Monday, May 21, 2012

Choreographed by Birds - Barefoot Blindfold

Choreographed by Birds

The blind man's guide,

Meek and neglected thing, of no renown!
Soon will peep forth the primrose, ere it fades
Friends shall I have at dawn, blackbird and thrush
To rouse me, and a hundred warblers more!

from 'The Recluse' by William Wordsworth

Barefoot Blindfold took place on Friday the 18th May at 5am. Anne-Marie Culhane and I were joined by nine others.

From Anne-Marie 'slow walking' us into the recently planted orchard at the top of her new Fruit Route at Loughborough University to being blindfold barefoot to breakfast and discussion in the Landscaping Our Society garden shed the piece has produced much for us to reflect on beyond the experience.

It was good also to hear from artist Marion Michell that she too joined in from afar - if you want to do it yourself please do and share back with us your experiences. Here is a link to Marion's blog where you can find her thoughts on this and lots of other thoughts too!

We will share back more fully elements of Barefoot Blindfold shortly but in the meantime here is me Barefoot Blindfold being chorographed by birdsong.

The video was shot by dancer Miriam Keye of Strandlooper.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

In the Blink of an Eye: Animation by Jo Lawrence - National Media Museum

In The Blink of An Eye - By Jo Lawrence
National Media Museum

Our world is constantly in motion. This exhibition reveals our fascination with movement and our desire to capture it through photography, film, television and new media. Alongside material from the National Media Museum's Collection this exhibition will feature two new commissions by artists Anne-Marie Culhane & Bob Levene and Davide Quayola & Memo Akten.

In the Blink of an Eye is part of New Worlds which is a strand of imove, a Cultural Olympiad programme in Yorkshire. imove has been funded by Legacy Trust UK, creating a lasting impact from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by funding ideas and local talent to inspire creativity across the UK. imove is also funded by Arts Council England

Monday, May 07, 2012

Barefoot Blindfold - Fruit Routes

Fruit Routes events in May including a daybreak a new way to experience sunrise and the dawn chorus 'Barefoot Blinfold' a piece conceived by artists Anne-Marie Culhane and Paul Conneally for Fruit Routes.

Please be aware that during the daybreak piece participants will be blindfolded to enhance the listening experience for a period of time.

Places are limited so telephone 07849073394 or email and come along to this free dawn meets art experience. There will be a chance over breakfast to share thoughts on the experience and gain insights from an RSPB expert on the bird song heard but also whatever emotions and stories rise to the surface during the experience.

More on Barefoot Blindfold
Conneally says (at Artists Talking):

"I see this as another strand of my ongoing Memory Foam series in that within the immersive experience we hope to create, emotions, memories and stories will arise from the sounds and silences weaved through the piece.

'Barefoof Blindfold' is part of Anne-Marie's ongoing work FRUIT ROUTES for at Loughborough University a work that I've been happy to be a part of over the last six months or so.

Barefoot Blindfold will take place on Friday the 18th of May in and amongst the fruit trees planted in and across the Loughborough University campus during Fruit Routes. It's a daybreak exxperience starting at 5am in the morning - dawn.

Exact happenings are not yet finalised but meeting at the Pilkington Library participants (it could be you!) are 'slow walked' to a Fruit Route orchard area. Here each person chooses and sits with their back against a tree and is blindolded for 30 minutes. It will be dawn and the blindfolding aims to focus our senses on sounds and sensations other than visual. It will we hope be a new way to experience the birdsong of the dawn chorus for instance but all other sounds too.

We thought of how one might 'draw' the sound sounds, sensations and emotions in real time while blindfold. The impermanence of dawn, of birdsong, saw us seeking for parallel ways of 'drawing' them as we sit blinfold and barefoot backs against our trees. We think we have it now - to draw in air - to move our hands and arms in response to the sounds and the emotions, memories, srories that arise in us. Let the sounds of dawn choreograph the movement.

I can see it in my mind's eye now a grove of fruit trees each tree with a barefoot blinfold person sat against it, listening and moving their arms arms and hands to the sound of dawn and all it brings.
The second half-hour will be a shift - this time involving the blocking out of sound perhaps - from blind to deaf somehow.

After we have breakfast and share our stories, emotions through the mediation of feedback on the birdsong heard and birds on the campus in general from an RSPB expert on birds.

Any and all of the above is subject to change".

Friday, May 04, 2012

Train 595 - from Memory Foam Paul Conneally 2012

Train 595
Paul Conneally 2012
Apprpriated Oasis Wet Foam and Pearl Headed Pins 
Train 595 is in from the Memory Foam series and was recovered by Paul Conneally and Maurice Maguire from a rubbish skip in a church graveyard.
Train 595 - some have already railed against the use of this train in presenting it as a new work of art or in fact representing it at all. Conneally has been called "ghoulish" and others have opined that it's disrespectful.
Conneally says: "Its neither - it's memory foam and pearl headed pins from a rubbish skip"
A nother worries: "What if the family of the dead person it was originally made for see it? Won't they be upset?"
The truth is these trains are, according to florists, a standard pattern, a popular shape to temporarily memorialise children and men that love trains.
Conneally says:
"It's not important which church yard it came from - it's the one in your head right now."