Tracing 20 years.
This year in the lead up to our 20th birthday I am reflecting on where I was, where I am and where I hope to be. This is a piece I wrote in 2003 during my first term at the Victorian College of the Arts.
My early work had been heavily influenced by a production I saw of an Anthony Minghella piece performed by Juliet Stevenson and Lauren Potter for the BBC. Situated in a gallery within a photographic exhibition, the images alluded to the narrative, as something not quite seen, not quite right.
I became fascinated with the intersection between the art forms; actor, dancer, photographer. From here, I experimented with conversations between the visual arts, actors and musicians, trying to create a common language – the sharing of a language.
Later I became fascinated with the work of Pina Bausch. I loved the concise moments, spatial dynamics, absurdity and repetitive gesture. Thematically, I was interested in the way she dealt with male and female relationships. DV8’s Strange Fish took me to a whole visual physical theatre world.
By the early nineties, I was going to and listening to a lot of orchestral music which fed a new curiosity, the relationship within the ensemble. How one section related to another and how as a large group they found their own collective voice. I sat in on the rehearsals of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra with the various conductors and I enjoyed the crafting and sculpting of sound. It was at this point I saw a way of adapting this to a way of making, I found a structure.
The making of my work reflects this interest in an ensemble. The works go through a long gestation period in order to find a collective mindset. The early works simply utilised a long, deep stage and a handful of lights. It was the performers who were important and their relationship with themselves in space, in time, in rhythm.
During my time at VCA I began adding to the palette. The next body of work combined these sparse qualities with the absence of and the framing of light to dictate what is seen with snippets of live projection.
These influences cause me to obsess with gesture. The quirky, the deranged, the simplicity of an image in a dream, a thought in a fleeting moment. The work isn’t about the mind and what is logical, rather, what is heart driven, illogical, with the narrative line forming out of coincidence.
The work is about the internal. Theatre that is beautiful to watch, to experience, but obsessed with the state of suffering. The themes of despair, the desire for something better, the suffering of everyday life. Within these the private celebrations, the private dance – a solo tango.
I’m interested in the uneasiness of life and the random acts of cruelty. The interwoven relationship of life and desire. Desire both real and imagined. The blurring of real life and dream life.
I’m fascinated in the freedom of dreaming.