A Call for Home
Magnetise 2020 and collaborative practice in lockdown
In these unnerving times of isolation, connecting through collaborative projects will be an important life line for many artists. And although at times worries may override our ability to work at our best, the possibility to be together, to keep working, inspiring each other and reflecting together may well turn out to be even more important than pasta and toilet roll!
I have spent some time in the last few days considering the possibilities and challenges in this new climate for some of my ongoing projects. As an artist who has continued to embrace the sensorily rich materiality of charcoal and fabric and paint, has veered a little shy of technology and whose performance practice often involves contact dance forms, I find myself looking squarely at the important role online technology will now take going forward. An example is the Magnetise Project. This project, which was selected for both local and national awards last year, has to date centred around week long residencies and workshop periods where the internationally based artists and local community groups have collaborated in a combination of professional development and community based practice. We are delighted to have secured the funding to continue the work this year and build on the existing relationships and themes. The project investigates the potential of renewed attention to gravity, through somatic movement, sound and drawing practices as a means deepening our connections to landscape.
At the end of 2019 we began developing the next phase, ‘Magnetise, a call for home’. This title, (increasingly poignant in the current climate), reflects an interest to explore the connections not just between ourselves and landscape but relationships between land and identity, and the idea of being at ‘at home’; in our body, our community and environment. The six dance artists collaborate with participants from two of the community groups this year, (three adult performers who are wheelchair users and three youth dancers) towards the creation of a joint performance. For now all work will happen remotely and a final performance space may take the form of a split screen video rather than theatre. We will explore the potential of zoom for discussion and workshop facilitation and the website for sharing and reflecting. We will also explore the use of VR sets and cameras for live streamed and filmed work, combining layering and real time interaction.
For now keeping connected in meaningful and creative ways feels as important as ever, as does deepening connections with home and land. Magnetise, like other projects, will, I hope offer a frame to keep a group together and to keep collaboratively making. To read more about Magnetise visit www.undercurrentdancefilmtheatre.com/magnetise