National Lottery and Arts Council England logo 16 passionate movers, whose bodies have stories to tell, came together to create work in response to bird-inspired soundscapes. This virtual exhibition archive offers a glimpse of the process of developing a sculptural approach to expressive movement that took place during 3 intense and exhilarating days.

It was 3 days that have changed me forever

Sculptural Murmurings brings together a cross-disciplinary team of collaborators, over one week at Fabrica, Brighton, as part of Hazel Reeves’ Making Space Residency there (6-10 September 2021).

Rather than using clay, the sculptor experiments with shaping a dynamic modelling material – a group of dancers – using soundscapes over headphones, to create unique bird-like yet human murmurings.

Unstill 12 (Photographer Olga Lidia Saavedra Montes de Oca)
Sculpture 10 (Photographer Olga Lidia Saavedra Montes de Oca)

We welcomed a diverse group of participants to explore different physicalities and challenge norms of who can perform and right ways of moving. 

The six soundscapes reflect the artistic practice of Hazel Reeves, harnessing sounds from her sculpture studio and the recordings of birds in the scrubland made during her residency at Knepp Estate, renowned for its rewilding and increasing biodiversity.

This virtual tour provided a window into this intensive and joyful process. It also captured our movers immersing themselves with gusto with guest artist Helen Goodwin for movement mark making. The virtual touring exhibition finished on 18 January 2022, with the full films and additional soundscapes and photographs archived here.

I loved the total freedom to experiment and improvise, no rules, nothing prescribed but excellent direction and encouragement  from the team.

In 2023, with additional Arts Council England funding, I returned to Fabrica for a joyous Sculptural Mumurings (II) workshop.

The Sculptural Murmurings Team

Artistic Director: Hazel Reeves; Dance and movement direction and facilitation: Rosaria Gracia and Maria da Luz, with advisory input from Welly O’Brien; Films: Roz Shearn and Ean Currie; Soundscapes: Ean Currie and Hazel Reeves;  Guest artists: Olga Lidia Saavedra Montes de Oca (photographer) and Helen Goodwin (movement mark facilitator); Administrative support: Jennifer Kafetz.

Dance Participants

Brenda Anderson, Bridgett Ane Lawrence, Chris Connor, Claire Booker, Francesca Cluney, Jenny Raven, Jules Goodwin, Julian Howell, Justine Curio, Lisa Sang, Maryse Bedel-Banchet, Maxine Badger, Nicki Day, Paola Brambilla, Pauline Hales, Sylvia Vickers. 

Sculptural Murmurings Exhibition Hosts

Fabrica, Gallery Different, Society of Women Artists, Art Junction, Hazel Reeves Sculpture.

Additional thanks

To the team at Fabrica, to Knepp Estate, Hove Civic Society, Zaitoon Deli, Cornelia Marland (Outside In), Elaine Mercer, Tim Knight (lighting hire), Kit House (camera hire), Sandra Reeves, Frances Lord.