Monday, 11 February 2008

Week 2 at Wooda

The second week of the residency has flown by, mainly because I have begun to identify the direction of my work here at Wooda. In order to get to this point I have spent time considering just what it means for me to physically commune with this rural environment. In a second-hand bookshop in Bude I bought a book – Matisse on Art – to find out more about the artist and his thoughts on Art but found I had got more than I had bargained for when I discovered that a previous owner had obviously used the book for some sort of study and had underlined sentences and written notes in the margins. One quote that he/she wrote sums up well an important aspect of my work:

‘I believe neither in what I see, nor in what I touch – I believe only in what I feel. My brain and my reason appear to be ephemeral and of doubtful reality. Subjective emotion alone seems to me to be eternal and unquestionably certain.’

The impulse that underlies how I use my body and movement as a means for creative expression and how, in choreographic terms, the figure relates to the environment is important to me. So in my response to the different places I purposefully visit or just pass through in and around Wooda, I’m trying to avoid being descriptive and instead looking for an underlying feeling to then engender movement.

So, what have I felt? Over the first two weeks here I sensed in my surroundings an energy lying just below the surface. It was as though the land and its occupants were waiting for Spring – the buds about to burst, frogs watching from under the water, the earth waiting for warmer days. There was a feeling of anticipation and inevitability. On a personal level, my trying to unearth my creative direction seemed to run parallel to what I sensed was happening around me, and it was here that I felt a synchronicity between myself and the environment. My waiting for inspiration and the coming of Spring became my creative resource. As a result of this I created a short film in which I tried to capture the notion of waiting, being dormant as the environment changes and time shifts. In the film I appear submerged in water with floating leaves partly obscuring my face. This is set against a soundtrack made from birdsong mixed with the sound of wind and water recorded in and around the farm.

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