Is this a Waste Land? Research starting…

I have embarked on some research for a new performance project – Is this a Wasteland? The ideas are rooted in journeys, places, thoughts, tastes, images whilst cycling in 2013 with our project, Cycle Stories. We wove our way by bike through all kinds of spaces that usually get by-passed by motorways, railway routes and our general haste. Observing the spilling of cities and their waste and that meeting point with nature triggered the idea for this new project. Last winter I sat with these new thoughts quietly in the mountains in Spain and wondered what to do.

Projects seem to make themselves known to me slowly; long gestation before much activity or enough conviction that this might be a good idea. I had hoped to make a solo or a duet. Something really tiny, intricate, simple. But apparently artistic ideas can’t be packaged so neatly against economic requirements. The idea came wanting 7 maybe 8 performers, a big abandoned site with interesting architectural ‘stuff’ on it and a pile of rusting waste. The idea asked a really huge question that I don’t how to answer. 

And so I sat on the fence for several months, feeling tired at the prospect and half hoping that the idea would go away and that something neat and lovely and small would come in its place.

It didn’t.

So with the persuasion/encouragement from Liz Lerman and a wonderful bunch of artists gathered at The Point in Eastleigh last July, I realised that I just needed to get to work. The idea wanted me to work on it, and I passionately cared about the idea.

I started talking about it and writing about it and fundraising for it, and now the research has officially begun.

I am still trying to convince myself that this research, is just for research sake. And that our conclusion at the end of it might be that the project doesn’t make sense, has failed, is crap, won’t work etc, that I’m not already imagining how the final work might be. But naturally my head has already leapt ahead not knowing quite where it’s leaping to. I’m in for the long haul – let’s hope it’s good!


How can we live with simplicity in these complex and interconnected times?

What about

It can be overwhelming. I’ve started by making maps and building things and sharing a studio with Antonia Grove so that I have someone to talk to, compare notes with. She’s also just started a research period for a new Probe Project. We’re both at the beginning and it’s less lonely, less scary with someone else’s presence.

Creativity, community, sharing, re-skilling, simplifying, finding new economic systems of exchange and resource are repeating themes in the quest for possible futures in times of environmental crisis. Is this a Waste Land? seeks to become an active contributor of that quest.

Pictures coming soon…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s