I sit here at the keyboard, with absolutely no idea in my head of what I’m going to write.
I had thought I would be posting immediately, but I have found what I needed was time to absorb, reflect and so on…
I have my earphones plugged in, because everyone else is sick of hearing it… listening to the recording of the performance.
Did I feel nervous?…. erm… no not really, I felt prepared.… excited though, yes.
Did I have fun?… hell yeah!
It felt like a real celebration, a really great way to round things off for this part of the project.
There will be audio, video, photos of the event… but we need to sift through it all first.
I want to go back to the beginning and do it all again.
But, that would not be possible, so much has changed since January! My ears are faster, I can discern certain things far more readily. My voice is better… more accurate, stronger, more confident of getting where it needs to. I know stuff about all sorts of equipment… and I neeeeeeed a looper…..
Turns out, I am a narcissist and a show-off. I put on my lippy and my posh frock, I talked about myself for hours, then I sat in front of everyone and performed seven songs, a 50 minute set or thereabouts!
I loved it. I will do it again. I still believe my context is different to the other members of the Songwriters’ Circle, in that I still won’t be looking to perform regularly in open mic things or what have you… but I can now, having done it, see how the performance can fit in with my work. They were right to persuade, encourage, cajole, and dare me to do it!
I don’t at the moment see me doing this performance as part of this installation… but I can now see that it might be possible in future adventures. In my head I think I had the idea that performance in the gallery space would be a no heckling, no applause, serious thing… which is why, for nine women, the performance was kept separate downstairs. But you know… that artist is a different shape. I am a different shape. I love that interaction… I like talking to the audience, having a laugh, a spot of witty banter and all that. I can’t (again, at the moment) see me being a “Performance Artist” who has a costume and puts on a different persona. I can however, see me singing, as me, in among my work. It might seem a small thing to you as you read this, but to me this is a revelation. It seems a Big Thing. This is like me realising I didn’t have to be a painter all those years ago. I can be whatever shape artist I want. If I want to gig in the gallery then I will bloody well gig in the gallery. Maybe I will change the gallery in order to facilitate this. Maybe, I can change the expectation of what happens in my gallery space, with my work. I don’t have to do it in the way everyone else has. I keep saying it… I am a different shape… maybe the white cube can be pushed a bit. Next week, this particular white cube will be having a piano delivered and installed. it’s a start isn’t it?
THIS is the Big Thing… the Big Lesson Learned.
The installation was in the upstairs gallery comprising recording and bras. People walked among them, unable to resist fondling them even! As long as this is done respectfully and carefully, I have no problem with people handling my work, as long as they are not eating ice cream or bacon butties while they do so that’s fine with me! These garments have has far rougher treatment than being gently handled in order to examine closer. Laura Rhodes, my photographer/videographer/interviewer for the event said it was interesting how men handled and reacted differently to the work to the women, having been given license to touch. I can’t wait to see the evidence!
So what’s next. Time… I need to sit with my feet on my desk for a while, tea in one hand, hobnob in the other, contemplating, sticking things up on the wall, words and pictures. I need to look at the photos, watch the video footage, sit in the space, watch, listen some more…
I have a chunk of University and Gallery work at the end of July and the middle of August. I think, by the end of August I will be ready for the next phase. It is important to give time for the rhythm of the work to play out its natural course.
My family are already talking about “The Crash” as they have witnessed it before… but I don’t think it will be too bad this time, as I already have plans…