Choreography underpins my artistic practice; choreographing stories in bronze, choreographing dancers, choreographing the sounds of nature. The outputs vary but the motivation remains the same. I want to move people, literally, figuratively.
Sculptural approach to human murmurings
In my current project I’m experimenting, as a sculptor, with a group of dancers as my live and dynamic sculptural material, while challenging preconceived ideas of how dancers should look and move. Disabled and non-disabled dancers individually improvise yet move together, responding to bird-inspired soundscapes, creating unique human ‘murmurings’ shattering then resolving.
Cross-disciplinary team: Ian Currie; Helen Goodwin, Rosaria Gracia, Welly O’Brien, Hazel Reeves, Olga Lidia Saavedra Montes de Oca, Roz Shearn.
Why birdsong? Two reasons: being brought up on a wild bird hospital as a child and easy access from my studio to the Knepp Wildland, known for its extraordinary wild bird population. Creating birdscapes started in April 2020 with my audio Nightingale Diaries, which turned stereo in May 2020 assisted by Arts Council England funding. They were featured in The Guardian article ‘Lockdown awakened our interest in nature, but it mustn’t be at the expense of wildlife’ by Isabella Tree, from Knepp Castle Estate (28 December 2020). I am now Artist-in-Residence at Knepp Wildland, inspired by soundscape ecology, aiming to bring the Knepp story of hope to urban spaces.
BBC Radio 3 feature
This dawn chorus recording, from the 31 May 2020, was featured in the ‘Sounds of the Earth’ BBC Radio 3 Breakfast feature, August 2020. It’s 4.32am on the Knepp Castle Estate and the dawn chorus is in its full glory. Listen for nightingales, white stork, and cuckoo.
On the first day of the second UK lockdown, 5 November, I introduced a new #SpringBack series of audio diaries from Spring 2020 – there’s nothing like birdsong to soothe the soul, so for those who miss it or missed it, here’s spring back for you, to lighten the dark evenings. For all of them see here.