Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Charles Bonnet Syndrome

I recently became aware of Charles Bonnet syndrome (CBS), and was surprised to find out how common it is. Despite this, the CBS and the effects of the condition seem to have little coverage, hence the importance of talking about it. Here is some information about the condition from the RNBI.

http://www.rnib.org.uk/eye-health/your-guide-charles-bonnet-syndrome-cbs/charles-bonnet-syndrome

Charles Bonnet syndrome (CBS) is a common condition among people who have lost their sight. It causes people who have lost a lot of vision to see things that aren’t really there, known as visual hallucinations.

People who have CBS may have lost a lot of their vision from an eye condition, such as age-related macular degeneration, cataract, glaucoma or diabetic eye disease.

It’s thought that there are more than 100,000 cases of CBS in the UK. Some research suggests that up to 60 per cent of people who are experiencing serious sight loss may develop it.

The main cause of CBS is loss of vision and how your brain reacts to this loss. Current research seems to suggest that when you are seeing real things around you, the information received from your eyes actually stops the brain from creating its own pictures. When you lose your sight, however, your brain is not receiving as much information from your eyes as it used to. Your brain can sometimes fill in these gaps by releasing new fantasy pictures, patterns or old pictures that it has stored. When this occurs, you experience these images stored in your brain as hallucinations.

There are some medical problems, such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, strokes, serious mental illness and other brain conditions, which affect the part of the brain concerned with seeing and these conditions may cause some people to have hallucinations.

Certain things about CBS hallucinations make them different to the hallucinations caused by other conditions. Usually, with CBS you’re aware – or can learn to recognise – that what you’re seeing isn’t real, although it may appear vivid. CBS hallucinations only affect your sight, which means that you don’t hear, smell or feel things that aren’t there. People with CBS do not develop any obvious, complicated non- medical explanation about the cause of their hallucinations (sometimes called “delusions”). For example, someone with CBS wouldn’t have thoughts that the people they were seeing wanted to hurt them.

The visual hallucinations caused by CBS can vary and can range from simple shapes and dots of colours, simple patterns, straight lines or a network of branches, to detailed pictures of people, animals, insects, landscapes and buildings. When you have lost a large amount of your vision it may be difficult to see everyday things, but you may find that your CBS hallucinations are very detailed, and much clearer than your normal vision. The images can appear “out of the blue”, lasting for just a few minutes or in some cases, several hours.

At times, the hallucinations may fit alongside the background you are looking at, making them feel quite real, like seeing cows in a field when the field is actually empty or seeing a fence across the pavement. At other times, they will seem totally unreal, like seeing fantasy images such as dragons.

The kinds of things people see with CBS hallucinations seem to fall into two broad types:

• simple repeated patterns
• complex hallucinations of people, objects and landscapes.

Both kinds of hallucination can vary. Sometimes they may be in black and white and at other times in colour, or they may move or stay still. It’s possible you may have one type of hallucination more than another or have both types of hallucination at the same time or one after another.

https://youtu.be/Rerzmm41g_Y

Simple repeating pattern hallucinations


Many people with CBS experience hallucinations of repeating patterns. These may be grids or shapes or lines, which can be quite vivid in colour, like bright green dots surrounded by vibrant pink squares. You may also see complicated brickwork or mosaic patterns that grow in size to cover more and more of your vision. People can also see patterns that look like a network of branches or roots from a tree, growing over everything they see.

People usually describe this type of hallucination as being laid on top of everything they see, or growing across any surface they look at. Sometimes people also experience patterns of distorted faces, which appear in their vision and can change shape or move towards them.

Complex hallucinations

The second type of hallucination people can experience are more complicated and include hallucinations of people, places, insects and animals.You may experience hallucinations where whole scenes appear, such as landscapes with waterfalls, mountains or a garden full of flowers. At other times you may see individuals or groups of people. You may see people dressed in costume, like Edwardian families, Roman soldiers or small children in bonnets. The figures of people in your hallucinations may be life size, larger than life sized or very commonly very small. All these types of figures may move or remain still.

At times, the hallucinations may fit with the room that you are in when you experience them, so that you may see animals in your bed or people working in your garden. At other times the hallucinations can appear very odd, such as double-decker buses in your kitchen or hallway.


Dealing with hallucinations of space


You may find you have hallucinations that change the shape of streets and rooms. For instance, your hallucinations might suddenly make it look like there is a wall or fence in front of you and you may have to check if this is real. This can make you lose confidence walking around and it may take you longer to get out and about.

If you experience hallucinations like this, it’s important that you are not afraid to check the area around you. It may be sensible to go slowly, to reach out and feel around for what is real and what is not.

Dealing with hallucinations of people


Hallucinations of people can be frightening, particularly if they’re inside your home. If the images are of very small people or people in costumes then it may be easier to realise that they are hallucinations than if the figure is in ordinary clothes. Having a good idea of when you’re likely to have visitors may make you more confident if you have this type of hallucination and will help in you feeling secure in your home or your surroundings.

Dealing with hallucinations of animals


Hallucinations of animals are also very common. Often people describe animals on their chairs or in their bed. Sometimes this can be very upsetting, especially if you aren’t keen on a particular type of animal.

Using touch to make sure that the animals are hallucinations is not a bad thing and sometimes reaching out towards the hallucination may cause them to stop and disappear.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Cooking with Three performance in The Bottomless Pit of Outros

Cooking With Three are a mixed-media improve. ensemble that work loosely with dance, visuals and sound, directed by Jamie Cook. Collaboration is a key element of the group's process, with core members Lizzie J Klotz (dance), Adam Goodwin (visuals) and Jamie Cook (sound) inviting members of all disciplines to an open fortnightly forum to improvise together and develop interdisciplinary improvised performance.


The 'Echoes of Abstraction and the Bottomless Pit of Outros' performance was fully improvised, realised amongst the exhibition, responded to the work as well and the unique space and audience at the Laing.
Echoes of Abstraction II and The Bottomless Pit of Outros brings together newly commissioned work by artists Jamie Cook, Adam Goodwin, James Pickering and Paul Trickett, alongside highlights from the Laing Art Gallery’s modern and contemporary painting collection. The exhibition explores and is inspired by the legacy of abstract art, and has been organised in partnership with The Laing Art Gallery.

Losing a voice through Motor Neurone Disease and gaining a voice through Voicebank

This is a powerful and emotional documentary about Lucy Lintott, the youngest person with motor neurone disease in Scotland.

'Lucy Lintott, is becoming paralysed - she can no longer walk unassisted and she's losing her voice - not great for a chatterbox like Lucy. Even though she's been given only a few years to live, Lucy is determined to do what 22 year olds do - including dating. Over a six-month period, this lover of food and country music reveals how she is struggling to hold on to her personality and her infectious laugh.

Lucy visits Newcastle where she meets a stand-up comedian who can still crack a joke even though he can't speak.











In an emotional photographic sitting with portrait photographer Rankin, Lucy confronts two polarised parts of herself - the perfect Lucy pre-diagnosis, and the broken Lucy three years after diagnosis.'

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0904xtm/mnd-and-22yearold-me

Lucy visits Speak:Unique, a research project at the University of Edinburgh, where her voice was recorded in order for a synthetic voice to be made in case she loses her ability to talk.

For the best results, the person would record their voice before there has been any effect on their speech.

But, as is the case for Lucy, if there has already been some impact on the speech of the person, it may be possible to ‘repair’ some of the voice by adding in higher levels of another person's voice (a donor voice). Lucy's sister was a donor voice and also had her voice recorded.

During the recording session they said a selection of 400 sentences that include the various combinations of English speech sounds. While 400 sentences is an ideal number, a synthetic voice can be generated from as little as 100 sentences if people aren’t able to manage the 400. This voice recording is then “banked” and stored ready to create a synthetic voice for a communication aid if, and when, that person needs one. Using software developed by speech scientists, all the parameters of that unique voice can be automatically analysed and synthetically reproduced in a process called “voice cloning”.



During the voice cloning process the synthetically reproduced parameters of a patient’s voice are combined with those of healthy donor voices. Features of donor voices with the same age, sex and regional accent as the patient are pooled together to form an “average voice model”, which acts as a base on which to generate the synthetic voice.

The programme helped me realise how voice is such an important aspect of a person's individuality.

One participant of the Voicebank Research Project clinical pilot states:

“…I would far prefer to use it (their own personalised digital voice) than the annoyingly bland off the shelf version. The voice identifies the person and to a large extent its tone expresses both personality and character so to capture this is in a synthesised version is an important development for many of us who have speech issues.

To be able to communicate in a way in which sounds like my voice and therefore all that it portrays beyond the words themselves is a huge advance. Another important step towards maintaining personal dignity in the face of severe handicap which is an essential ingredient of compassionate care in my view. ”

For more information please visit

http://lucysfight.com/index.html

http://www.mndscotland.org.uk/

http://www.speakunique.org/

Thursday, 10 August 2017

The Race to Fingerprint the Human Voice - Radio 4


A fascinating programme investigating the role of the human voice in forensic phonetics.

'Forensic phonetics - or voice identification - has long been used in legal proceedings to help determine if the voice on a recording is that of the defendant. But with the electronic age enabling the recording and storage of more data than ever before, its role in criminal investigations is changing rapidly and the race is on to "fingerprint the human voice".

Rory Bremner looks at some of the new research in this growing area of forensics - its applications in the fields of law enforcement and counterterrorism, and why there is such resistance to it in the UK, where we still prefer to rely on the human voice analyst than on an automated system. He hears about high profile cases involving speaker identification - including Michael Stone's conviction for the murder and Lin and Megan Russell and the conviction of John Humble as the hoax caller claiming to be the Yorkshire Ripper.

Rory also talks to Francis Nolan, Professor of Phonetics, about how the way we think of people as having "a voice" oversimplifies matters. Compared to a fingerprint pattern, which is always a constant, physical characteristic, the voice is the product of two mechanisms which vary considerably - the speech organs and language. Fingerprints are identified through literal analysis; voices are identified through comparative voiceprints. Your voice as your password is now becoming an everyday reality rather than a SciFi cliche. But can it really be said that every voice is unique, as some have claimed?

The development of increasingly sophisticated automated speaker recognition systems is now bringing the prospect of a "voiceprint" enticingly close. But how accurate are these systems? Can they differentiate between 'real' Trump and Rory's impression of Trump...?'

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b090293g

Contributors:
Professor Peter French
Professor Hugh McLachlan
Dr Helen Fraser
Dr Kirsty McDougall
Professor Francis Nolan
Erica Thomson

Presented by Rory Bremner

Monday, 7 August 2017

‘You’re Reading Into It’ at Vane Gallery




















‘You’re Reading Into It’ brings together bodies of work by seven emerging LGBTQ+ artists, curated by artist Oliver Doe. The work focuses on queer readings of Minimalist art and portrayals of LGBTQ+ experience through a minimal abstract lens. Seeking to challenge the machismo often associated with Minimalist art and reclaim a queerness in that visual language, ‘You’re Reading Into It’ highlights the importance of queer and radical feminist issues in the development of contemporary art.



Rachel Ara’s work makes direct references to High Minimalism’s sexism and the movement’s ignorance of women artists such as Ana Mendieta, as well as gendered pricing structures in art and the tragedy of the HIV/AIDS crisis to which she lost several friends. Charlotte Cullen seeks to reinsert the individual into Minimalist formalism’s abstract removal of the artist’s hand by employing a feminist sense of craft. This contrasts the ‘masculine’ industrial fibreglass insulation and aluminium used in the sculptures in order to question binaries of gender and sex. Garth Gratrix also utilises materials often associated with Minimalism – household paints, concrete, and metal – but turns this machismo on its head by playfully examining their ‘queer’ properties through language, innuendo and slang.



Oliver Doe’s paintings question queer visibility in visual culture, employing opaque gloss paint over translucent, skin-like nylon grounds. Abstracting figures into confused, amorphous and sometimes invisible bodily forms, Doe critiques formalist hard-edge painting through an inquisitive queer lens. These are well complemented by Singaporean artist Daniel Chong’s intimate mirrored sculptures, Safe Spaces, which critique his country’s criminalisation of homosexuality. These laser-cut works present the abstracted spaces between embracing figures, removing the bodies and their associations from sight, whilst reflecting the figure of the viewer within.



Tessa Hawkes’ practice plays with object-hood, materiality and narratives, working across a diverse range of media to explore closeness, balance and unalike objects. Her choices of ‘things’ are purposefully colourful and fun; working from collections of images and objects informed by industrial spaces and queer culture, playing with her own queerness and aesthetic views while working through formal methods. Liam Fallon’s sculptural work plays with similar visual codes, deeply invested in the objects’ properties and their relationships with queer coding. Using a diverse and colourful range of materials, Fallon explores and makes reference to subtle forms of queerness and sexual subcultures within pop culture.


http://vane.org.uk/exhibitions/youre-reading-into-it-queering-contemporary-minimalism

Friday, 4 August 2017

Echoes of Abstraction II and The Bottomless Pit of Outros at Laing Art Gallery

'Echoes of Abstraction II and The Bottomless Pit of Outros brings together newly commissioned work by artists Jamie Cook, Adam Goodwin, James Pickering and Paul Trickett, alongside highlights from the Laing Art Gallery’s modern and contemporary painting collection. The exhibition explores and is inspired by the legacy of abstract art, and has been organised by The NewBridge Project in partnership with The Laing Art Gallery.



Collection works featured in the exhibition chart the gradual shift from representation to abstraction, arguably one of the most influential artistic developments of the twentieth century. More recent works illustrate how, to this day, abstraction is used to various degrees, from relatively minor formal alterations in otherwise realistic works, to completely abstract compositions in which the painting bears no resemblance to the real world. Highlight works include paintings by Francis Bacon, David Bomberg, Patrick Heron, Chris Ofili, Prunella Clough, Ben Nicholson, Mark Gertler and Frank Auerbach.

Contemporary artists Cook, Goodwin, Pickering and Trickett join forces as The Occasion Collective to experiment with notions of reality and the natural and artificial worlds, bringing together art and technology. In response to the Laing’s collection works and the theme of abstraction’s long legacy they have made a new interactive installation of sound, image, object and digital experience entitled The Bottomless Pit of Outros.

They have created a virtual reality rendering of the Laing’s grand Edwardian gallery suites, in which works from the collection can be reimagined in an ever-changing virtual display.




The partnership between the Laing Art Gallery and The NewBridge Project has been devised with the dual aim of supporting emerging artists from the region, as well as creating a new platform for The NewBridge Project at a time of both flux and renewed ambition as they relocate to new premises at Carliol House, Market Street.'

It is a really impressive installation that works especially well in the context of the Laing as opposed to a white cube gallery space. The vibrant modern interiors created by The Occasion Collective contrast with the traditional interior of the Laing Gallery, and made me consider the collection works in a new manner which I enjoyed.

In this instance I did not find that the virtual reality added anything to my experience of the work. I find myself being impressed by the technological complexities, but find virtual reality difficult to respond on a more artistic level. 




I'm looking forward to a couple of the associated forthcoming programmed events alongside this exhibition:

Cooking with Three performance in The Bottomless Pit of Outros

The Laing Art Gallery
Saturday 12 August, 6-7pm

Cooking With Three are a mixed-media improv ensemble that work loosely with dance, visuals and sound, directed by Jamie Cook. Collaboration is a key element of the group’s process, with core members Lizzie J Klotz (dance), Adam Goodwin (visuals) and Jamie Cook (sound) inviting members of all disciplines to an open fortnightly forum to improvise together and develop interdisciplinary improvised performance.

The ‘Echoes of Abstraction II and the Bottomless Pit of Outros’ performance will be fully improvised, realised amongst the exhibition, responding to the work as well and the unique space and audience at the Laing.

http://thenewbridgeproject.com/events/cooking-three-performance-bottomless-pit-outros/


| PMP | ‘the listening room‘ – conversation
The NewBridge Project
Saturday 19 August, 5pm

For this salon style event everyone is invited to come along to discuss the role of located & performance-based sound in the contemporary sonic arts.

Jez Riley French will be on hand to present a talk on some of aspects of his work with extended listening & recording, and to highlight some key artists working with located sound. The talk will then lead us into an open conversation where everyone is welcome to contribute. Whatever your interest in sound come along with questions or comments for us all to discuss.

http://thenewbridgeproject.com/events/pmp-listening-room-conversation-jez-riley-french/

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

BALTIC Artists’ Award 2017


One of the current exhibitions at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead is the BALTIC Artists’ Award 2017: an exhibition featuring work by Jose Dávila, Eric N. Mack, Toni Schmale and Shen Xin.


The four recipients of the award each received £25,000 to create new work and a £5,000 artist fee. This major new international award is the first worldwide art award to be judged solely by artists.


Four of the most celebrated international contemporary artists - Monica Bonvicini, Mike Nelson, Pedro Cabrita Reis, and Lorna Simpson - selected an emerging artist whose work they strongly believe in. The four winning artists work across a diverse range of media. The exhibition will provide a vital opportunity for those selected to have their work seen by tens of thousands of visitors, to work with BALTIC’s curators and be supported by a high-profile artist.


Public visitors to this seminal exhibition of new works are able to vote for the artists’ presentation they have the greatest connection to. This will inform an additional legacy commission project enabling a deeper engagement between one of the artists and local communities in Gateshead to be announced in autumn 2018.



I was drawn to the work by Jose Dávila, (b. 1974, lives and works in Guadalajara, Mexico), the artist selected by Pedro Cabrita Reis.

"Influenced by Minimalism, American Conceptual Art, and Brazil’s Neo-concrete movement, Dávila’s artistic practice questions the inherent qualities of modern architecture and art throughout history. His sculptural work is based on the arrangement and overlapping of common construction materials such as boulders, glass, steel, concrete and marble, kept in perfect balance addressing the never-ending struggle against the force of gravity."

I enjoyed the unusual and playful combination of materials and the lightness of touch to this installation. The simplicity added to its power. I had a physical reaction to the work, and enjoyed walking around it to experience different angles and see it in new ways. The sculpture is seamlessly constructed, which is essential for a work so minimal. The balloon adds a refreshing splash of colour and is in contrast to the industrial metal girders and heavy natural rock.



It was only when I saw the video about the work of Eric N. Mack that I realised that the clothing that was hung on the wall could be experienced in a different way. Every day, a performer wears the clothing for a few hours and walks around the gallery space. I was disappointed that I did not see this is person as from the video, the clothing comes to life when it is worn. The fabric becomes part of the installation and an interesting dynamic is formed between it and the structures.




http://www.balticmill.com/whats-on/baltic-artists-award-2017

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Voices at Tate Modern

I thoroughly enjoyed my first visit to the newest space at Tate Modern, The Tanks.
"The Tanks are designed to showcase live art, installation and the moving image. The artworks all explore different aspects of the human voice.

Whether used as an instrument, an affirmation of identity, a way of connecting and communicating or for storytelling, the voice is one of the fundamental means of human expression. It can convey meaning through language, be used as pure sound or a combination of both. The works on display show how artists have made use of its versatility to achieve evocative effects."
The installation by Janet Cardiff was a spectacular sonic experience.



"Janet Cardiff’s Forty Part Motet is an audio installation reworking the sixteenth-century choral work Spem in Alium by English composer Thomas Tallis

Janet Cardiff worked with the Salisbury Cathedral Choir to record 40 individual singers, playing each voice through its own corresponding speaker. The speakers are carefully positioned in eight different groups of five, responding to the structure of Tallis’s complex vocal piece, or motet. Each group forms a choir of five singers with different vocal ranges: a bass, baritone, tenor, alto and soprano. The eight choirs produce harmonies which blend into a polyphonic landscape of sound. Visitors are encouraged to walk among the speakers to hear the individual voices, as well as the immersive sound of the motet. Cardiff said: ‘I am interested in how sound may physically construct a space in a sculptural way and how a viewer may choose a path through this physical yet virtual space.’

Sung in Latin, the first line ‘Spem in alium nunquam habui …’ translates as ‘I have never put my hope in any other but in you, O God of Israel’. Although Tallis wrote his music for a Christian setting, Cardiff has shown her audio installation in a variety of spaces, both religious and secular. The artist is interested in the ways in which music can evoke different emotions."
















Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains at V & A Museum

I have my Dad to thank for my love of the music of Pink Floyd. As a child I was introduced to a wide range of music, including Mike and the Mechanics, David Bowie, The Beautiful South, UB40, The Police, Eurythmics, Prefab Sprout, REM, and Fairport Convention. I can't say that I enjoyed all of his music, but I am grateful to him for bringing me up with such an eclectic mix of sounds. 


It is as I have grown older that I have been able to appreciate the lyrics of Pink Floyd for what they are. The story behind the band and the band members is an interesting one. There are only a few bands that are worth of such an extensive exhibition and, as the David Bowie exhibition at the V&A Museum showed, if the story is a good one, then an amazing exhibition can follow.


The Pink Floyd exhibition at the V&A Museum is full of material from artwork, posters, memorabilia, instruments, props, set designs, album designs, interviews with the musicians, song lyrics, videos and of course, plenty of music.


The exhibition is ordered chronologically, taking you through the history of the band, and focusing on some of the important aspects and influences. The psychedelic beginnings, politics, their use of lighting, circular screens and set design are all covered in the material in the exhibition.


The band embraced Roger Walters idea of the everyday problems of modern life, and made Dark Side of the Moon to address such issues as money, death, violence and madness. 


I was overwhelmed by the wealth of material that was included in the exhibition, and I spent over 3 hours enjoying what was on offer.


The many video interviews provide unique insights into things that happened behind the scenes. The story of the escaping inflatable pig is one that will always amuse me!


Even with all the mod cons of present day, the visuals they were producing for their shows years ago are top notch. Going to one of their concerts was a feast for the eyes and ears, and this certainly is the case for the exhibition as a whole.


Although the fee is rather high in terms of exhibition entry prices, I feel that given the amount of material and high tech equipment included in the show, it is understandable why that kind of price is required to make it possible. It is, in my opinion, money well spent.


The final room in the exhibition is a surround sound and visual delight. It is as though you are at one of the concerts.


I can only urge people to go to this exhibition. It is one of the most powerful museum exhibits I have ever experienced, and, although I think it helps that I am a Pink Floyd music fan, there are plenty of things to interest anyone not necessarily a fan of their music.


Monday, 24 July 2017

Forms in Space…by Light (in Time) by Cerith Wyn Evans at Tate Britain


Forms in Space…by Light (in Time) is the 2017 Tate Britain Commission in which a contemporary British artist is invited to respond to the Duveen Galleries at Tate Britain.


"The artwork is made from almost 2km of neon lighting, suspended from the ceiling and configured into straight lines, sweeping curves and spiralling forms."

http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/tate-britain-commission-2017

Sunday, 23 July 2017

A lot can happen in a day - performance

The evening  performance session provided a natural close for the one-day workshop.



Having spent the morning reading and discussing the publication, A lot can happen in fifteen minutes, in the reading group, the afternoon spoken word workshop focussed on how to transform words that exist on a page into a spoken word performance. The group developed a spoken word performance using one of the texts within the publication as a starting point.



                             













I began the evening by providing a brief introduction to the publication and an overview of the workshop. I performed a version of 'As planned', one of the texts in the publication that the group chose to work with, and this was closely followed by the group performing what we had worked on during the afternoon workshop. 

















A question and answer session then followed, and the audience were very generous in offering feedback and comments.



Question included 

What were your motivations for writing?
How did this work develop out of your Masters studies?
How did your family react to being written about?


I ended the event by performing another of the texts within the publication, The flat was in sight. 

It seems that the workshop and performance event were really positive experiences, both for myself, the workshop members and the audience. I would like to thank all that were involved, including Alice and Sophie from Turf Gallery and Katharine from Disobedient films for documenting the day. Many thanks also to those who attended the workshop and the performance.

My publication can be purchased at Turf Projects or online http://unstapledpress.bigcartel.com/product/a-lot-can-happen-in-fifteen-minutes

A lot can happen in a day - Spoken Word Workshop

The second part of my workshop at Turf Projects was a Spoken Word workshop. Leading on from the Reading Group in the morning session, I gave the group a number of options about the dirrection they wanted the workshop to take. Given that the group would be performing the outcome of the session, they decided that they were most interested in using the text within the publication as a starting point (as opposed to writing their own text), and thinking about how to reinterpret it and deliver it as a spoken word performance.



The text chosen for the performance was called 'As planned', and it was written in two columns, with each column suggesting a different character. It had previously been performed by two people, each of whom read one column of the text.





The group reinterpreted the text and identified there being four characters - a father figure, a mother figure, the subject, the internal thoughts of the subject.



We began by taking each sentence and identifying which character was speaking.





Most of the text remained the same as the original, but we did change the tense used by the internal thoughts of the subject.



Once we had identified the different characters, we tested out assigning different roles to different people in the group.



After some experimentation, we agreed on the line up for the performance. 



The natural interpretation was that the subject was younger than the father and mother figure, so we decided to mix that up and use one of the older members of the group to perform the character of the subject.





We then tested out the positioning of the performers in relation to the audience.



We decided where the audience would sit and set out the seating as it would be for the performance. 



We positioned one of the characters (the internal thoughts of the subject) amongst the audience so as to differentiate it from the other characters.



We filmed ourselves rehearse and re-watched the footage so as to identify any habits that were problematic or ways that the performance could be improved.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

A lot can happen in a day - reading group

One of the galleries selling my publication, A lot can happen in fifteen minutes is Turf Projects, the first entirely artist-run contemporary art space in Croydon, South London.



Turf Projects are a charity organisation working to support the development of artists, curators and the public through an ambitious programme of free exhibitions, workshops and events.



Established by creatives with a personal connection to the borough, Turf now comprises; a gallery space exhibiting work from emerging & established artists; an artists workspace & events space; and an affordable studio provision for artists & makers.



In an attempt to prompt dialogue and discussion about the themes raised in my publication, to get feedback from readers about my publication, and to think of new ways of presenting the text within the publication, I developed a workshop to take place at Turf Projects in their Workspace and event space.



The workshop was broken down into three separate, but linked, sections. The reading group in the morning was an opportunity for the group to discuss the content of the publication. The group read a number of the texts; sometimes the same text was read, but by different people. This highlighted the different ways in which the same material can be interpreted.



We tried reading some of the texts as a group, and others we read just by one person. We spoke about the difference between reading them aloud and silently. I was reassured by the extent to which people related to the content within the publication. Although the texts refer to highly personal experiences, they have aspects that resonate with others due to the overarching emotions or themes.