Posts Tagged: human nature

Copy and Pasting images in movement – With Lea Anderson

Pictures in fashion magazines look weird enough. But what if you cut off half the picture then recreated it ? This was the main focus of our NC session today, led by the amazing Lea Anderson.

Initially, the task seemed simple – look at the picture, copy it. Soon enough we realised the intricacy and precision involved in copying an image – the focus of the subject, the angle, the position of the feet, hands, shoulders, the expressions. To add to the complexity, the photos had all been cut and pasted in various ways – some were just the faces of models, others a knee and a hand, one was just feet. This left us with the freedom to decide what to do with the rest of the body if it was not specified in the photo.

The most startling result of this session was watching how different everyone one’s responses were. We worked in pairs, and everyone followed the same set of images in the exact same order. Yet, each pair has such completely contrasting ideas and methods of copying. Despite this, we could all identify the images each pair did, and when one pair were stuck and asked ‘Which picture comes next?’, we all knew exactly where in the sequence the pair were and which picture came after it. The images could be clearly seen in each pair but the transitions and context of them were completely individual.

This idea of sequence and identifying patterns has left me wondering at what point does one image end and another begin ? Can we ever copy ? What is it about each image that made it recognisable in the different pairs ?

Thank you Lea !

Stella

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Deliquescence

IMG_2711 IMG_2705 IMG_2700 IMG_2697 IMG_2715

April

As my feet sink into the wet ground I leave behind the comfort of my home. My skin begins to numb, and I feel suddenly awaken by the ice piercing through my lungs. Dropplets of green air fall onto my skin, I can almost taste the moss, and I am excited, happy. The still white obscurity envelops me, space has finally become visible, stable, still. And so I let it carry me, and suspend me in a vast, reassuring silence. All that is left is my breath dancing with the vapour of the tree. I am no longer here, but I feel everything.

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Designed Elements – Transforming an outdoor space with choreography and landscape design

Photo by Gorm Ashurst

Photo by Gorm Ashurst

Photo by Gorm Ashurst

Photo by Gorm Ashurst

Photo by Gorm Ashurst

Photo by Gorm Ashurst

 

In August I worked for 6 days with an enthusiastic and energetic group of young people to create a new outdoor performance work, Designed Elements. We had the privilege of working on an extremely ‘cool’ site – new pop-up music venue, The Paperworks in partnership with landscape designer, Anoushka Feiler.

From the first time I visited the site I was struck by its wide array of textures. Huge old rusting iron structures – the remains of the papermill that had previously inhabited the site; the busy train line running from Elephant & Castle into London Bridge with thundering rhythmic screeching wheels creating an immediate backdrop/sound scape; the graffiti covering the crumbling brick walls – a taste of rebellion; the plants growing through the walls – a reminder of nature’s capacity and tenacity for it’s own version of regeneration; the energy and activity of this new set of bars, DJs, food stalls – a look of London.

For both Anoushka and I, the history and the architecture of the space felt important. The endless possibilities for transforming both the utility and the feeling of the space felt important. The opportunity to mark out a new territory and imprint new stories into this already multi-layered site felt important together with making visible the connections between the cycles of physical human life and plant life: new seeds being nourished and growing, life flourishing and then gradually decaying and decomposing back into the ground. I wanted to find a way to reflect the duality of the fleeting/busy/temporary qualities of London with the slower, stiller feeling of the buildings, the trees – also temporary and changing, but on a different thickness of time. These were our shared starting points for both the garden design and the choreographic ideas.

This is what I proposed to the group on the first day:
We will:

Run, lift things, move things, lie in the ground
Plant things
Make wishes
Build sculptures and knock them down
Leave secret messages
Watch
Listen
Invite
Respond
Make a mess
Clear it up
Take risks
Do small delicate things
Do big sweeping things
Be tired sometimes and energetic at other times
Support each other in all of this
Write, draw and think as well as move

We worked hard, and as always the group and the space surprised and inspired me. Below is what our programme notes said – they were written by all the group, hiding under the tarpaulin as the torrential rain thundered down. This is just a fragment of what got written that afternoon, but in all of their words I felt the warm satisfying glow of realising how deeply they had grasped what I was trying to share with them.

We want to stay a part of something, but if that something changes too often, must we run to keep up? Or perhaps we fall behind in hope that we will find what was once beneath us.

We are a fleeting city
our landscape is constantly re-arranging itself
melded, bolted together
We rebuilt this world
somewhere between growth and decay
seeding new ideas
Reaching upwards. Falling back. Together.
A cluster. A line. Leave none behind.

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