A project that stemmed from a period of ACE support R&D in New York as part of the British Council International Development programme.
We're all putting images of ourselves out into the world, through various obvious means. I've created 3D versions of these images, in a doll-like form.
Volunteers from the UK supplied me with one full body shot from which I've made the MINIYOUs. I made 8 as a test run.
These Mini-You dolls were distributed by me, to strangers in New York - instructed to make a new set of 'selfies' - ones that are not controlled or overseen by the volunteer owner.
Volunteers then got to see their new life through the lens of another human being, a stranger from New York.
The photos you see here were all emailed to an address included in the gift package.
SPILL NATIONAL REVIEW OF LIVE ART 2012
The Bluecoat, Liverpool – 11 June Poolside Emergency festival 2011 Barbican Plymouth – 26 Feb In the Flesh 2011 Green Room, Manchester – 1 & 2 October Emergency 2010
A detox experience for the mind, heart and memory – for one at a time. Bring or make a memento of something you’d like to forget. Bring an item, object, photograph, letter, anything steeped in a memory or emotion that you no longer want to have.
We are a culture of therapy-goers and self help book-readers, sitting in a circle of chairs to share our addictions and obsessions. Can we really help ourselves? Or are these flaws and scars now ingrained within us?
Everyone around me is detoxing. To shed weight, cleanse their liver and to generally feel a bit smug about being so self-disciplined. But they’re missing the most important organs of our being – the heart and mind.
Imagine if we developed scientific means to detoxify and rejuvenate these organs. A power I often wish I had. Through the recognised ritual of a funeral, I aim to provide you with this detox service. This is an experiment to see if it’s at all possible.
Feedback: ‘A playful and evocative experience to ‘make’ a memory.’
‘What a gift. A time whilst I have time…to stop and really think about what’s on my mind and in my brain.’
‘Watching my fear drowning in a garbage bin full of water was oddly beautiful.’
‘Actually strangely exactly the right time to have this experience. Not letting go is something I struggle with so this is something I will keep with me to remember to. Beautiful.’
‘Very good idea, loved the performance. Well done.’
‘Beautiful idea, self-led and kindly guided. Thought provoking and gentle. Thankyou!’
‘I found the experience moving and beautiful.’
Historical images courtesy of Lewisham Local History & Archive Centre
Event photographs by Katherine Leedale and Rowan Spray
20th – 27th January 2012 South London Art Map tour
What do you know about where you’re living, where you wake up every morning? Archives are often unruly, dusty masses of paperwork and words locked away to keep them safe. What if you learn about the most interesting bits straight away? And more importantly, be able to TAKE them AWAY with you?
The Takeaway Shop was a place for people to drop in and learn book-binding and making and to collect real stories about the lives of the local residents, families and the history of the area. It was a place to meet and chat with strangers about common ground. People made individual handmade books and cut and pasted text, pictures, true stories, people and textures, to create THEIR own mini TAKE-AWAY archive.
I think it’s important to know the area you live in, it’s history, what came before it, and who lives here now. It’s the context in which you are positioning yourself, and your life.
Please get in touch if you’d like to talk about the future life of The Takeaway Shop.
This project was kindly supported by Arts Council England and IdeasTap in 2012
In the Wake Of
Last summer , at a junk market, I found 17 cine films all addressed to one woman, Mary K.
They are films from the 1950′s and 60’s – of holidays, London home life, family and sights that Mary (or whoever was behind the camera at the time) felt the need to record.
When I came across the box of films and cine projector I was half thrilled and half horrified that such personal, precious things had found their way to a junk market, probably via house clearance. Mary K lived in the same borough as me – Lewisham, 50, maybe 90 years ago. Through research I found out that she died in 2008.
Shot by a stranger, I still feel a connection with the person behind the camera; their clear delight in nature, the seasons, the sea and animals, but also in things that seem important at the time but in fact, were a regrettable waste of film.
Using this as the starting stimulus, I gathered a group of performers that I felt could each bring something different to the project, with different ways of creating and devising material.
The result was a live art performance with live projections, music, visual images and speech from performers. It was presented as part of the Stories of London double bill at RichMix on April 12th 2013.
A Word in Your Shell-Like
A Word in Your Shell Like
a piece created for Whitstable residents in response to a brief by Richard Layzell, as part of DIY 9 (Live Art Development Agency).
I cast the ears of passersby on the beach, left them to set in plaster, then met each participant at sundown to take them down to the waters edge to give their ear-oysters back to the Whitstable sea.
Whitstable is the fulcrum. It’s a metropolis, a hub, a cultural epicentre where every square metre is dripping with potential. Each building is an architectural gem of world heritage status. The coastline is iconic, magnificent and spellbinding, an interface with nature that is raw, bracing and unbelievably picturesque.
Its people are sophisticated, urbane and rooted in a historical landscape that is far more profound and significant than London’s. By comparison, London is a superficial upstart, trivial and vacuous. Whitstable has everything and is everything. Every shop, every café, pub or restaurant, every street corner, each back alley is extraordinarily vibrant, rippling with energy and opportunity.
The Hand That Feeds
A collaborative project with Alice Malseed.
We were fascinated by the extremes of experience people have had with their mothers. What would we be like as mothers? At 25 and 23 we felt we were spinning faster and faster towards motherhood ourselves, by our own biological clocks, with confusing reluctance and curiosity.
Are we all just turning into our mothers anyway?
The performance is a filmic collage of images and words, a soundtrack from past to present, and a difficult construction.
We asked people (including our own mothers and fathers) a series of questions. Their responses and our own observations or conversations with others, formed the basis of the performance and film.
The first presentation of this research and an early version of the piece took place at The Bluecoat’s Poolside Emergency Festival, followed by SPRINT at Camden People’s Theatre then Supperclub at The Basement, Brighton in October 2012.
Sing Your Heart Out
Shoreditch Town Hall Grin and Bare It festival as part of the Scipmylo festival
A devised, interactive live art piece. There were clowns. There were Essex girls. And above all, there was Karaoke.
SYHO is a reaction to the female role models and representations of women on reality tv shows. Appearance, beauty and vacuousness is all, having intelligence, purpose or dignity is not.
Come join the girls (who are clowns, and also TOWIE girls) for a raucous, drunken night of pop hit karaoke. You can join in, dance, or just watch/talk to these wonderous peacocks – who may or may not vajazzle your face.
“In another room a gaggle of heavily made-up clowns sing drunken karaoke. Claiming to be a party of Essex girls on a night out to London they invite the audience to take the mic and sing along. Their painted smiles, neon fright wigs, and sequins are a sort of manic vagazzling run riot, crudely covering rosee-fueled heartbreak. Perhaps the most poignant moment came when a swaying clown in high heels sang a weepy number for her ‘Darren’ while her sisters tried to comfort her, repeating ‘he isn’t worth it. You deserve better darling’. All the while a grotesque DJ with balloons for breasts egged them on. These committed and resourceful performers have pulled Grin and Bare It together on a shoe-string. They should be supported and applauded. They have created an evening that is unsettling, funny and genuinely moving.” ORLANDO SEALE; AUDIENCE MEMBER
Food For Thought
1st October 2011 – DEPTFORD X MAIN PROGRAMME
A VACANT RAILWAY ARCH, DEPTFORD.
Food For Thought is a response to the images, information and subconscious messages we are fed through the media. Constantly exposed to diet tips, exercise plans, plastic surgery makeover stories and make up adverts we are encouraged to become walking decorative items. Appearance is key, or so we are led to believe.
Originally presented in 2007 as a site-specific live art experiment in a derelict restaurant in Liverpool (Installation/durational performance/film) the piece reflected and commented on the portrayal of women in the media; our obsession with body image, diets and the butchering of the natural female form through plastic surgery.
24 carat Cake
AN INSTALLATION AND SMALL CAFE IN A RAILWAY ARCH
23, 24, 25 September 2011
We live in a world where consumerism has hit sixth gear and are throwing away more and more stuff every single day.
As the value of stocks and shares yo-yo up and down unpredictably, what has kept its value? Gold. Now everyone can have a piece…In September, a dis-used industrial space was transformed into a scene made entirely of gold. I wanted to explore how you can create a renewed value from things we find on the street by painting them a colour associated with brilliance and success but also, novelty.
Over the three days people ate gold cake, had a cup of tea and thought about where they could buy g(old) rather than new – everything in the space was for sale.
We collected junk from the surrounding streets and turned this, and visitor’s possessions into shiny gold things to take home with them.
The Hunt (Valentine's)
18th Feb 5:30 – 8pm
For lonely, broken or swollen hearts.
A treasure hunt and game around Shoreditch for teams of upto 12 people. The streets of Shoreditch became a playground. You needed to beat other teams, be faster than the other players, and WANT it the most. There were rewards as POINTS MEANT PRIZES!
Following on from the success of 2011's Easter version of The Hunt around New Cross, this one was bigger, better and bolder for RichMix’s February Snapshots festival – all in the name of love (or lack of). There were power ballads, silly challenges and probably some heart-breaking somewhere along the way.
Briefed with providing immersive weirdness at Standon Calling, people could make pancakes with a performer in the forest, perform secret tasks and find two dogs of destiny in a tent who would lead you through a ceremony resulting in sending balloons into the sky.
Dogs of Destiny
The Hunt (Easter)
Teams were given maps, clues and 2 hours to find all the differently coloured eggs they could (all worth different points) by using their eyes or completing tasks drip-fed through early contact. Further points were available to those who brought back the most interesting found item.
Sabotage, deception and hunting fellow players was actively encouraged.Back in the garden teams could compete to top up their points in various challenges including a speed Creme Egg eating contest.
The whole day was rounded off with a prize giving ceremony and a communal creation of art throwing eggs syringed with paint against a blank canvas. There was homemade food and cakes, cocktails in teapots (before it was cool) hand-constructed garden furniture, disco bunting and a LOT of competitive team spirit. All in all, it was a day of play and slipping back into childhood a little bit. The day was hosted by Orlando Seale, with hand-designed Tshirts and prize vouchers by Archie McLeish of Strawberry Militia.