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.'

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