Friday, 25 January 2019

Sharing "an understanding of the unknown," reflections after Embodied Space at Newlyn Art Gallery

This morning i cheekily wrote this:

Embodied Space
".......keeps the element of surprise and playful spontaneity often missing in our lives and art, bringing the joy of creation, as in a session, to the professionalism of performance in a public space, Shallals unique performance style enables the audience to experience both."
Come along and see if we achieve this!

on Facebook.

Especially in the early days pre 'learning' about marketing etc, i had always wanted to do a more 'honest' ( to the process) press release....
"We are half way through rehearsals we hope/think/ trust ( nervously)  it will be ok, however it's not finished yet, ( no new show is until just before opening) come along and see what you think".

I settled more easily into the world of publicity once i realised you could use what other people wrote about you - the good stuff that is, thankfully any other comments  people are usually too polite to tell you.

Today we collected some verbal feedback and as a lady disappeared downstairs after the performance she said to me, "Thank you. Fabulous, heart warming and inspiring. Thank you."
Even more cheering as she had sat for an hour squashed into a corner watching, as we had 45 in the audience.

And the reason i sat down to blog - to get over the last part of adrenalin, wind down, digestion after the performance - was, I am so deeply grateful for my family and my two closest critics came today along with a dear friend.
My two closest critics are my dear husband Peter and youngest daughter Anna. They hadn't seen Embodied Space and it is my 'baby' my dearest creative intention, vision at present. A culmination of work and in the last two days my ( mid life crisis - does it ever go away its been popping up for sooo long) vision forwards for work.
We have now a format we can use, it truly suits us, it is engaging, encompassing audience and dancers alike, who share together in, as Anna put it,  "an understanding of the unknown."

The artists i work with are always so articulate about what they like enjoy, get from it and today while listening to everyone, Charlie came into his own and voiced his view clearly and strongly for the first time and he is settled now.

So i could go on, but for now let me say...
I have been watching the dancers in all my sessions recently, the level of engagement and creativity is so high these days, what to do with them? how to extend them? and to really get out and perform more is i think the answer.
I'm 56 soon:(?!

Today i met again someone who i used to see lying on a lino floor behind the door in Budock Hospital in the high needs part. ( it must have been over 30 years ago , i think we are about the same age). It broke/ached my heart every time, I saw him. Now i see him living a fulfilled and happy life in the community coming with two support workers to a gallery to see a show.
We must never let it happen again that we lock up people from life, with nothing but bare walls and spaces, you couldn't see out of the windows it was an old workhouse. Your basic needs were looked after, clean and fed, and if you were lucky you went for a walk and the grounds were lovely but......

We need to share our talents and our care, the whole is then greater than the sum of it's parts and what can be done when we work in that way across, throughout life!

Shallal for me has always been a glimpse of what it possible. When i was younger and first really came across the isolation and struggle people with support needs faced, I would come home in tears in my mid late teens and talk with my mother - an old style trained nurse, ( we are all 'People first' - she used that saying before it became a slogan) and i said how my ideal society would have those who were vulnerable at the heart of society being lovingly cared for and that care would then radiate out throughout society. 
Anyone whose worked in a large group/institution also knows you need to look after the carers/workers needs,  then they look after those they work/care for/with. Our contemporary attitudes often negate this, stressing our teachers and healthcare professionals, although some modern younger companies/organisations are bringing it back, making friendly environments, work conditions etc adapting so as to get the best from people.

Thank you to everyone who performs and to our audiences, together we share an experience from our own unique perspectives and it gives us all something, for which i am very grateful.

Also a last word of thanks to Simon at Newlyn gallery, because of my early experience and care for those i work with i am careful who/where we work and whilst explaining this one day to George he told me a permaculture saying" Only walk through open doors".
So a thank you to all who 'open their doors' to us, and from a parting conversation with Simon, we have a new opportunity to have an exhibition/events for two days next winter, January probably, so we could: showcase Back Lane West residency work, large paintings - ooh the possibilities - 'one good thing leads to another.'

Thursday, 24 January 2019

original notes for Embodied Space

Notes from my phone on original ideas for this area of exploration
currently Embodied Space

[ ] All art is expressed through the body...embodies explores our humanity all different shapes and sizes ages, who are we? what do we do? inhabiting this body in this space 
[ ] Placed in an art gallery setting Shallal artists and  performers,  move relate ignore play and express themselves, come and see, join in? who are we embodied in this space, at this time, what do we do, is it performance, spectacle collaboration, live art, portrait, narrative, abstract, symbolic all of this and more.
[ ] 
[ ] For you to interpret...
[ ] Dancers work with Space, defining the space by tape THE SPACE......a canvas a blank space a void a vacuum to fill ..listen to...
[ ] Characters, costume, chalk , sound...
[ ] 
[ ] Building on Popups and Always new
[ ] This keeps the element of surprise and playful  spontaneity often missing in our lives and art, bringing the joy of creation as in a session to the professionalism of performance in a public space Shallals unique performance style enables the audience to experience both.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

music and musings

Distraction, side roads and there is an underlying thread as seeking new latest distraction started with:
and now as all my admin time has been used up! it has ended on this
so heyho now i am eating into my very last piece of time by blogging!
the joy of self employment is the admin will have to be done tonight!

Many years ago i lived 'upstream' from Joe Hemming:
at Polwheveral near Constantine and on my way home i would drop in, cup of tea, chat and it would always involve listening to music....
Joe's love for music is infectious, he is also a beautiful musician...
the music of Estas Tonne takes me back to sources of more to be said music has its own language and meeting point,.
I often say I tend towards 'love' non verbal art forms, although Anna has been reading me Mary Oliver poems, and i picked up again Pilgrim at Tinker Creek whilst not working this holidays.
Good art always points, opens, shares, leads, enables..... to something greater/deeper....

I wanted to interview 2 people about Soul and meeting at depth in their work ( and maybe publish it) and i'm not sure now if i will have, or catch, the time to do they are
Wolfgang Stange
and Father Benedict ...

both had films/documentaries made about them some years

off now ...
Shallal 2 were marvellous last night, they have all deepened progressed their work and i am 'challenged' to find the right vehicle to show/share this
and a big thank you to Sasha for her new baby sister Josephine, only 2 weeks old, coming to visit us
( Congratulations to Jamie and Syd and Welcome to Josephine) 
Out There Liskeard today, new people bring new influences and joy and we are appreciating Zoe, ( greek dance music and ancient Armenian duduk music) Penny, Jay and Jake.

Tomorrow Embodied Space at Newlyn!
Great news dear Peter Kirby returns as a guest artist! everyone is really pleased, ill health and tiredness had led to Peter not making Fridays but he is still at Friends and Dancing and can slot into Shallal Dance Theatre as he knows the company and loves to perform.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

New Instagram, new exhibition, new venues, happy new year!

New Instagram
New Exhibition
New Embodied Space 
New venue for 'Hear My Voice'

Happy New Year!

1. I have to say i am a lover of Instagram, i started it when our older children travelled, and then i found artists and friends and then sayings...and now i have to keep it limited!
Shallal Sketchbooks started a fantastic Instagram with Victoria and continues with Kerry.
(Victoria is hoping to continue into more design training, more news as it unfolds, it's a privilege to work with people and then have to try to write an adequate reference!
Thank you to Anna for setting up our new Instagram account and to Lou and Annis they are all  working behind the scenes on our marketing etc.
We hope it will be an easy and exciting visual way to follow all of Shallal activities.

2. So do go along to see the exhibition in the community gallery at Falmouth Art Gallery it's on till 14 February.

This painting was one of my favourite Christmas presents from Zoe Wilton of her and her mum Marjorie.
It's not for sale but i was asked about it as soon as it was posted.

3. So looking forward to Embodied Space in the empty gallery spaces at Newlyn ..thank you to Simon Jacques for enabling this. Hope to see you there. Each show is unique!
Friday 25 January 1.30pm  free

It had such good feedback we want to travel it around and with no more funding for it - as yet- we are doing it local and bijou!
Thank you to Delpha Hudson for welcoming us back to The Hypatia Trust, where we did most of our original research for the piece!
We welcome invitations to show this work, it can fit into quite small settings, village halls etc.

Still chasing funding for Shallal Dance Theatre, Shallal2 and Shallal Studios & Sketchbooks

so also New Fundraiser in the mix, more soon
I'm really looking forward to it as a good night out!

All new equipment now squeezed into our new studio spaces.
Thanks again to Cultivator Cornwall and Creative Kernow.

Lou and i are looking at continual funding and support for this new permanent studio/s venture and meanwhile thanks also to Ann Rylands Small Donation, The Sir Jules Thorn Charitable Trust, all the grants small or large enable us to continue.