Richey, Debbie and an interesting beginning

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I have been meaning to write this post for weeks. I’m glad I waited. As I hunker down for another Glasgow winter and a day of work in the studio begins to demand Arctic expedition attire, it is all the sweeter to look back on the summer evenings of IF and think that what we started then is gaining momentum now.

When I joined the project I had a real appetite to explore the theatrical properties of my visual art practice but a real absence of clarity in the matter of how to do so.

It was hugely satisfying to find that conversations; natural, enthusiastic but tentative came comparatively quickly as we began to meet and that tender little filaments of ideas and shared interests started to weave into a real fabric of possibilities.

A tipsy moment of throwaway enthusiasm between Debbie and I became a serious intention to work together in the service of our shared obsession with Richey Edwards.

It’s difficult, at this point, for this post not to turn into a disgusting sycophantic hagiography of Debbie Hannan, so interesting, educational and downright fun it was to work with her.

We had a short time to develop something brief but relatively ambitious and to find a shared language to bridge the discrepant space between our different backgrounds and disciplines and it was excellent to find that quite quickly we could accomplish that and take joint ownership of the work.

Having spent the last few years working almost completely alone on a art practice which concerns itself with extreme solipsism and self definition it is extremely edifying to submit yourself to a discursive process and hand some control of the work to another person.

As a performer to be directed, and directed so well by someone whose decisions and advice I trusted completely was a total giddy delight. I found that on standing to take the stage on the night of the performance I was gloriously unaccompanied by my customary urge to run away and be sick somewhere conveyed by jelly legs and instead felt calm and ready to show the audience our very new, very raw short piece.

So this is to say that already I have been lucky enough to have a taste of what Team Effort might do for us all – a sample of the thrill of working with other people in unexpected ways, or relinquishing total control and being repaid by the satisfying shared authorship of work I would never have made alone.

This all seems very sentimental and gushing, which is not my natural idiom at all which more than anything makes me all the more certain that Team Effort is damn well good for me.

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