Performance Day of “Clay Walkers”

Well the day I’ve been looking forward to and in a way dreading has come and finally finished.

A quick recap on the last two weeks of rehearsals;

We as a group had a few problems in our dress run two weeks ago due to weather, however it wasn’t because it was raining (which is blessing for England). In April across England had a few weeks of freak sunny and hot weather, which for our performance would be a pain. Walking a cycled route continuously for 8 hours would (and did) cause some bother for us. Something as a group we struggled with. Getting the first stages of heat stroke during a dress run wasn’t fun.

Upon reflection we decided to try and perform another dress run of “Clay Walkers” a week before the actually assessed performance. Sadly this didn’t happen as other assessments had clashes for us to rehearse as a full group. One other issue that was brought up by Rachel was our clay figures (inspired by Antony Gormley) were too small to make an impact on the audience members. We had tried other methods to get the figures bigger and tried many products to get the figures to stand, but alas to no avail.

So today (Wednesday 6th May 2015) is the day of the actual performance. I honestly didn’t think we would of got as wet and as tired as we did. As a group we arrived promptly at the cathedral gardens for 8:55 to set everything up ready for the ever growing crowds of people who were excited to be a part of Clay Walkers. In my dreams really, at the beginning of the day the weather was suitable for us to work in sun was out with a little bit of wind.

But in traditional english  weather the high heavens rained down within an hour of the clay walkers performance began and continued throughout the day. My mood dropped quite quickly from being really positive to really negative about the project. I don’t think I would of lasted as long as I did if I didn’t get the support from both Beth and Georgia.

Conan and Rachel came along at different points of the day to see how we were progressing on with the creating of figures. Well I say figures, halfway through the assessed performance we were advised by Conan to slightly change the idea of self image to creating something that connects and links to Pottergate. So Beth started making bricks and engraving words and emotions on to them then sticking them upon a wooden chopping  board. From this idea it lead on to re-creating the Pottergate from salt dough within the garden. (As shown in the picture below)

We finally finished creating the performance at 3pm this afternoon 2 hours earlier than we first predicted many weeks ago. I think Conan and Rachel were impressed with all the work we created on our own as there wasn’t anyone there that want to participate in our performance no thanks to the rain and very strong winds.

Now that the site specific performance is over I’m glad it went well its just a shame the weather let us down and no one was able to experience the life of a potter and create some wonderful art form.

Till the final blog post



Clay Walkers final product

Prepping a lot of Salt Dough

So what does plain flour+ salt + vegetable oil+ water equals?

Salt dough

We had to quite a lot of it, we made about 190 amounts of these…. .

We found out that two bags of salt and flour wasn’t going to cut it, so we had to go back to the shops and have a quick calculation what will make enough models for our piece. We came up with this:

  • 12 bags salt
  • 6 bags plain flour
  • 2 bottles of vegetable oil

And three rolls of cling film to keep the dough fresh.

Overall it cost £12.

We did have some difficulty with some of the batches… some were too oily or to sloppy or even to dry! We soon sorted it out with trial and error with having 190 in 4 hours.

I did have some problems making the salt dough as we were working with to ingredients that are very dry, so someone who has eczema it didn’t take long for my hands to crack and feel sore, so I had to stop and have another job and wrap the salt dough in cling film. The way I will resolve this problem for next time will be wearing gloves.

So for next time we will be buying, probably a little more than we did for the rehearsal so we can have about 400 worth or so. I will be wearing gloves and we will have more a sustain batch of salt dough from the recipe.

Next blog will be talking and evaluating on the rehearsal and what we learnt from the experience…

1st dress run and product making

So Monday’s rehearsal & prodution meeting was based around making our clay from salt dough. It was an experience I must say.

It was a first time experience creating salt dough for me. I didn’t think it was going to take nearly 4 hours to create 190 hand size dough balls. That time doesn’t include the 45 minute trip to morrisons to buy more products, by more products it was Salt (12 bags), plain flour (6 bags) and two bottles of vegatable oils as well as three rolls of cling film. All coming to a grand total of £12.

As agreed from the last production meeting we as a group we’d planned on doing a full day dress run on Tuesday 21st to see what works and what needs improving or editing for the actual performance day.

Things didn’t go excatly to plan, we arrived at the garden just after 9am to start the cycle of exchanging clay with a handshake down at the Pottergate to walk a planned route to the garden.

We did 4 hours straight without proper breaks as we had orignally planned in previous meetings that we would take breaks when we were in the garden. Luckily we were blessed with beautiful sunny weather which we thought was perfect however the sun wasn’t really the best thing as we discovered. One of the members within the group started developing the onset of sun stroke from the heat. So we had to call the dress run short.

I felt we did have a positive response and interest by the general public who were using the garden for tea & cake but when I was sat in the Pottergate people walking past or on public transport were giving strange looks as the salt dough wrapped up in cling film looked similar to wrapped up drugs.

As a group we have discussed that we will do another dress run this week coming, change the colour of the dough so it doesn’t look as strange when its wrapped up. Have a one hour break to split up the day. We have taken on board with Rachel’s comment that the model clay figures need to be bigger than a hand full, but by doing this we need to add lolly sticks to the mixture so the figures can stand up and be slightly stronger.

Till the next blog

 Inspiration: Antony Gormley

So as I said in my last blog that I was going to write about the artists that have sparked an idea for this site specific performance. Those artists are:

  • Antony Gormley
  • Nele Azevedo
  • Do Ho Suh

So this first ‘Inspiration’ blog, I will be talking about is Antony Gormley is known for his works on sculptures all over the world, one of his famous ones is the ‘angel of the north.’ Gormley’s work started to be critically acclaimed in the 1985. The work I will be talking about that relates to my group’s piece is the ‘Field for the British Isles’ where this piece is created by volunteers. Who create their one terracotta figure to place in a room where the room is filled with them, corner to corner, end to end.

Antony Gormley says “I wanted to work with people and to make a work about our collective future and our responsibility for it” (Gormley, 2014).  Where the artwork faces you and makes you responsible for these figures as they constantly stare at you. This feeling makes us think that we are “responsible for the world that it [FIELD] and we were in” (Gormley, 2014).

The idea of figures such as these spread all over the cathedral garden gives it have a dramatic effect from the end of the journey from creating your piece from Pottergate to making sure its ok from the path which we take to the garden to put it in its final resting ground. I feel the dramatic effect that Gormley’s work gives a great effect for our piece to make the garden more a live and gives an impact to the volunteer of a permanent memory and impact on the place, by placing down a part of you and part of your imagination.

As it says in the Site Specific Performance book Pearson puts that a “French archaeologist Laurent Olivier has termed a ‘relationship of proximity maintained regarding places, objects, ways of life or practices that are still ours and still nourish our collective identity’” (Pearson, 2010,43). By bringing the idea of our sites into a performance that gives an impact on the place but also gives it nourishment to our piece. That make us feel what we are doing to our sites makes it feel like ours for a day and hopefully to the volunteers as well. It shows the “relationship between material culture and human behaviour” (Pearson, 2010, 44) as these places are neglected and should be given back to the public, like they were back in their day then being in the background.  With making a performance with salt dough figures and making a path between the hidden gems (Pottergate and The Cathedral Garden) it does make the work look back at you, as this piece is a simple figure of you, created by you, looked after by you, carried by you and placed down by you. It gives you a connection to you to the piece, giving that feeling of responsibility.


Gormley, A. (2014) Field, 1989 – 2003. [online] London: Antony Gormley. Available from: [Accessed on 19 April 2015].

Pearson, M (2010) Site-Specific Performance. 1st Edition. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

I want to be a clay walker

Hi All

I’ve been busy over the last few weeks creating and promoting our site specific performance on social media as well as creating an event for “Clay Walkers” on Facebook. (Links are here &

Well since my last post a few things have changed within the group’s performance. Firstly a brand new name for our performance piece. It sounds better I think “Clay Walkers”, it connects and relates better to our performance piece than “The Potters” or “Pottersgate group”. However I must remember that without these names I don’t think we would of got the idea of “Clay Walkers”.

The idea of Clay Walkers came from the works of Antony Gormley’s installation piece “Field for the British Isles “. The idea of small clay figures being created by our audiences was a wonderful idea to get a more hands on experience with our piece, sadly we only have 8 hours to try and create 200 small figures to be displayed in the “secret garden”. Unlike Gormley’s  40,000 figures that are displayed in various locations across the United Kingdom. – a image of Gormley’s figures standing together in there thousands.

As a group we all agreed on a main target audience to get involved creating our own version of Gormley’s figures are students / semi residents of Lincoln aged between 18 to 24 years old. With the facebook like page I invited friends and students at the University of Lincoln as well. By inviting 3rd year drama students I hope to change some of the views and opinions they have with Site specific. I’ve also opened the invite up to 1st year drama students so they can see some work they are likely to be creating this time next year. We hope that on the day of the performance we will get the general public and tourists wanting to get involved as well.

Well for now I’m going to look up recipes for making our version of clay on Monday. There will be a video documentary made and will be uploaded to youtube & facebook for you see the process we are about to undergo creating our clay. And lastly our dress and technical rehearsal is nearly upon us!

Till then everyone.



Gormley, A. (1993) Field of the british Isles. [online] United Kingdom. Available from [Accessed 15 April 2015].