Monday, 14 January 2008

My Body, Our Land

In October 2007 I was thrilled to be chosen for the Wooda Arts Award 2008. This is the second time the award has been granted, the first recipient in 2007 being sculptor Claire Morgan. The award consists of a bursary to cover my personal living expenses as well as accommodation and studio space for me and the artists I intend to work with. The Wooda Arts Award provides me with the opportunity to research and develop my work over a period of 6 weeks from 26th January 2008 to 8th March 2008. To further support this project the Arts Council of England has kindly provided additional funding.

Wooda is a wonderful place: a traditional working farm that is now also a remarkable venue for the Arts. The farm’s once derelict barn and stable have been transformed into inspirational, architect-designed studio spaces – gaining a RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) Award in 2007 for a “wonderful restoration that draws on the creative spirit of all who visit”.

The Wooda Arts Award will enable me to undertake a research project, which I have called My Body, Our Land. This will mark the start of a proposed new work incorporating dance and film, which I intend to tour in the Yorkshire region later in the year. The work will examine the cyclical character of human existence and its connection to the cycles of nature. My Body, Our Land will enable me to gain a deeper understanding of my subject matter and develop my ideas. I shall be leaving Leeds to experience first hand what it is like living in, working in and responding to the countryside of North Cornwall. My Body, Our Land will provide me with time to push my multi-media practice and develop new approaches to generating movement whilst being ‘in the field’ – responding to the environment ‘hands on’. I will also explore how the human body can commune physically with the land. I shall journey through the landscape, mapping terrain and using this as a choreographic/creative resource. My Body, Our Land will give me the opportunity to spend time observing, documenting, capturing film footage and responding to natural cycles such as day and night (especially with respect to the lengthening hours of daylight from winter into early spring), the journey of the moon and the stars, shifting tides and the wildness! All this will inform my ideas enabling me to build a body of work to be used later in the year.

My Body, Our Land will not only benefit my own creativity by giving me the opportunity to broaden my practice and raise the standard of my work, but I hope to share the knowledge and experience I gain from the project with other artists through this blog and within my future work.

For information on Wooda Farm visit:

My new dance work March, created for the Northern School of Contemporary Dance's post graduate company VERVE will be toured in the UK and abroad from the end of February 2008. For information on tour dates and venues please visit

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