It has been a very packed period of time over the Christmas, Near Year and first couple of weeks of Jan. It's been quite a tough little time; I found myself surviving off very little money over Christmas/New Year until Arts Illuminated had its first trickle of income this calendar year... a lot of pressure whilst juggling the new work development. I fortunately have many hands to carry me though those times - la vie d'artiste! - particularly whilst moving house etc.
I'm in a cafe in Pyrmont, Sydney. It's overcast but at least the heat isn't as oppressing as it was yesterday. Dean and I are about to head into the studio to continue working on our "Exile Nothing" piece... which is part of a larger project "The Gaze".
We've already done a lot of work on the background of this piece. Dean and I have both been through different forms (and different levels) of childhood trauma, and we've been talking, working through the layers and what it means, and how that could inform a performative experience.
Dean and I went out to the Hawksbury River, with a couple of hammocks and our laptops. It is a place he likes to go to work when isolation would help in the task. There was reception out there, so I was able to prepare for an important meeting with Grant Thornton the following day (I'm looking for potential investors in Arts Illuminated)... the isolation for me proved timely, as I was able to really get my thoughts and information in order. Whilst we were out there we discussed the past in depth... the context of the trauma that Dean has survived.
Dean has a friend, Marie, who has had a lifetime experience helping others through a variety of problems. Her own history is full of interesting times, harrowing times, and joyful times - like all our lives. She had particular insight into Dean, as they'd lived together for a long time. She also has a deep understanding of survival and perseverence... after meeting with her my senses were heightened and my mind re-invigorated - and I became facinated by even very common scenes/images like that above... and what the history of this place could reveal if it could speak to me.
My celebrations over the New Year lead me to get a little under the weather - nothing like a bit of Chlamydia to make things interesting... it's an easy fix though.
Whilst at the doctor's surgery, I noticed this artwork, using lighting and mirrors to create an effect of a doorway to another dimension. This is a technique I used in December during the Strut / Sarah Dowling workshop... and one that I'm interested in using for my performance during Guy Whitworth's exhibition during Mardi Gras.
I went to view the gallery space and to test out some sound tech (it vibrates the surface it is sitting on). Really great little space and lots of potential for performance. In a development meeting with Guy we looked at key themes of Identity (Who Am I), "Street Angel" and Youth In Trouble.
Street Angel refers to an experience I had in Perth helping an aboriginal man who'd passed out on the street in his own vomit. It was an impactful experience for me and I'll be sharing it in a performative way. The Identity theme will be explored with performance with self / mirror and -other. "Youth in Trouble" just looks at a few things that happen in our early 20s... new gays on the block, as it were. Last year, the two men I knew to get positive diagnosis for HIV were both under 25.
One of my FAVOURITE conclusions I came to recently was in workshop with a friend; Lou, in Perth. We are working on Connect/Disconnect together (he's a smart guy, an engineer, with lots of diverse experience), and we discovered the three parts (Self - Other - Spirit) were best expressed with this;
The way I am
I am next to you
Who am I
I am breathing
and I think this is going to be the basis of that whole body of work.
It's always fun to use whiteboards and sticky notes! Next step in that project is a grant application.
The next major cab off the rank in my creative life for me at the moment is a Backer's Audition for Exile Nothing we're holding at Critical Path on the 30th.... We've sent out the invites, we know what we're saying... but gosh it's time to start developing some physical material for it!
Ok time to get in the studio!!!