Monday, 9 December 2019

Visions ...and thanks

A vision realised:

this Friday with Shallal Dance Theatre after a good practice with George in the morning, followed by lunch, I stayed to discuss R&D progress with Signing with Demelza and those staying on for Art and Production went on ahead to our Krowji Studio.
Star left early to prepare for Bowie Lounge that is another vision realised as she came to Shallal initially to extend her improvisation experience and has excelled in that in the hugely successful Bowie Lounge ( sold out for Saturday at AMATA)
The weekend before Shallal Studios had been part of Krowji Open Studios, a first and really successful, lots of interest, and Hayley sold a print! (Thank you Phoebe, Lou, Colin, who enabled it to happen and Pam and Eddie and who helped welcome etc)

So I eventually ended my Friday dropping into the studio and joy of joys a vision realised, I was greeted by a calm concentrated silence and looked around to see Tina and Sam drawing at the table, using varied mediums, Colin poised by an easel contemplating his painting of cliffs and the potential addition of a raven, Toby at another table finishing poetry book illustrations and Zoe editing her film and photographs on the iMac.
This vision of artists working together in company but on their own creativity is also echoed in the Bowie Lounge - a must see when it’s next on.
Zoe and Eddie have for many years asked to be more involved in editing and design in Shallal and until this studio and the iMac, we haven’t had the time, facilities or equipment to support it.

I've just written my annual report and so much has been able to grow from the background organisational development and roles, thank you to all! you know who you are!! It gets harder to thank people individually as Shallal is made up of many parts and we all make a greater whole and trust, respect, group manners, gratitude and appreciation are all a part of it. Also the wonderful ability to disagree and debate which is important for creativity and collaboration, so often many of the best ideas are ones I’m initially not sure about or equally I suggest something which is challenged and changes.

In our challenging times the ability to think creatively, collaborate and adapt to change and work together is needed more than ever.

When I was 50 Dot Peyer sat me down and tried to help me navigate an understanding of applications and funding, I was a terrible student continually interrupted by a 6 year old and home educated teenagers! And I’m very grateful to her for all her hard work for us. Lou then stepped in and I was still not much wiser…now I say re funding that I know the territory I have the map but am not the best person to actually drive you there! I can however  read the map and see the lie of the land.
Shallal has always attracted support and we are very grateful to Barbara Santi who has written social and heritage applications for us and helped plan and deliver and sustain us. Along now with the business meeting team and invaluable very talented trustees.
Returning to Dot she said you need to think of succession and how you progress and where you are in it all. I always think, “I never know if i’ll be alive tomorrow”  (so you can see how planning didn’t come easily to me, but Shallal is important to many people and I have learnt to think ahead!)

I planned that by 60 ( 4 years to go ) there would be more in place and I could step back a little if needed, and Im stepping back a little earlier now as my family need me. My family have always been wonderfully supportive and often insightful and helpful with my work. I don’t know if this will be for long or not but we shall see. Why I’m writing is I have taken a few weeks to look and have been so pleased to step back on some projects knowing those involved are so gifted and will bring more to them and develop them within Shallal ethos and with their own personalities, gifts and strengths with a strong emphasis on cross art form, collaboration, personal unique expression and fun! 
" nothing better to do?!, outlet for creative synergy/cross art form....boost to social confidence, more creative freedom attracts people” notes from Toby Bridge on Friday while answering some queries about how people are attracted to Shallal.

So I am still in: Shallal 2, it’s on my doorstep, and Shallal Dance Theatre, my creative home for 30 years, and supportive in Shallal Studios and at Liskeard group but at a reduced level.

Matt Leach our business manager leaves us soon and we can’t express how grateful and appreciative we are for him and his talents and unruffled personality, making business meetings a joy! even though my brain has to recover afterwards.

So thanks you to everyone throughout Shallal for your support and creativity and here’s to more visions realised personally and collaboratively. 

Friday, 22 November 2019

Open Studios at Krowji and more...

Busy time.
Arts council application in thank you Lou and Colin, and Barbara busy working on another application.
Matt our beloved business manger has to leave us as his other work increases. We will really miss him, his level lightness, efficiency and proficiency has stabilised us and so helped our organisational development, and our monthly business meetings are a pleasureable event.
Anyone out there with the skills we are still open for applications!

The studio goes from strength to strength and we are watching it unfold within our original vision and then with the elements which each unique person brings to it.
Sink/s in and we are moving furniture around and getting ready next week for...
Poster by Lou and drawing by Yvonne, they both work in the studio on Thursdays. Thank you to Phoebe who with support is coordinating  and curating the event.
Celebration 11am -3pm Saturday 30 November.

Thank you to Nikki Kelly who is pointing people to our sessions and studio. We are meeting on Monday to discuss developing opportunities and maybe growing another community group.
Tuesday she has invited us to....

Shallal Dance Theatre performing 2pm and Shallal Sketchbooks will be there.

Personally I am looking at backing myself up and handing some work over as some of my family need more care. I have been aware that i might need to do this for sometime and it feels daunting and also exciting as new life and energy comes in with associate artists and facilitators developing and groups grow.
Since it became a charity in 2005 Shallal has been able to develop and do so much more and we are small, flexible and resilient which has enabled our survival, and in the nature of art have built work from the strength and talents of those involved.
Victoria ( welcome back!) and Claire ( welcome) met with me this week and we are planning the continuation and development of Shallal Sketchbooks. Thank you to Kerry who has been looking after it and now passed it on to focus more on facilitation  - Open House, Penzance with Colin which is thriving.
There is much to be inspired by and Toby showed me his drawings towards our dreamt of poetry book. They are wonderful and fully convey the feeling of the poem and i realise he has seen them all performed. Many of us in Shallal have such a legacy of creativity together.

Robin's film is in danger of not getting the exposure it deserves, i hope to post it on FB soon! It's one of the best insights into the joy of a session...

Also such a pleasure to use the music Johnny Mars kindly 'gave' us some time ago.
A legacy from the beauty of Tom's life, as Johnny played at his funeral and contacted me through Tom's mum after seeing this.....

Fun time at Shallal Dance Theatre today and we haven't decided how to support the XR Strike on may just be we have this poster out and about at all our public events..,we will have a think!

Thursday, 31 October 2019

Pam's writing in response to Embodied Space in light collaboration with Peter Freeman

After Pete's talk - wonderful and the sharing/showing ..many people left and the rest of us sat round to chat... all the artists and some of the audience.
I always learn so much listening to others, this time we chatted and then Colin suggested we heard everyone's input, in the midst of artists feedback we were all 'blown away/over awed' by Pam's analysis and perception of her journey watching it....

Rose mentions the 3 elements which has sparked off a lot of learning for me and

Pam created this on the way home from Sculpting with Light event....

                                      The Singer and the Song

I am the Singer I heard the Song
In a magical space where there was no right or wrong
Where I was welcome and felt part of it all
I felt you call I felt you call
Not with words
There was no need
My inner ear heard and paid it heed
Quietly and slowly, no need for speed.

I felt free to just Be 

Time to look 
Time to see
To listen to hear
To feel
To absorb
To learn and heal

You are the Singer You are the Song
You are the Song You sing for Us All

You give your heart You give your All

That must be right It can't be wrong.

I now am the Singer
I now am the Song

and then sent this to me after being asked to write it down from the artists involved....

                                          Walking into the Light - Reflections

Act 1 - Entering

There's a place I now know where I went to a Show
In Redruth not far from the shops
It is quite near yet set apart 
where special people transform Lives 
Through Art

In a quiet side street there is a white door with a single banner
No more to indicate what treasure lies within

You enter to see -
bare walls and floor
Tables and chairs, hooks for coats - not much more behind that door.
The makings for tea and coffee to drink
Nothing special here you may think.

Then people arrive and bring in their Light
The blinds are drawn, day turns into night

Artists and Dancers gather there
Getting ready to share
A Performance. 
Talk Wisdom Discovery Insight into the Power of Talking Light

We are the Audience, they are the Players until they strip away the layers which lie between,invite us to join them into their dream.

I notice tubes in rainbow hues upon a wall and that's not all
Upon the bareness of the floor are cubes and tubes, a shining dish and computer screen
What is to come remains unseen

Act 2 - Anticipation and the Performance begins

Then we saw sculptures and buildings transformed by light which changes as people move and breathe
I found it difficult to believe.

I'd never seen the like before
There was so much more
Oh so much more

And then ...
The scene changed again

Act 3 - When Performance became Experience

All was transformed as those white walls were bathed in light to become blue green pink 
hints of flickering flame
Then back to white again.

Next was a Story with many themes
No, I'd never seen it before except in my dreams
and yet
I remembered it again as it ebbed and flowed
went and came

Rising Falling like a flame

It touched me to my very core
My Spirit sang 
Set free to soar.

And there was more ...

Music began
The Dancers began to fill the empty space
The room became a stage

Amazement showed, glowed, on every face
As they began to dance, leap, prance, twirl, swirl, open from a foetal curl
Drew together then apart
They entranced us with their Art

I saw a timeless story told which needed no words to help it unfold
From simple single cell to sentient beings
No need for speech to make themselves heard.

The Light became alive as it played its own part.

I saw more things than were actually 'Real -
I heard singing where there were none
I smelt fear
tasted the sweet essence of Joy
felt the awe of awakening minds as faces turned towards the Light

Dawn breaking Rainbow glows Wonder shows

I saw the thoughts shining there as they became Aware
Thought made them care, want to share

Act 4 - Revelation

Audience and Players merged as energy surged

In my heart the boundaries dissolved between us

No You No Me No Them 
Just Us
United again

I walked in a Fourth Dimension into our Intuitive Mind
No longer anything to bind

No longer blind to that Loving Light

A magical refrain filled my empty heart
Now I feel I can play my part

Not alone but a part of a Whole
Body Mind and Soul

Finale - Every End is a new Beginning

The Show ended but the curtain didn't fall

I never knew that such a thing could be

Thank You All for Bringing Hope to Me.

by Pam Wilson
October 2019
(do not use without permission)

i forwarded it to our patron Robert Fripp and...

"wonderful! ......

perhaps it is something of a challenge for us to hold Hope;
in front of the visible challenges of our suffering world;
in the Faith that what is real and available to us;
is on the job - and counting on us to be available as well?"

all this brings XR to mind and the times we need to be responsive to...

You can never drop the battle.... .   ~Glen Wheeler (who never sends me emails) sent me this, Its important!!

"Out of sight out of mind," you can never drop the battle, we have come a long way but you can't stop and there is always further to go....

I heard Steve Shirley interviewed on the radio two years ago and am a fan, so much has changed for the better for people with autism in the 35+ years i have been volunteering and working, i believe a lot of that is due to serious long term targeted research supported by charities such as hers. There is now a lot more understanding and therefore skills available for all involved. However we need to keep it all visible and maintain care, compassion, appropriate support and dialogue. Oppressive institutions rarely ( i think i mean never) work, I know i worked in one! but it's a challenge for all of us to create and sustain, support something better - this organisation has achieved it...
and we need to hold onto...
"Commitment to an aim within an inappropriate structure will give rise to the creation of an appropriate structure."

back to Steve Shirley....
(Her) charitable Shirley Foundation is one of the top 50 grant-giving foundations in the UK with well over £50m grants given. It has funded 100 projects that are pioneering by nature, strategic in impact and significant in money terms. This includes three autism charities: Autism at Kingwood (support); Prior’s Court Foundation (education); and Autistica (research) which together employ 1000 staff.

All this brings me back to being impressed by the inclusion and many of the instilled sensitive and thought through background inclusive support structures within XR...
we have had to struggle and fight/petition/protest/ (and now rebel) for most important issues and this is global and about everyone.
"Everyone can feel vulnerable or become vulnerable depending on our personal experiences and the situation in which we find ourselves at any one time.
We are all crew. Always approach problems with others and use the knowledge and skills each person brings. The Don’t Panic team advise you to avoid working alone."

structures? and thoughts ...links to Robert Fripp

i started with reading Shallal's draft business plan for our AGM it is ...must do homework as I'm chatting to Nick Fripp this evening..

emerging from that ( my early morning office session, i love working from home in early dawn with dogs and Cornish rain for company! ) read Pam's poem (see next blog).... to my beloved husband who 'gets it' and suggested sending it to Robert Fripp talking about Guitar Craft brought me via pages in his online book to here so helpful to have articulated thoughts an perceptions

Now all change as "bing bing" a 4 year old enters the room and piano begins to be played in another room, welcome to the day with: George and a long unhurried we hope arty talk - my favourite - with lunch, even better, to be joined by Colin and then head off to Shallal 2...tomorrow our fabulous Sharing and Liskeard beforehand, a  lot to process digest into winter hibernation and flowering...

Links to poetry and to Peter Freeman's talk

I was recommended this poet Raymond Antrobus by David Woodward of Bodmin Poetry festival

For those of you who might have missed Peter Freemans talk, he has kindly linked it on his website...
... the notes of the presentation are on click on the link to see the pdf

"The collaboration and this performance is a meeting of light, space, dance and music. We have made a number of attempts over the past weeks, this is the most recent. Each time throws up new complexities and revelations. It’s provisional and unfinished but that’s the place it wants to be, in a zone of experiment, mistake and sudden luminous beauty." Peter Freeman

Lou filming with Zo and Katie R&D

Monday, 21 October 2019

Residency Events and The Elephant Queen on general release

                                          Back Lane West residency events coming up!

                                   Studio sink being fitted this week! Many thanks to Colin.

Alexandra Zierle has ended up as our first artist in residence,
using the Studio 
"so good to finally make work again in a studio, very exciting"...
and BLW
"having a very important time in BLW"

Shallal Dance Theatre are back into workshopping, honing skills and trying new approaches for Embodied Space... we are having fun with newly created tap and point exercises! more about them as we go along...

Shallal 2 are pleased with their last show, wondering if we do it again somewhere, and planning summer show hopefully at Tolmen Centre.

Liskeard group explore visual art and movement with Janice this Thursday ( half term) as an extension off site of our BLW residency.

Penzance Open House group is growing.

Chats with new volunteer Claire about Shallal Sketchbooks, they had a great outing to Krowji Fun Palace and are now stored at the studio.

Friends and Dancing and Express Yourself are going strong. Artist Nicky Harwood gave a workshop recently and then came along to Liskeard group and we hope to develop work together.

Lots going on and exciting to watch the visual arts side grow:
Eddie editing photographs, helping with marketing/social media
Phoebe and Toby..exploring puppets, workshop with Red River School
Lou creating these lovely posters and exploring time lapse animation, working with studio artists
Phoebe getting to know everyone involved on studio/art side

Demelza researching signing
Matt Osmond helping me understand some basics of the processes involved in book design/creation.

Finally general release of film The Elephant Queen....
( for anyone new to this blog it's written by Jo Willis Creative director/founder of Shallal and my only and older brother is Mark- who filled our Cornish childhood with animals, reptiles and fish, he and Vicky treated me to visiting their camp in Tsavo national park at the end of filming, it was a truly wonderful experience and i saw loads of elephants!)
We wish it well!
David Attenborough, Vicky Stone and Mark Deeble