During May 2014 various members of Interval used the first floor gallery space at the Arnolfini as part of a collective residency to begin new projects or explore current works.
The following blog is made of individual contributions from Interval members resulting in a mixture of extracts, process and reflections.
Massive Owl/Castle Rock (working title)
I recycle some action we explored as a group earlier. Gordie reaching down to check the track. Seeing the train. Screaming “TRAIN” in slow motion. But I added something else that I extracted from the text/but to myself I felt like a boy in water slow motion, shooting up not through five feet of air but rather up through five hundred feet of water, moving slowly, moving with a dreadful languidness as the water parted grudgingly/I perform this. I perform the metaphor. I perform it as if it were real. As if the real moment of seeing the train and the poetic of moving up through water were of the same moment. I think how this might be the most interesting thing I have discovered doing this task. I think we could explore this further.
Lina B Frank/The Infinite Choir
There is something amazing that happens when you sit in a big empty space. This might sound daft, but it’s like your headspace gets bigger literally. It’s like you have more space for thought around you, which exactly the experience I had at Arnolfini sitting in gallery 2.
I had given myself 2 prompts to explore for developing my piece during this residency. The first was “imagine what you piece is in this space” and the second one “what’s in it for the person who is experiencing it”.
After re-writing the script I invited Edward Rapley in to give me feedback. Most of my creative collaborators are in London and I realized Edward is the person I trust most in terms of showing where I’m at when I don’t know myself. He was really useful and I owe it to him that I’m as happy as I am with the result.
You will realize by now that in this post I have not written a single thing about what the piece is. That’s because I’m not entirely ready to release it into the public realm. However, I’ll give one clue so that when you one day read about the piece you will know this is what I was talking about today.
The piece is called ‘The Infinite Choir’.
Hannah Sullivan/Violent Creatures (working title)
For the Easter day parade my parents would dress me like a devil. My face was painted red, a comical villains moustache above my top lip, a red cape with a hood and fabric black horns sewn on to it. I held a plastic miniature trident. They both wore hats, when you’re an adult it seems a fancy hat qualifies as fancy dress. But I was the devil, skin red, burnt by the flames of hell. Oh she’s a little devil, she’s a little devil isn’t she (spoken like an adult talking to a baby). Some children are born with marks, these marks get called devil marks because when the child is acting out, up, out of character, bad, mad. The mark – it glows red. The child is possessed, possessed by the devil (said with true concern). I’d run around with my miniature trident pretending to stick it into people. I was dressed like the devil so I thought I would act like the devil, and I tell you what, it was really very fun.
Tom Bailey/ Speech/Oblivion (working title)
The residency was fantastic in the way that they sometimes are, in that you go in there with an idea to make one thing and it completely changes… the trajectory you end on is something totally different. I went in there looking to use war speech as a starting point. I spent most of the time in a performative analysis of my own directing, which was in the end more fruitful and perhaps more possible starting point for a new piece.
Kathleen Downie/Nap Glasses
I began the project in January 2014 during the Embodied Theatre Course I am participating in Glasgow. Nap Glasses are an old fashioned piece of Japanese technology with prismatic lenses designed for reading in bed. The world looks distorted through the lenses and has the fantastic effect of distorting my natural movement; in a sense repressing and constricting it. I filmed myself moving with these glasses, and then learned movement repetitions from the film of myself. I also painted and developed text through the looped process of working. My body shaped the work and the work shaped my body.
During the residency I projected my previous films of rehearsals and the original improvisation, and worked on these developing the movement, developing transitions. I worked on trying out text trying out reading from Virginia Wolfs A room of Ones Own and Sadie Plants Zero’s and Ones, and knitting patterns. I also went back to working with materials a bit but this time dancing and drawing, and dancing with actual thread. I am interested in just seeing what comes out of the physicality. What can be read from purely working with the Nap Glasses and looping the layers of meaning that can be read. I am also interested in themes of repression, female sexuality and womens relationship to machines.
On the final day of the residency Interval had a private sharing to unearth some fresh ideas, pose questions about new developments and just try things out. Jo Hellier shared the beginnings of her work on confluence, Adrian Spring asked questions about his solo ‘from the neck up’, Kathleen Downie showed us her Nap Glasses, Hannah Sullivan read some new writing and Lina B Frank tested her re-write of The Infinite Choir.
Interval would like to thank the Arnolfini for there generous spacious support to our practices.