentlemen’s club during the Second World War and its connections with post-traumatic stress, alcohol and stainedwallremembrance heavily influenced our piece. The performance consisted of a single audience member being led by the hand into a lift, the audience member was then blindfold and taken up to the room upstairs. The guide would then take the audience into our main installation and the blindfold was removed; the room itself contained a long table with two chairs at its heads; two rows of wine bottles ran parallel to the table and out past it into the second section of the room. I sat at one end of the table and beckoned an audience member to sit and talk with me for a while. We discussed the significance that wine has in their (the audience members) life and its relationship to the history of the space. After a toast the guide led the audience member into the second half of the room in which the second half of our performance began. Another performer began to submerge his hands in dirt from the common; into the dirt he would slowly add crushed grapes and wine until his hands became covered in mud. The performer would then move to the room’s toilet and the guide would suggest that the audience member assist the performer. Once inside the toilet the door would be locked and the performer would instruct the audience member to turn on the taps and wash the dirt of his hands; after these actions were complete the performer would hand over a single chocolate coin and the audience member would be led out by the guide. This performance lasted on average ten minutes and took place from 12:15AM to 5PM as more and more wine was consumed and the concoction of wine and mud became slowly more saturated and disgusting. Our piece aimed to challenge the perceptions of a conventional theatre space. We took the themes of an audience and the consistency of theatre and subverted them; isolating a single audience member within a performance that would feel like a personal message to them. Throughout the performance and creative process we aimed to make the audience forget that our site was a conventional theatre space; this led to a heavy focus on the transformative power of art and how a knowledge of context can change perspectives completely, whilst still utilizing some elements of the rooms current use such as the lighting rig and stage flats to connect the Rooms present state with its past. The piece drew heavy influence from The Last Supper by The Reckless Sleepers, Carl Avery’s Teaching performance studies: 25 instructions for performance in cities as well as Peter Brookes The empty space

room upstairs

The room upstairs in use today http://efdss-thefullenglish.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/lincoln-drill-hall-hosts-first-folk.html

 

 

 

Analysis of Process

 

From the very first session, the relationship between site specific and space has heavily influenced our devising process; arguably it was the location of the first seminar that sparked this fascination. Studying in an auditorium immediately made us question the contrasts between theatre and performance, we reworked the stage, seating and wings into areas of unconventional performance making our work a part of the building itself; rather than a piece of theatre that exists within the space. The writings of Carl Lavery became a key source of inspiration for us, his article Teaching performance studies: 25 instructions for performing in cities gave us our first insight into what makes site specific performance different from the conventions of theatre we knew. Carl writes “Work can be made out of anything; there is no need for an audience or stage;” (Lavery, 2005, 232-233).

As performers we all have a subconscious relationship with theatre and the stage. Without even knowing we transform ourselves into characters, adopting a new form of presence and speech completely different to that of our everyday lives. Site specific performance aims to change our perspective of what we define performance space as.. Lavery instructs performers that they must “Allow the city to penetrate your senses, your skin” (Lavery, 2005, 5.) This simple instruction puts the relationship of actor and space into a completely new perspective. As an actor my relationship with the space in which we create theatre has always been a platform to create work rather than another element in that process, a stage has always been a platform to walk across and a theatre just a building to perform inside of. Beginning to explore site specific performance has changed this perspective completely. Lavery’s article tells us that we must look at space not as something to perform on or around but as another tool in our artistic arsenal.

This attitude towards performance space seems highly appropriate to the Drill Hall; At first the idea of creating site specific inside of a working theater seemed rather contradictory  as it seemed the whole purposes of this style of theater was to allow us to experience drama away from the conventions of the stage and theater. However with a building so rich in both personal and cultural history, developing a strong relationship with the space is vital to capturing its character in our work. The room upstairs is a perfect example of an actor’s relationship with space; instantly we were drawn towards the large black box performance space rather than the conference room adjacent to the performance area. The space adjacent to the black box appeared to be a much more interesting space to create sit specific performance around. Its previous history as a gentlemen’s club and its current use as a children’s play group provides an interesting juxtaposition to create performance around.

dolls

Initially we decided to combine the Room upstairs history through an art installation that combined the aesthetics of a children’s play group and a gentle men’s club; tables would be decorated with stuffed toys and sweets with ash trays and whisky bottles littered around. The audience would be offered milk in wine glasses and ask to sample meals that had been blended into baby food. In order to address the problems a theatre space would present we planned on highlight the presence of the lighting rig by suspended wine glasses and dolls on string at varied levels (representing those that fell in the war) However as we continued experimenting with this juxtaposition we noticed that the complexity of the aesthetic drew away from the personality of the building and decided keeping the wine bottles as the key aesthetic within our piece and removing the elements of the children’s playgroup as the information seemed forced. This deconstruction also effected how we presented the information about the men’s club, originally we planned to decorate the walls with children’s drawing that depicted the events within the letters of a Major Newsum we studied at the archives. However we didn’t want to simply present information to an audience in a conventional way. Performance should be about interpretation, an audience does not want all the answers presented to them; they want to explore performance and create their own interpretations; at this point in the creative process, communion began to take shape.

We decided that the best way to get our audience thinking about the historical relevance of the site to our aesthetic of wine was through subtle references and observations. It was also at this point we began to look at the work of the reckless sleepers as in influence to our performance; in particular their piece The Last Supper in which audience members are invited to drink and eat as performers share the last words of famous and infamous people from history. The sleepers approach to performance comes from a place outside the conventions of theatre “They are constructed layers of out and pasted sets of fragments that have been worked out in front of a computer screen, in a black box, on a train journey home, in the middle of the night.” (Wetherell, 2016) this inspired us to branch out and explore the unseen spaces of the room upstairs; we included the bathroom as a part of our performance due to its connections with solidarity. The act of entering a toilet with a performer and hiding your actions seemed one that could be very effective.

The Routledge guide to theatre and performance indicates that “Performance art was and is concerned with identity” (Allain and Harvie,12970719_1156311961068662_2079543256_o 2009, 183) this idea of personal identity went on to inspire the way in which I would interact with the audience as a performer. I would not play a character from the gentlemen’s club but would act as a universal timeless host; giving brief insight into the sites history but also connecting it to the audience through their personal relationship with wine. (Wines personal relationship to the performance is explored further in my previous blog post “Then fill my glass, fill it high,” (Purcell, 1659) Wines sensory impact on performance and rehearsal available at:  http://sitespecific2016mpi.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk/2016/04/11/rituals/ )

My dialogue was to be vague but engaging, it required the audience to draw on their own experiences with alcohol and remembrance but also to question the actions of the men’s club and the soldiers that drank there. By simply giving clues to the audience about the existence of the men’s club (hinting at the chimney stack stained with nicotine for example) was designed to intrigue the audience leading them to question the visual stimulation in the second half of our performance.

 

 

We still wanted to draw attention to the rooms lighting rig, designing a lighting state that put a focus on the table and two chairs whilst masking the black treads and walls of the theatre space. This was done to create an uneasy feel for the audience as the visuals disguise the room’s original aesthetic but do not remove it completely; making it unclear as to where the line between the past and present starts or stops.12018706_1131946760171849_1834328581_o

 

 

We also decided to create a big disconnect from the striking image of the wine bottles in the first half of our piece, by approaching the second half of our piece with a very simplistic approach. A single table was laid out with a trail of wine bottles guiding the audience member to a seat. We wanted the second half of our performance to contain a certain unsure nature, Jacobs actions had no specific time period and the results of his win, grape and dirt concoction became more severe with each audience member, against this was one of the ways we aimed to break the convention of theatrical repetition and replication; an idea taken from the idea of Happening and Peter Brooke’s praise from them in the empty space believing such spontaneity “destroys in one blow many deadly forms, like the dreariness of theatre buildings, and the charmless trappings of curtain” (Brooke, 1968, 61). This unpredictable part of our piece helped to make the performance even more personal, as each individual audience member would experience Jacobs’s performance at a different stage; witnessing him struggle more and more with the mixture as it become wine-logged and messy.

The final aspect of our performance was arguably the most intrusive and personal section. As the audience was guided into the toilet they became separated from the guide (who had been subtly in contact with them for the entire piece) and locked in a small darkened cubicle with a grown man struggling to wash his hands. We chose this highly intimate and personal space to create an uncomfortable atmosphere and a sense of disconcertion; as the transaction of a single gold coin behind a locked bathroom door was our final way of hinting that the men’s clubs secretive operations will remain a mystery to the present as we continue on their memory through “that secret ritual, an unspoken communion” (Shiel,2016).

 

 

 

Performance evaluation

wine

 

Despite our original aim to fill the room upstairs with wine bottles, our final count of 600 bottles was not enough to fill the space completely (something made possible by the generous donations of local restaurants and bars; most notably William V and Harvester along the Brayford quay who provided us with a majority of the bottles we needed). However when setting up we noticed the placement of bottles naturally formed began to create the outline of a wine bottle tapering into a bottle keck as the installation finished. This seemed as effective as filling the room and creating some beautiful shadows across the table creating even more mystery.

(Anthony and Kay, recorded 22nd April 2016)

Despite get in overrunning by 15 minutes the performance was a success. Each 15 minute slot was filled with a varied audience member each time. From parents to local war veterans, each audience member explored their relationship with wine in a very different way. Some chose to answer the rhetorical questions I put forward. Some drank before I even raised my own glass. It was also interesting to examine who joined me for the toast as the younger audience members simply drank whilst the older ones returned my words back.

I found that during the course of the performance (and three bottles of wine) I started to view the liquid in a different way. Its smell and taste changed drastically and I slowly began to realise what the consumption of alcohol means to me; almost as an unofficial audience member to my own performance.

24My biggest problem with the piece was one lighting problem. Originally I had planned to highlight the stained chimney stack with a profile as this would have created a great sense of depth for the audience member’s initial viewing. Unfortunately the room is set out so a large support beam blocked the stack from all light. This profile instead highlighted the area in which Jacob performed his task; with the pale light disconnecting him from the darkened space.

Speaking to audience afterwards, the perception was very positive. The striking visuals and immersive atmosphere really drew in your senses and the sheer scale of the wine bottles was “mesmerising”

As an actor brought up on the conventions of the stage. I was at first apprehensive of the world of site specific performance art. However it has opened my eyes to a side of drama that is not only striking and vibrant but also intellectually stimulating. Challenging my relationship with space and my attitude towards how the place a performance takes place has a strong connection to the work itself.

 

 

Bibliography

 

Allain, P. and Harvie, J. (2006) The Routledge Companion to Theatre and Performance. Abingdon: Routledge.

Brooke, P. (1968) The Empty Space. St Ives: Penguin books

Lavery, C. (2005) teaching performance studies: 25 instructions for performing in cities. Studies in Theatre and Performance, 25 (3)229-238.

Shiel, J. (2016) Communion. [Performance art] Lincoln, UK: Lincoln Drill Hall, 4 May.

Roud, S. (2013) at the room upstairs. [online] Available from: http://efdss-thefullenglish.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/lincoln-drill-hall-hosts-first-folk.html [accessed 13 May 2016].

Wetherell, M. (2016). Reckless Sleepers. [online] Reckless Sleepers. Available at: http://www.reckless-sleepers.eu/#!statement/czjr [Accessed 13 May 2016].

 

 

 

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Millana Park Final Blog Post

A Framing Statement

‘…alter the conventional spatial practices of performance to enhance both the relationship between performers and audience and the performances engagement with its space and site of production.’ (Harvie et al, 2006, 148)

‘The Lincoln Drill Hall was built in 1889-90 by Mr Joseph Ruston and his volunteers and cost a total £10,000.’ (Lincoln Drill Hall, 2016) It has been used as a military and police training hall, a place for great entertainment, a gentleman’s club and more recently a place for a cup of coffee or a baby disco. With all this taken into account, I wanted to look into what had been there in the past, before The Drill Hall was even thought about and starting to be built. My performance, Wooden Voices, was the outcome of this research into the foundations of the site. My site specific piece was based around the past, the people and the place. After going to the Lincolnshire Archives I discovered the before The Drill Hall, a Steam Sawmill existed on the site. It was owned by a gentleman named Mr Henry Newsum. This was the main resource of Wooden Voices.

I made Wooden Voices a durational piece lasting a total of 5 hours and it showcased me performing a task, and the task was taking a whole wooden table and sawing it up into as many pieces as possible. There was no live speech apart from me saying four words; Look, Listen, Smell, and Touch. This was due to the state of the room that I was in. My task took place in The Blue Room at The Drill Hall on the 4th of May. When coming into my performance, I did not want the audience to feel like it was compulsory that they do something, to take part, I wanted them to feel immersed in the site and its history and also to feel that they could come and go as they please.

My piece was influenced by four amazing site specific artists / companies; Maria Fusco, Janet Cardiff, Talking Birds and Reckless Sleepers all for many different reasons. Maria Fusco and her piece Master Rock influenced me through the use of accounts of people from the past and giving a voice to the voiceless, Janet Cardiff for her use of technology, Talking Birds with their ability to bring past places of a site back to life and also showcasing accounts of past people and Reckless Sleepers because of the materials they used in their piece A String Section and what they did with these materials.

An Analysis of Process

However before my research on Henry Newsums Sawmill, I had another idea to recreate one of the music festivals that took place at the Drill Hall. At the trip over to Lincolnshire archives there were some programs for music competitions and festivals that included choirs, bands and solo singers around the early 1800’s. I decided not to go with this idea as after some research, it proved quite difficult to find the songs and music that would have been played at the concerts. Sticking with the music idea though, I also looked down the route of The Rolling Stones concert that took place on 31st December 1963. It was a very iconic moment in the Drill Halls history so I thought that it would be good to highlight it, however I was not able to come up with any original ideas that would do justice to such an occasion. There had also been a performance last year as part of the site specific module that was dedicated to The Rolling Stones event so I decided that I wanted to go for a more original idea, a topic of the history that had been explored before.

So after all this, I remembered from when we went to the archives that the guide, Adrian Wilkinson, mentioned something about a Sawmill. That is when I decided to do further research, to make sure that it definitely existed, where exactly it was on the site of The Drill Hall and when it was there. My first port of call to discover this kind of information was the library, I wanted to see if they had any maps that showed where the Sawmill was. I wanted as well to see if they any newspaper clippings or any other sources that would give physical proof of Henry Newsums Sawmill. However I did experience some issues whilst trying to find information about the establishment. The library staff were having a lot of trouble with finding any documents relating to the Sawmill. They had a lot of maps of the Broadgate / Free School Lane area, however none of them were showing any proof of the company and its foundations. Although they tried very hard to find evidence, it was looking like they did not have anything for me. I could have just accepted that there was no proof and just create my performance regardless, but I wanted hard evidence that this place of work, in fact, existed.

So I got back in contact with Adrian from the Lincolnshire Archives to see if he had anything regarding the Sawmill’s existence, and with luck he did. Even though he only had one document from an old court case from a worker, it was enough, as you can see in the picture of the document below, it has a picture of a map showing exactly where the Sawmill once existed.

map henry henry newsum

Plan of Henry Newsum works, 1880                                                 http://www.itsaboutlincoln.co.uk/h-newsum–sons-ltd.html

Also after doing some further research online I found a newspaper advert for Henry Newsums Company as you can see above which was more proof for me and more information, as it says where exactly it was and that was on the Broadgate side of the site. Lastly, one very important detail that I learned is that the Sawmill burnt down, the source gave me dates also as it states that ‘The company of H Newsum, Sons & Co was established in 1856 by Henry Newsum of Rotherham in Broadgate, Lincoln. These works were destroyed by fire in 1874, the Drill Hall was built on the site…’ (It’s About Lincoln, 2016) all of this information was crucial to my process and enough for me to start creating my piece, I had my initial idea, at this point it was time to start bringing it to life.

I came to the conclusion quite quickly that this type of establishment does not really exist anymore and my first thought was, what is a Steam Sawmill? So I researched what goes into the process and what this type of work entails. I came across a breakdown of the process of wooden logs at sawmills. This specific procedure used words such as ‘felling, limbing, debarking, decking, trimming, drying and planing’ (Wikipedia, 2016). As well as these words and the way that they explain the process, to me came across as the wooden logs are being put through a cleansing procedure. This gave me a feeling that the trees could almost being portrayed as humans, or having human feelings. In one of our seminars Michael Pinchbeck, our tutor for this module, said something that really resonated in my mind with thoughts to my performance and that is ‘giving a voice to the voiceless’ (2016). Following this we, as a class, did research into Maria Fusco’s performance Master Rock. This was a major influence in my piece as Master Rock was made up of accounts. These speeches blossomed from three elements towards the making of the Cruachan Power Station and the “tunnel tigers” that made it possible to get to the power station. The station existed almost a mile beneath Scotland’s highest mountain, Ben Cruachan. The accounts that took place in the performance were ‘…three distinctive voices: Irish actor Lalor Roddy as John Mulholland, one of the few surviving tunnel tigers; poet Denise Riley as Elizabeth Falconer, an amateur artist who made a vast marquetry mural inside the turbine hall; and musician Ceylan Hay as the voice of the ancient granite.’ (Artangel, 2015). All of this information influenced me and I decided to do something very similar. In my piece I had three accounts; one from the perspective of the tree logs which gives the idea of giving a voice to the voiceless, one on behalf of Henry Newsum and the other from a worker at the sawmill. Each of them were spoken by different voices which were me, my dad and my boyfriend. I wanted to do this because in Master Rock, all the voices are distinctive from one another, you can tell which one is which. I wanted the same effect of different tones, volumes and depths. Furthermore I decided that I wanted these pre-recorded accounts to be showcased via a speaker. Janet Cardiff uses many types of technology in her performances, some of which are using speakers or headphones. I wanted to use a speaker for mine as I wanted audience’s members to all embrace the feelings of the accounts at the same time, rather than giving them headphones where they almost became solo audience members. I also wanted the audience members to feel immersed within the whole space and headphones I felt might have taken that away.

Staying along the lines of elements of my performance that were thanks to influences, probably the most important feature of my piece was influenced by a Reckless Sleepers performance named A String Section. In this piece, the performers sit on wooden chairs and saw the legs off. I liked the idea of doing something like this and the materials used; wood and saws. From this I made the decision to use wooden furniture, in particular I chose a wooden table, and over the five hours, I was going to carry out the task of trying to saw the table into as many pieces as possible. I wanted to do this because the materials used at the Sawmill would’ve be one or many saws, steam powered and hand held, and obviously the main material would’ve been wood. Lastly, another very important influence for me was Talking Birds and their performance Wanderlust. This is due to their prime aim of bringing the past of the site back to life. The piece was ‘Made in, for and about the South Bay Underground Car Park in Scarborough in the depths of winter, Wanderlust told the story of a man who had been parked there indefinitely.’ (Talking Birds, 2016). However after doing further research into the site they discovered that is has had a couple other identities beforehand that turned out to be an Amusement park and an Aquarium. Through their performance ‘Wanderlust allowed all three of these incarnations to take turns to surface.’ (Talking Birds, 2016). I wanted to take influence from this and delve further and look into rather than the history of The Drill Hall, I wanted my performance to be ‘…site-oriented, site-referenced, site-conscious, site-responsive, site-related. (Pearson, 2010, 1) and take on the foundations of the site and what existed there before.

When I put all this together, I had decided that I was going to completely transform the space. I was to cover the floor in sawdust and have wooden panels all around the space to bring the smell of cut wood into the atmosphere. I also had planned to have the speaker showcasing the three accounts and have a projector showing a video of Steam Sawmill in action. Additionally I would be in the space, sawing up the table with a hand saw, only saying the words; look, listen, smell and touch to highlight the important elements that would immerse the room and the audience. The whole aim for my piece was to make the audience feel like Henry Newsums Sawmill had been brought to life and also to inform them of what was before as not many people would have known that the sawmill even existed. However in the end I had decided to keep almost all of the elements I previously mentioned except for the projector showing the footage of Newsums sawmill. I decided to take the video out due to wanting to keep it simple. I wanted the audience just to focus on the task in process, the voices of the accounts and the environment surrounding. The reason I also took the footage out is that Henry Newsums Sawmill was, obviously, an English establishment and the people that were in the video looked very American so it did not look right and fit into the performance. However I very much liked the sound track of the video so I used the sound as part of the accounts playing on the speaker to add to the feel of the space.

In the weeks leading up to my performance, I was practising sawing up pieces of wood, as it is not something that I do very often, if not ever. I did this to learn how to start sawing the table in my performance, as I pointed out I have never really sawn anything before so I needed to learn what would be the best way to do it so it was polished for the performance. I also created small patches of sawdust in the drill hall and closed the door for a few minutes to see how well the smell took hold of the room. It was very hard to rehearse anything else due to the quantity of materials I would have needed in terms of the table and sawdust, so I stuck to smaller versions of these elements.

A Performance Evaluation

The final performance I feel didn’t have as many audience members as I had hoped, however people that did show up involved themselves in the way I had wished. One audience member knelt down and felt the sawdust, picked it up and sprinkled it on the floor, feeling the texture of it. Most stood and listened to the accounts and took in the atmosphere of the room. One audience member actually picked up a part of the table that I had sawn off and made a space in the sawdust and placed it in the middle as you can see below.

13169892_1189847344381689_413088511_o

(Millana Park, 2016)

Moreover, when speaking some audience members afterwards, they said that they felt immersed in the piece and said that it captured there attention intensively which they were shocked about due to its simplicity.

One thing that I was glad about is that I was able to saw up most of the table, not all of it but that was never my intention, to me it didn’t matter how much was sawn. On the other hand I did have a hard time detaching the legs from the table, I should have loosen the screws prior to the performance and it caused a delay in my piece. Another thing that I could have improved as well is the gloves that I wore didn’t fit very well so I kept having to take them off which in the end resulted in me cutting my finger.

Overall, site specific performance has opened my eyes to what a performance could be, it doesn’t have to be in a theatre, with lights and comfy audience chairs, theatre and history can go hand in hand to create an informative and imaginative piece of work. Site specific performance has ‘expanded ideas of theatre beyond the stage into galleries and […] public locations…’ (Keldan et al, 2006, 12) The boundaries can be broken and ones thought process can be free to explore all elements of one place in every aspect; its history, meaning and its value of being a non-traditional venue for theatre works.

 

Bibliography

Allain, P. and Harvie, J. (2006) The Routledge Companion to Theatre and Performance. Abingdon: Routledge.

Artangel (2016) Maria Fusco: Master Rock. [online] Available from  https://www.artangel.org.uk/project/master-rock/ [Accessed 10th May 2016].

Keldan, L. (2006) Introduction in Performance and Place. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Its About Lincoln (2016) H Newsum and Sons Ltd. [online] Available from  http://www.itsaboutlincoln.co.uk/h-newsum–sons-ltd.html [Accessed 10th May 2016].

Lincoln Drill Hall (2016) The Venue and its History. [online] Available from http://www.lincolndrillhall.com/about-us/the-venue-its-history [Accessed 10th May 2016].

Pearson, M. (2010) Site-Specific Performance. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Talking Birds (2016) Site-specific and site-responsive works. [online] Available from  http://www.talkingbirds.co.uk/ [Accessed 10th May 2016].

Wikipedia (2016) Sawmill. [online] Available from  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sawmill [Accessed 10th May 2016].

Monday, April 11th, 2016

“Then fill my glass, fill it high,” (Purcell,1659) Wines sensory impact on performance and rehearsal.

Throughout the creative process. we have been fascinated by the idea of stimulating the senses. as actors we are strive to constantly stimulate the senses of sight and sound, but through the world of performance art we have been introduced to performance that tackles the more complex senses such as smell, touch and even taste. from day one these senses have been at the core of our performance. during rehearsals we have constantly tried to focus on what our performance would do to the senses. as time progressed we noticed that Wine is a substance that can connect all the senses together within a performance; its distinct smell and taste. along with the feel of cold glass and the vibrant colours are very distinct. at this point are performance began to shape itself around wine and the associations society has with the liquid. in setting out to collect the large amount of wine bottles needed for our installation we began to notice that even the collection of these bottles stimulated all of our senses. the bags and boxes we used became infused with the smell of wine. the sound of bottles tapping against each other and the uniformed patterns of they created became almost therapeutic. as our bottle collection slowly turned into a routine it seemed like the room in which we stored our bottles became almost a shrine to our performance.

24 26

not only was the sheer volume of glass impressive. we began to wonder how much wine had been consumed in order to amass our collection. this went on to us questioning our own drinking habits as well as that of our peers and eventually the people of Lincoln. the wine bottles in “Communion”  not only engage with the audience on a sensory level. but also paint a wider picture in there minds of there connection with drinking and  recreation. we want an audience to question why people drink through the variety and scale of the bottles. under what circumstances was that bottle finished? a party, toast, family dinner or anniversary meal? the ambiguity of the wine will hopefully allow the audience to create there own stories connected to their own experiences of celebrating or perhaps even commemoration

 

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