Our fourth time venturing up Steep Hill to our given site, and it was pouring it down with rain. After having brilliant blue sky and sunshine weather for the past few weeks (albeit still being very cold), it is of no surprise that it made us view the site in quite a miserable way. Despite the awful weather, we continued to explore our site and the possibilities of performance. In this session we had formed our groups, mine consisting of: Charlie, Jess, Megan and myself. We had originally tried to write messages and leave them in certain places around the cathedral and keep an eye out for passers-by to see if they would notice and comment about them. However, with the weather clearly not being in our favour and getting harder, we decided this probably wouldn’t work and took our inspiration indoors. It was in this session that we discovered how hard it is to begin creating something for Site Specific Performance – it is so open to ideas, that we could practically begin from anywhere. Struggling to spark initial ideas of where to go and what to do, we decided to think back to previous tasks we had done whilst exploring Uphill Lincoln. We thought back to last weeks session of misguided tours and our individual interests when creating our maps and decided to take a walk round the inside of the cathedral and subtly listen in to various people’s conversations. We headed to an unusual part of the Cathedral that none of us had been in, ‘Chapter House’ which happens to be where parts of the Da Vinchi Code was filmed. Having seen bits of it in the film, it was incredible to see the architecture and its brilliance in real life. We sat round on the seating area surrounding the round room and were commenting upon the organ that was placed in the room and how incredible the acoustics of the room must sound. At this moment when we were discussing this, we noticed a family come through the door: A mum, dad and two little boys. The first boy ran into the space shouting and running to the back wall and it immediately changed the atmosphere of the place we had quietly been admiring. He then sat down at the far side of the room gazing up at the ceiling. The mum, dad and the other little boy sat down on the right hand side of us, explaining to the little boy some history he knew of this room and how people in generations gone by would ‘have discussions’ in the room. We continued to observe the first little boy and began to think how different a child would look at the Cathedral, in comparison to someone of our age. I knew at their age I found places like the Cathedral extremely boring and quite scary places. What did that little boy think?
After spending around 5-10 minutes in Chapter House, we decided to go to the Cathedral Cafe and listen in to more conversations. Whilst we were there, we found it quite hard to listen in without seeming overtly obvious. Instead, we began to write down any ideas or places that seemed to spark any of our interests during the day. Here are some of the things we listed to look at or research further:
- Looking at the space with a child-like mindset – interview children about some of the pictures (below) we have taken surrounding the Cathedral?
- The Archways around the Cathedral – Stepping back in time, like a time capsule: the old and the new.
- The Hut, or ‘pixie’ hut as we referred to it outside the Cathedral – what myths does it have. Could we combine fact and fiction into our piece?
- Alfred Lord Tennyson statue – research some of his poems and reflect them back into the space in some way.
- The picture of the man’s head coming out of the wall. What is his story?
- Layers of perception – photo within a photo idea from our previous session.
Our job now is to do further research into these ideas and see which one sparks the most interest.