When creating a piece of art work, whether it be performance art, culinary art or traditional hang-in-a-gallery art, it has to go through some sort of process to evolve into the piece you will end up publicising, right?
Upon a quick showing of what our group came up with so far, it was clear that we became caught up in the motion of everything. We became carried away with a small idea we had and create a lot around it. Some of it is useable if applied to other things, some is not. We were naive in what one of our plans could look like. The use of ‘heaven or hell’ based around the cathedral could be construed as being unoriginal or ‘base’. The idea could also be slightly antagonistic by using religion/heaven/hell, would people think we were preaching at them? Will they get offended by their religion being used in a ‘dark’ performative way?
So thinking on this, we decided to go back to basics, to go back to our idea, from which this idea steams from, back to the war time.
Will we be able to get our equipment?
Will we be able to learn how to use it correctly, quickly?
Will it work on the day?
Is it too tech heavy?
Will people want to take part?
Are we over thing this project?
Are we under thinking it?
Will it complete within the time frame?
Will the ideas come together?
Does simple mean basic?
Is that bad?
Why do our ideas constantly change?
Is that okay?
Nothing is set in stone yet, right?
Walking into the Cathedral, I was in awe. The pure beauty of the building was all around; in every nook and crevice, every stained glass window and every buttress.
During the workshop session, Lizzie, Kia and I decided to shelter from the pouring rain inside the Cathedral. At this point, we thought it would be a good time to discuss and make plans of what we would like to create for our Site Specific performance.
We liked the idea of an audio walk but to add a twist onto it. One of our ideas was to have our audience participate in an audio game (almost like a scavenger hunt). The idea of incorporating the Cathedral into our performance intrigued us so, bearing this in mind, we looked around the building for some ideas to use. That was when we came across the war memorial part of the Cathedral, the side room dedicated to those who perished in WWI, WWII and the most recent wars. It was quite daunting, walking around that room as there were historical artefacts such as old battered Union flags from the different time periods and old records which listed the dead. It struck a chord as in that moment the wars became all too real and also highlighted just how important Lincolnshire was during the wars and even to this day. We knew at that moment we wanted to use this as some sort of basis.
We would start our audience off with a pre recorded tour which would have instructions on it to follow. We had the idea of having three different walks so that our audience members could experience different things and could discuss their findings with each other. One of the walks could incorporate the war memorial in the Cathedral. The audio could include bomb sound affects along with the audience being told to duck or find somewhere to hide. Their path could start at the castle, thus including the historical elements of wars and battles and would lead to the Cathedral. We could also tell the audience members who were taking the tour facts about Lincoln during the war.
The only problems with this idea would be getting the permission to go inside the Cathedral and use it as part of our tour as well as the issue of entrance fees.
We were set the task of listening to Adrian Howells’ podcast, created for The Guardian (2011). ‘Everyday Moments’ is a podcast series by theatre producers, Fuel and Roundhouse Radio. The nine minute audio track featured an assortment of noise and musical interludes which included rain, slurping, gasping, shipping forecast, static and classical music. The instructions for this piece were to listen to it in bed, in the early morning with a hot drink. I did not follow these instructions and this may be why I achieved different results to the podcast than other people did. I listened to the podcast in the library whilst completing some work, listening to other music (but putting it on pause to complete the podcast). My experience of the podcast became varied.
I found the slurping and gasping during and after Howells has a sip of his drink very annoying and infuriating, the chink of china was distracting and the static noise from tuning the radio, taxing. On the other hand, the rain and classical music was very soothing and I was enjoying listening to it but as soon as I was relaxed, Howells’ additions made me frustrated. Saying that, I did notice that my breathing and heart rate fell into time with the music and his breathing and I found that comforting. Due to the repetitive nature of the podcast, the nine minutes went by very quickly and I was shocked to hear the voice telling me it was over.I think I do enjoy these types of performance pieces, as they focus the mind and allow for concentration or they get you on your feet dancing in the privacy of your room like Hofesh Shechter’s podcast did. The ‘Everyday Moment’ series allows for expression through various ways and different people would enjoy some more than others.
The Guardian (2011) Everyday Moments Adrian Howells. [podcast] 21 November. Available from http://www.theguardian.com/culture/audio/2011/nov/21/everyday-moments-podcast-adrian-howells [Accessed 17 February 2015].
Perspectives change the way people view things. Each person has their own perspective which can be moulded by nature, nurture, situation and maybe just how they were feeling in that moment. A perspective could differ from one person to the other, but on the other hand they could overlap and have interlocking themes but without being the same. For example, someone could look at a tree and see a home for birds and another person could see a place to shade themselves from the sun. Two opposite perspectives are linked through the tree being used as protection.
Using this thought and the instructions I was given, ‘A place where you can stare at an endless horizon’ and ‘An abyss to fall in’, I took this picture. The picture shows a seemingly endless overcast sky. The horizon stretches across buildings and beyond, and once I took this picture I could see an abyss, a vast open space where anyone could easily fall into. I tied in perspectives by taking the photo at an angle, this makes it seem like the buildings were further away than they actually were. By flipping the image,
the idea of an abyss is more prominent than in the original. The black ledge, now at the bottom of the photo, could be viewed as a platform to jump from into the unknown mass of cloud; again it is down to how a person chooses to view the image.
Coming from a ‘straight acting’ background, the idea of site specific performance is daunting and challenging. Overcoming the fear and unease of the unfamiliar will be the major obstacle for myself over the coming months, but by opening my mind to view my surroundings and course with different perspectives will allow me to become more open minded as an actress.