January was spent amongst many tiny and curious things! Our season at the Royal Botanic Gardens, both in Melbourne and Cranbourne, kicked off the new year in wondrous style and was rich and full and endlessly fascinating. We had the most wonderful time with everyone who came along. The Boy Who Loved Tiny Things will no doubt continue to explore new worlds, but our first stop at the Melbourne Herbarium and the Australian Garden with our super collaborators Zoë Barry and Drop Bear Theatre was one for the Ages!
Four pairs of eyes to see; four pairs of ears to hear; four pairs of hands to make and hold; four minds to imagine and create.
We are four women who love to work together, yet synchronising four lives can be so tricky. As the seasons change and the thread stretches further between us, we hold on; noticing, remembering, imagining, being with each other in our thoughts and waiting for our next opportunity to work in the flow of each other’s trusted company again.
Four of us and one whispering Seam.
You know how toddlers are really really good at just getting into life and working out how it is all put together? Each in their own way, but always in a totally sensory 'lets get under the bonnet and have a look shall we' kind of way? It's messy, and good. Well we might all be crazy, but we have made a new theatre-based work with our Rain collaborators for just such children.
Our five days of development at Arts Centre Melbourne had three performances a day, with fifteen toddlers and their families at each performance...AND we managed to change it every time! Sitting in the chaos, making big spatial gestures, observing, listening and echoing precious moments. What a week! We are tremendously grateful for the support of Arts Centre Melbourne in this new work. We know so much more about it now and gee, do we need a little rest! See more about the project here.
The Letter String Quartet. Moody shape shifters, harmonic tantalisers, totally bloody amazing musicians making full body art from horse hair and trees. It was our absolute privilege to be asked to be part of their 2015 Sonic Series. Their moving, improvised sounds, all scratchy and strained, transformed a short film created for the performances from our most recent work, Bodies At Rest. And the performances still linger with us. Incredible. The fine company of film makers and video artists was pretty special. Thank you, TSLQ.
We're excited to be a part of Next Sunday's OPEN SPACES at The Abbotsford Convent - their inaugural multi-arts event with excellent arty things happening all over the site. We'll be working in Dorm 1 of the Rosina building, for the second iteration of our Classical Mechanics project, Bodies At Rest. Come and find us upstairs - our work is part of the Art Trail.
Sunday Nov 8, 11-4pm.
The travelling troupe goes to Perth, wherein we bring Rain to a new audience at The State Theatre, swim in the Indian Ocean, receive a generous write up in the local rag and see Western friends in all their sunny, spring-blooming, Western glory. Thanks to the Awesome Festival for having us, and of course the Rain and Drop Bear Theatre extended family who make it all the best fun ever.
That's it for Rain for a wee while, so for us it's back to other SEAM projects and collaborations at home. Summer will see us continue our love affair with the spaces of The Abbotsford Convent, but more on that very soon!
We are feeling so very lucky to be playing in the Rain again this week, this time at The Arts Centre! Not only are the audiences utterly delightful (thank you so much for coming with your beautiful babes!), we get to recreate it with the most amazing and talented creative team of performers and cellists and lighting wizzes ;) Love you ladies! Feeling so grateful to be a part of this special collaboration.
Classical Mechanics is continuing at The Abbotsford Convent till Sunday afternoon. You're welcome to come by - we'll be working and weaving and moving large bobbins around in the Sacred Heart Courtyard. A brief interview about our work together is also posted on their blog, if you fancy a read. More updates here soon, or on Instagram in the meantime.
It's the lead up to our spiritous project at the Abbotsford Convent, and taking the studio outside to the courtyard is exciting. These up coming four days are dedicated to deciphering what elements of our collaboration may be visually articulated. But before any of that can happen, we're asking ourselves...what's essential? What are the physical restraints and what are the risks? Valuing transparency, how much of the mechanics is made public? It's an opportunity to amplify those intimate moments, usually experienced inside, in the studio, or over a cup of tea.
As with any touring installation, there’s a certainty and familiarity that comes with replicating a work. Though no matter how many times we crawl through a space to install Rain; an installation performance for babies and their carers, the surprising nature of site-specificity continues to throw us new experiences and content for future deliberation. This week, for Castlemaine State Festival, we’ve crawled and scaled day and night through the Old Castlemaine Gaol, an offering of fresh, transcendental softness for those with the youngest of people for this fleeting month of March...it starts today!
The mechanics of our practice amidst our daily lives, is a recurring subject that emerges amongst every project, in fact, its foundational. Making work for the very tiniest of audiences, has paradoxically amplified many of the physicalities and interactions of customising for a delicate audience. The joys and pitfalls of these physical demands and late hours will not be lost on the everyday carer's in our midst (including one of our very own), and perhaps it is appropriate that in the making of such a space, exhaustion is given room to breathe and be. Noticing the working of our bodies in the space, the movement of our knot tying hands, passing material between us, those shoulders pushing fixings into the ceiling, fascinates and indulges our inclination towards emergence based research and practice.
All that...AND we get the pleasure of experiencing the exceptional and artistic biennial Castlemaine State Festival. What a dream...we'll be sure to post some recommendations soon from the front rows.