The Manorbier Reading Room and surrounding vicinity
Monday 25 Feb – Friday 1 March 2019
Tentacular Thinking explored Animism; the ancient belief system that attributes all things — animals, plants, rocks, weather systems, language, technology — as being connected, animated and alive.
Abigail collaborated with Gilly Booth, Simon Whitehead and Séan Vicary, and experimented with new types of practice; incorporating a mix of play, technique, knowledge and failure that nurtured creative impulses.
By exploring Animism, they considered new ways of reconfiguring their relation to the Earth and all its inhabitants – in the midst of ecological devastation -to form a more sustainable and symbiotic relationship with the world, where we are humbled by nature and seek to work with it.
Seeking Blossom in Winter
“People think that their world will get smaller as they get older. My experience is just the opposite. Your senses become more active. You start to blossom.” Yoko Ono
What is the older artist to do? Seeking Blossom in Winter was an investigation into the possibilities afforded by many years of radical performance practice and experience, led by Kevin Lewis.
Bringing together four Wales-based artists in their 60s, with over 160 years of experience in extraordinary, radical performance practice between them, the project explored what happens when these artists encountered each other and started to play.
Kevin collaborated with Jill Greenhalgh, Phillip MacKenzie and Belinda Neave.
I Know You’re In There
November – December 2018
A daughter honours her mother in the ruins of their family home.
“Dementia has ravaged my Mother’s brain. The infrastructure and interior of her house mirrors this decay and deterioration. An estate agent values the house – what’s it worth? Everything. What stories could our family home breathe?”
This is Carri’s response to the clinical treatment of her mother’s life and estate. To some, she is now a number, her home is a figure on estate agent-headed notepaper. To Carri, she is a woman who has lived an extraordinary life.
This project was a personal excavation of stories before the builders moved in and rendered it unrecognisable.
Carri collaborated with writer Kaite O’Reilly and director Phillip Zarrilli on this lab.
Colonisation, migration, growth, flourish; themes which often present questions for multi-disciplinary artist Tina Pasotra. Who is afforded the opportunity to flourish and grow, in a hostile environment in which systems of oppression and coloniality are tirelessly upheld?
Visiting the National Botanic Garden of Wales to explore its botanical practices will inform ideas around growth and experimentation. Joining Tina will be Katie Smyth, one of the founders of Worm – a design studio working with flowers and plants for conceptual projects. Tina will also consult historians with expertise on India and the British Raj, who will provide context for colonial history, past and present.
The project will culminate in experimental plant-based installations with Worm, inspired by the process and findings of the development lab.
Kama is a Mid-Wales-based storyteller, theatre-maker and arts manager who initiates a range of arts projects with and for rural communities. For this Professional Development Lab she is working with Andrew Sterry, a collaborative theatre-maker from Mid-Wales, who creates work in a range of spaces, from care homes and day centres to community settings and theatres.
Common Ground explores these artists’ shared curiosity for making work in rural landscapes and collaborating with the communities that inhabit them – more specifically, the spaces we call “commons.” The common land. What is it to feel part of these spaces?
Common Ground will involve seeing work, attending symposiums and workshops and being mentored by artists who might help support their journey. Thinking about what logistically goes into making outdoor work, meeting with professionals who produce landscape theatre and collaborating with a diverse array of organisations, the idea is to build foundations for creative “strategies” and get inspired by some brilliant people, projects and ideas.
Dewis y Distaw / Choosing the Silence
Choosing the Silence explores themes of social isolation by electing to follow in the footsteps of St Dwynwen and spending time on Llanddwyn Island, Anglesey, away from the familiarity of day-to-day life.
Legend has it that St Dwynwen exiled herself to Llanddwyn to escape patriarchal control. Many women today report experiences of isolation, whether as a result of feeling disconnected from their immediate communities, physical distance from their families, illness, or social-media-induced fear of missing out. The project will be an exploration of one central question – how can selected isolation be a rebellion?
Samantha O’Rourke will be collaborating with fellow writers Alison Powell and Emily Vanderploeg.