ArtsLab Shopfront's artists in residence

Shifty behaviour

Alongside Michael Pigott, the amazing Alex Harrison has been taking us through a 3-hour creative development session every Tuesday on walking. Yep, an artistic inquiry into walking. Without a doubt, it has been one of the most uncomfortable but exciting experiences I have had yet. Basically, my creative instinct often seems the exact opposite of how we are asked to explore a particular notion, this push can feel like I am edging closer to the brink of catastrophe but there is something beautiful about being pushed out of your comfort zone.

These development sessions have greatly influenced the way in which I have gone about developing the show’s idea. I have made a conscious decision to move into the uncomfortable and have structured my rehearsals in direct response to all I have learned and observed in these creative development sessions. This has produced some very interesting results and surprisingly, most have been positive.


Something that I have been paying significant attention to, is the presence of patterns and rhythms. Several simultaneous patterns and rhythms exist in our lives. We have habits, particular rituals and occupations. We seek out stability. It is only when a pattern shifts, either consciously or unconsciously, that we become open to change.


This idea has allowed me to approach the original idea of a gap in new way. This shift in pattern can be seen as a gap or interruption. I have begun to see a change or a gap as neither positive nor negative. The gap is infinite. We use gaps to escape, reflect and move on. A gap can take us back in time, allow us to take a step forward and even urge us to stop and to stand still, sometimes for too long.


This particular idea has really come into fruition within the structure of physical exploration.  By structuring rehearsals with exercises derived from Viewpoints training has proven to be a successful beginning. Finding physical images and loops in our exploration first before writing text has meant that the text that Katy and Jesse have written taken on significant depth immediately. This approach is challenging and something I continue to find difficult but is something I am committed to continue experimenting with.


Before I blog off I want to leave you with a video that was recommended to me by Alex after discussing my initial idea way back in late April. As the weeks go on a thought or conversation will remind me of ‘In my Language’ and each time I have watched it becomes more potent and continue to find new points of interest that rise to the surface. This video is an exploration of communication and language.  This is an everyday that is different to my own and one that is fuelled with rhythm.



Sybella x

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