ArtsLab Shopfront's artists in residence

Looking For the Spoors of Origins Yet to Come. Those That Feed on the Decomposing Matter of Everything That Came Before.

Over the final season of ‘Slow Reveal’ I had some very fine conversations with new acquaintance Heath Ivey-Law. He and I met a few times and were really just two rather different things sitting, speaking, listening, acutely aware of  one another  for reasons beyond reasoning. (I’d like to flag here the similarities between this situation and A Feat Incomplete. I’d also like to flag that I’m not surprised.) Artistactorwriter Ivey-Law is in many ways dangerously different to me his leaps of faith, set of interests and passions contrast a little violently with my own but not in a bad way at all. Cose afterr a few lingering conversations I was rather stoked to discover some quirky similarities between the things we are keen on as artists.  Including some old trigger points for me that I had abandoned after creating ‘In the Slaughterhouse of love’ for reasons I’m not quite sure of. Fear?  This potential for expansion and reinvestment is maybe what inspired a tentative commitment from the two of us to develop a writerartisitdramaturge relationship over the summer. (I don’t know it was at his initiation and Im well keen) Our  clashes of ‘leaps of faith’ combined with complementing skills sets and almost shared language could make for some very interesting  performance events and I look forward very much to that growing.  

Some of the many spoors left behind as ArtsLab11 finishes.

But the main reason I mention Ivey-Law is because some of the ideas circling around our conversations that really summed up my feelings on the ArtsLab Program at least in this moment.

 What struck a chord upon first meeting him and provoked me to seek him out again was his steadfast adherence to the notion that meaning existed only within our desire to make it. Not a new idea but his expression of it was not quite like I’d heard it put before. (Apologies here to Heath for dragging this out of context somewhat but it would take many more pages to explain why his turn of phrase captured me when it did) and it’s a groovy thing to be reminded that meaning will continue to thrive outside this program as long as I wish to continue seeking it.

Sometimes I think as an artist I am designed to just to be receptive to others.  It’s a value to hang worth on yes and I’m okay with this tendency. It’s part of the reason I do good things when in collaboration as well as leading teams as a director.  Seeking places and creating environments where I can tune into to others interests is really good for me and creates interesting work. My ability to disregard timeurgency and forwardmotion in favour of lingering over drinks with other creatures just to sit in their presence is mirrored by my impulses to seek out long development process where ideas can be given their full weight and time to gestate. Both are spurred by a belief that other things outside me have a right to be invested in.  ArtsLab has given me the space to do all this, but in saying that the program is essentially a solo enquiry. It is about being receptive to my own interests not another’s. Recently I have noticed that when confronted with absence of another, or someone who chooses not to connect, or someone who does not value connection I can find myself  disorientated and painfully unsure my intentions  (in life and work), a pitfall of the assumption that another will tell you what’s right and worthy. I guess when the value system is not shared you can feel you were not honest in your expressions and you stumble. Sometimes small stumbles sometime months go by before you reorientate yourself.

Releasing the expectation that meaning exist outside you removes this stumbling block somewhat (hell releasing expectations full stop is a pretty worthy end to aim for) because I only need to answer (or remain receptive) to  myself.

 It’s a learning to negotiate the line between honouring the impulse to connect and understanding ultimately you always create alone. Connection exist because I seek it and the most interesting ones come when the differences are not ignored but rather explored over long lingering conversations with peopleideasplaces that trigger your curiosity.

 This is my Artslab experience, a network to seek out connections and lingering conversations. Connections and conversations that have never once lulled me into lethargy but continue to challenge me to stand behind the things I value. No received practiced just the acknowledgment from all sides that what I’m doing matters because I say it does.  The compassion and faith to let me go about that without asking me to get it right any time soon or that there is even a right way to do it.

Heading into debrief next week so there might be more to come but right now this feels, well useful well weighty, well timely. Time well spent.

Comments are closed.