A huge amount of hesitation is going on at this point for me. I’m needing to understand the context of live-art, the area I’ve stepped into. I find I am doing live-art performances, yet have started before taking stock of the context.
My first live-art piece was the first appearance of the Lost Library at the Abergavenny Eisteddfod in 2016. In the autumn of 2015 when I dreamt up the idea of making a part of Abergavenny Library mobile and take from the building and onto the festival site. (Except this is not the whole truth. Really I wanted dancers to respond to text/bring text to life, maybe even within the library, but I couldn’t find available dancers.)
My reasoning was to do with wanting text to become physical to move. (and not brave enough to do it myself). Also, being told many times by people that I am not a performer. Which has truth in it, but, but, but But also motivated by the knowledge of losing so many libraries. Along the way many elements came into the end result. Being in the middle of it its harder to understand what others might have seen in their encounter with the lost library. The ingredients of the performance where:
7 days on the festival site
An old wheelbarrow filled with plants
A big roll of text from the book Border Country by Raymond Williams
Music coming from the wheelbarrow
A speech in Welsh and English translation attempting to explain the whole piece.
a volunteer Welsh speaker to read the Welsh speech
Musician composed three pieces using the book as theme source material
Art student adapted a 1950s wheelbarrow to take the roll of paper
Local gardening group grew from seed plants mentioned in the book.
Clearly looking back, I had far too much going on!~
This was useful, yet incredibly stupid. Less is more and how did I end up with all those elements mixed in? Well, for starters, I had a long time to prepare, this I realise is terrible with something so site specific. What would have been more useful would be to (get commissioned) and have a simple kit ready, a simple plan and then adapt as I go and allocate myself tonnes of time during something like 7 days in a row (almost, it was Fri, Sat, Tues, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat) and by the Weds I was warming up and stayed up till the early hours painting a translation of the speech onto a roll of paper, as the Welsh was getting glazed looks. The communication is important to me. And the working from the seat of my pants works in this kind of environment.
Festivals are for flexing, experimenting with an element of practice. I did this yet in several different languages and the message was messy.