Walking through a new country…
or a new seeking
A visceral journey…
I attend ‘ THINKING THROUGH…THE BODY’ a workshop ‘to explore design principles and multi-sensorial movement , seeing, listening, smelling and touching, throughout the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill’, run by Ava Fatah gen. Sheik, architect and researcher from the Bartlett School of Architecture, and dance artist Katja Nyqvist.
‘Drawing on the movement principles of Laban and Forsythe, focussing on how our bodies experience and perceive space and how we relate to other bodies and the environment around us. The workshop will also explore the key role body movement played in the radical pedagogies of the Bauhaus and how it can compliment architectural education in the digital era’
and I am ready…
In pairs we take a ‘ blind walk’ to feel, touch, smell, taste and touch the building, the space, the body of where we are.
In turns we lead each other through the whole space of the building, inside and out. As leader we are also given the choice of choosing a viewpoint, space, object, and asking the other to open their eyes for a moment. This is interesting.
A gift, a surprise, a manipulation…
I decide to walk barefoot, to root, to feel the shift in temperatures of internal, external, threshold floors, and to collect almost forensically, residue dust, tiny stones on the souls of my feet.
The building tips away as my eyes close, and as I move through shifting light, still perceivable through the skin of my eyelids, edges shift and I stretch out my hands, fingertips to create my own.
And then I stop. I let myself move without asking with my hands. I also notice that the brighter the light gets, the more hesitant I become.
I can feel the touch of a hand on mine and at the small of my back, and will trust this. A test.
I feel cool curved glass with my hand and then wipe my cheek across its expanse. It feel delicious. Sounds are pushing in…’the house, the house… ‘ I hear someone say.
And I am handed what I think is a ping pong ball, and as I think to put it in my mouth, as a small child might, I am handed a bat. And so I hit out in the dark and it makes me laugh. I am handed a pair of headphones and feel sweet relief to be able to dive momentarily into a ‘radio space’.
Back in the auditorium space , eyes open, we explore drawing lines in space with our bodies and each other.
And I think, I need more of this. I need more of this…