Working 9 til 5!

Hi all,

After many weeks of piecing our little moments together on a trial and error bases im pleased to say we are finally decided on our end product (so far).

Our piece having many names ‘the secret garden group’, ‘the pottersgate group’, ‘the potters’ to our final title ‘the clay walkers’. Being titled ‘the clay walkers’ should give the participants a better understanding of what we are doing, which is:

We are going to be separated into three different areas. Someone will start at Pottersgate measuring out lumps of clay (or in our case salt dough) and this person will be greeting our participants explaining the tasks and handing them the clay. Another person within our group will also start the day at Pottersgate as this person is going to be taking the participants up to the secret garden with their clay. The third person in our group will be starting in the Secret Garden. This person will be inviting the participants to put their clay on display with the others and ask them if they would like to stay a while maybe to have a drink with us and enjoy the beautiful scenery. This person once doing all this will then make their way down to Pottersgate to swap roles with the person stationed there. The person stationed there becomes the person that takes the participants to the secret garden and the person who took them to the secret garden last stays in the secret garden until the ‘walker’ gets there. This should rotate all day.

So what are we actually doing with the clay?

We would like our participants to meet us at Pottersgate where we hand them a piece of clay. We would like them to make a figurine of how they see themselves. They have as much time to do this as they want. When the ‘Walker’ within our group gets to Pottersgate they also make a figurine. When the ‘Walker’ is finished they ask the participants if they would like to follow them to display their figurine within the Secret Garden. If they are not ready, they simply stay there, the ‘Walker’ heads off anyway, leaving the participants to wait for the next ‘walker’.

So where did this idea come from?

We have been playing around with our sites for many weeks looking in depth in their historys and stumbled across and tried many ideas but we have always gone back to what we knew from the second week was that Pottersgate was once a communications portal that potters from different places outside the city would come through to bring their goods to sell within the town. Knowing this and being in the area we finally felt that pottery is what we intended to do. The idea of asking the participants to sculpt themselves is inspired by Antony Gormley’s instalation piece “FIELD FOR THE BRITISH ISLES”. “Antony Gormley’s FIELD FOR THE BRITISH ISLES is a startling and arresting sight: thousands of unglazed, fired, small clay figures, standing closely together, all staring towards the viewer and filling a large enclosed space. There are more figures than can be counted, more still disappearing out of sight into a further space. Their number seems to be endless.” (Searle, 1996).

When is this happenining? What is the duration of the piece?

We are performing this on Wednesday 6th May 2015. The duration of the piece will be eight hours long, we are starting at 9am in the morning and finishing at 5pm at night. This is because we are essentially working potters and we would like to do this within the working hours of the day which is usually 9am until 5pm.


Searle, A. (1996) Antony Gormley: Field for the British Isles. [Online] London: Hayward Gallery. Available from: [Accessed 25 March 2015].




Devil in a well?

These are my notes, thoughts and reflections from today.

Today, we actually managed to try out our ideas and actually put them into practice. We started at Pottergate.

Here we started by inviting our audience/participants to start by finding a slap on the floor and in chalk writing a wish or a memory of any kind. Look at it for a minute then wash it away. – We did this because after spending time within Pottergate we found many names and messages inscribed into the wall from many different dates. Also Pottergate when it was built was used as an entrance to get in to the city. There was a communications portal in the bottom for people on the ground and the people in the building could communicate to each other. People had to give a reason why they wanted to come through. After further research we found that a group or Monks called ‘Sand mandala monks’ made patterns meaning the circle of life and they would then wash them away to cleanse the mind and soul. This is what further inspired us to wash the participants memory or wish away so that they could cleanse their mind of it. We then asked that they step out of the arch looking up to the sky for 10 seconds. Then close their eyes, thinking of a bad memory and asking them to concentrate on that memory. Then we asked them to open their eyes. This made them try cleanse their mind of also a bad memory. We had different reactions one of which made one of our participants cry. This is very important to think about as we do wish people to see this as a performance and a mythical adventure and not a self help pilgrimage.

We then walked toward Saint Anne’s Well, where it is said that a devil lives inside. Legend has it that if a person walks around the well seven times, goes up to the door putting their finger in one of the holes in the door, they would be rewarded with feeling the devils breath meaning they would be going to heaven or if they were a bad person they would be going to hell and this would be shown to them by having part of their finger being bitten into. Again, we want this to be fun and not taken really seriously as Rachel advised that again this could be like self help, but we also wanted to make it link in with what we have just done and make it have a purpose. So when I arrived home I was thinking about this and to tie in with Folk tales and myths, so I came up with a little poem that could perhaps be read out before they do the tasks as a little introduction to why we brought them here.
This is only a rough draft of the poem for now and I need to develop it a bit more but this is what I’ve got so far:

“There once was a Devil in a well,
He decided if you were going to Heaven or to Hell.
You had to walk around in a ring,
And put your finger in.
For that naughty little Devil in the well!

P. Pinkering did think it,
This silly little trisket.
That it was rewarding for landscape,
to create such a silly myth.

You may feel the nibble of the Devil’s teeth,
Or you could be overcome by slight relief.
But by now you may have guessed,
That this is all really made in jest.
And is all in the name of fun.

So come on P. Pinkering’s mythical journey.
We invite you to take this task,
There really is no reason to ask.
He made it all up, we are going to give it a go.
Now come on lets get on with this show.”

Lincoln and it’s chamber of secrets…

On Monday, we explored uphill Lincoln. The sites and views from there were absolutely beautiful and breath taking. When looking at these site’s many thoughts occurred to me about the history of the places and what meanings I could take from the place. As Govan states “In such work place becomes an important element within the artistic encounter and there is recognition that a space is not empty but full of meaning.” (Govan, 2007, 121). Some of the site’s came across as dull and empty, as nothing really stood out prominently to me in those particular sites. Other sites were full of life, history and horizon. The ‘fuller’ sites I am very much interested in working with because they have already triggered a lot of ideas.  However, I am going to visit the sites again with a more open mind seeing if there is anything else that I can pick up from any of them that I perhaps missed before, as Govan quotes Wrights & Sites, that suggests “Allow yourself to be stopped and diverted as often as possible. Accept these delays for whatever they seem to offer you.” (Wrights & Sites 2003: 40). I did open my mind in some aspects – such as at the Windmill. I took a photograph of a water tap. To anyone else it could have just been an ordinary tap, to me the elongated, old look made it look like a face so I had a little fun when editing my photos.


The main things that stood out to me throughout the walk around Lincoln was the secrets it held and I’m sure that there are probably many other historical stories and values not yet explored. Lincoln is a very historical city and has a lot to offer when looking for sites for our site-specific performance. Everywhere we went had some sort of sign, portal or a doorway which hasn’t really got much information about them which stands out as a secret. I’m interested in looking at signs around the top and opening my mind to them. As Phil Smith points out in ‘The Devils footprint’s video’ that people take signs  for granted they could tell us a story. Another thing that stood out to me was that Lincoln is a very spiritual city. I was very aware of the Cathedral when walking round as it was always in view. After the lesson me and a few other classmates felt the same about the Cathedral so we decided to take a look inside for inspiration. It was captivating and very inspiring.


I am going to further research into the historical stories and Lincoln’s secrets to develop some more inspiration ready for Mondays lesson.

Works Cited

  • Govan, E. Helen Nicholson and Katie Normington. (2007) Making a Performance: Devising Histories and Contemporary Practices. Routledge: Oxon.
  • Siobhan Mckeown (2011) The Devils Footprints PART 1 [online video] Available from [Accessed 5 February 2015].
  • Wrights & Cites,2003 in Govan, E. Helen Nicholson and Katie Normington. (2007) Making a Performance: Devising Histories and Contemporary Practices. Routledge: Oxon.

First day!

Site Specific was not something I was looking forward to as I didn’t really understand fully and it just didn’t interest me. However, upon starting this module on Monday with an interesting task – the subtle mob – and talking about things that site performance can include, I found that I was actually quite interested in this module. When we was first given the task, my initial thoughts were “Oh no, this is going to be embarrassing!” Walking around doing things that would draw me out from the crowd really did not appeal to me. However, I gave it a go and to my surprise I really enjoyed being out of my comfort zone, testing my abilities. Further more, I am very excited to explore the possibilities within site specific as we get further into the module.