I arrived in the UK late February, first in London for a week to prepare for my durational performance with Samantha Sweeting, and then onto Wales. Deep long days as I lay on the studio floor at the art gallery in Machynlleth, making plaster casts of my left breast and ribcage, making sounds and gestures in the room, and looking up into the overcast sky. There are a million varieties of mist in this hilly landscape, and once in a spell you see the most glorious rainbow, like nowhere else in the world.
38 artists are showing work during the 3-months of Culture Colony Interventions. We are making ripples in this small community. Artists are travelling from all parts of Wales and beyond. The work is steady and strong and of a high calibre. I have met some very refreshing perspectives from the people making the work and from the people viewing it, and I have made some wonderful new friends.
Samantha and I finished our durational performance a few days ago. The performance happened over a 3-day period of 48 hours, noon to noon from 15th to 17th of March. It was an epic work, cycles of death and rebirth, movements from the contained to the wild, reaching towards catharsis, falling into turbulence, repetition, prayer, and mercifully, moments of love. We rode on the edges of the full moon cycle, bleeding screaming wolverines.
We had a notebook for audience comments, questions, impressions and thoughts. I was so touched by the things that people wrote about our work. It is a beautiful thing and so necessary to keep trying to open oneself, even when there is pressure and hardship (indeed we are living in such a complex time) … because you never know what can inspire you. I am grateful to our audience. We worked for many hours to share something from a place inside us, and there were people who came to meet us. I trust there is the possibility of meaningful exchange. For me, it is not about making work for masses of people, it is about touching a few people in a significant way. I hope that my work stays with people and encourages them to feel into the body, and maybe this shifts something.
Wales is a land woven with lore, lyricism, and roughness. Moon-like, ancient hills like animal bodies. I absorb this landscape and grow with the lengthening days. It is not warm weather yet. My heart growls and yearns for warmth. This long winter is still holding us. But there must be an excitement brewing underneath, new adventures ahead, new life and new dreams incubating. And, there is a mourning of things passing. Such heartbreak. But onwards.
Banner image by Pete Telfer.