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Mullaghmore research trip

I got up early-ish to do a trial trip up Mullaghmore, Co Clare today.

I learned: Its a 5k up round trip walking if you stick to the trail. This took me just slightly over the hour, walking at a moderate pace with intermittent periods of crawling.

Its about 35 min car drive to the bottom of the trail walk up Mullaghmore, in the Burren National Park. (you need to put Mullaghmore into google maps, not Burren national park, as I learned to my detriment this morning)

I couldn’t find my knee pads so did some crawling, but not much. Crawling up will be a lot easier than the crawl down which will put a lot of pressure the wrists, shoulders and lower back. this descent will likely be more of a scramble/sprawl/crawl. Taking into consideration the crop circle crawl I had a bit of an achey back and shoulders after and that was on relatively flat ground cushioned by grass. This is extremely bumpy rocky uneven terrain so will take more of a toll. Need to consider training I should be doing to prepare for this as well as what am already doing. Thinking about the sustained endurance aspect of this action, as opposed to short adrenaline based happenings. I will be making it for the experience of making, the sustained action, the ephemeral mark making aspect of the body moving over the topography. thought about the idea of unrolling and collecting as I travel- a piece of string? Red wool? to what end? For what purpose? On a practical level it would certainly make the descent easier as I would know where to go. Kind of like the notion of making a trail drawing with the wool then taking it up again. leave no trace.

The documentation will be from above, where therefore the height of the the space, as in how steep the climb is, will be rendered irrelevant mostly. Thats interesting also. I thought about the why of it all on the way down. I noted that the descent demanded you go up in some parts in order to get down. going up to descend. And in other areas you had to go down for a bit in order to ascend. And the nature of needing to very much focus to stay on the path.

Importantly, the topography of the area really brings to the forefront the notion of how we as humans cling to the planet like insects on a rock. little bugs creeping around. The interesting idea of gravitational force. I thought about making the action into a rehearsal also by talking all the way up and down, in order to stay present in the action and not let my mid wander, and to accompany myself in the action. certainly it would take my mind off the nature of the action as such. like an outward commentary on the action but from myself. multi tasking at its finest 🙂 It would be labelable as a rehearsal by doing this, as it, the action, would then also serve as a preparatory effort for the next time I get an opportunity (make an opportunity) to perform an endurance talking work.

stuff to organise;

red outfit that doesnt rub or chafe.

video camera i can use with my headcam strap- that will record for 3 hours?

knee pads and gloves – possibly pad gloves at heel of hand.

all for now..


CCC afterthoughts and how to feel productive

I was looking forward to this morning and catching up on admin

I spent nearly 2 hours finishing up my expenses, earnings admin microsoft excel spreadsheet of doom stuff..

I updated my whiteboard to do board

I sent invoices

I wrote more emails off to try secure funding for the Negative space electrical box painting project

And yet I feel like Ive been on the doss and have not used my day productively.. I will go train and return to the desk after..

Next morning

Still from Crop Circle Crawl, taken by Paul Corey

I made the work on Tuesday gone, 1 June. It was relatively, I repeat relatively easy, that is, compared to past works I’ve made. Location- it was only up the road, so no travelling. A local land owner Barry had kindly agreed to let me use his field. I know Barry, its a long story, as I rented a container from him during our house renovations. Then found out he owned some fields up the road from our house, where i asked if i could potentially put my bees. he said yes but thats an ongoing story.

Making the piece was an interesting reminder of how time passes. There’s no adrenaline in a durational work, there’s control and consistency. It reminded me of the tide map trial, when my shoulder started to ache, and my feet were very sore walking over the sharp stones, every pain became huge and had to be managed. Also theres the thinking. Its like a dialled down fight or flight feeling- I crawled around and around, trying to navigate the direction so as to maintain the pattern, and thinking all the time about what would happen if the field owner arrived (although he’d given me permission but this is the shit that goes through your head) and other more practical matters like would the rain hold off and all the other usual negative voices ‘this is stupid/what are you doing/you are too old/ have you nothing better to be doing etc’

The difference being with a shorted performance you live with these voices before hand and then, after, they are gone. Long durational pieces mean you have to work through these narratives throughout the making of the work. Or at least I do.

The result was rewarding though. I had indeed managed to create a crop circle like effect in the grass. In fairness also Paul, long time videographer, had suggested I start from the middle and work outward in an increasingly spiralling pattern. I had originally planned to start at the outside edge and repeat a trail around, going over one rail repeatedly so as to result in one circular mark. His idea was much better.

Image from close to the end of the action

Also the weather gods aligned to allow us to go ahead, and the rain stayed away. Technically the drone cannot fly in rain, also we had to take time to work out where the crawl should start at also, so as be able to frame it properly from above. I needed a particular distance from the lens so as to achieve a similar spatial relationship with myself and the topography, (myself very small, almost indistinguishable as a human figure, and landscape dominating) as in Tide Map. This was important as it changes the content and narrative of the work. It took approx 90 minutes to complete the circle.

Crop Circle Crawl

Crop Circle- what I’ve written previously in older posts:

Another durational crawl. A field with long grass. crawling around in a very large circle, so that the crawl path leaves the grass underneath flattened temporarily, so as creating a pattern, similar to a crop circle. This crawled circle would be repeated as many times as possible.

How to document: Once again record from 2 viewpoints, – the lowdown crawl through the grass from artists viewpoint, and up high overall view, so circle can be seen being created.

Point of this: Thinking of this as an act of subversion- a crop circle is thought to be made by UFO’s. Also considering the consumerist and machinated nature of modern farming.


Áine listened to my description of the 3 pieces, in particular Tide Map.

She knows the beach well. Again I was glad I’d spoken with her as she affirmed the plan to go early and document early. She said she’d been there, at the Flaggy shore, yesterday for a walk and it had been very busy. She was really positive about it and suggested that I really talk to Paul who’ll be documenting it, about how to film it. What do I want the documented footage to look like? I explained about the framing Im hoping for, something similar to the INTBR film, with me, my human form, being visible but absolutely not dominating the frame. Quite the contrary.

I explained the idea of the 3 pieces. She said they would work as a triptych and that they could, in the future, be screened as a 3 channel film in a space.

She mentioned to be sure to write about the experience of making the work afterwards, when the sensory experience of making is still fresh. She mentioned about meanings to emerge about the act of doing. As in, after I’ve done it, more thoughts and ideas will come from it. This has always happened before alright.

She pointed out that metaphors will emerge post action.

IN regards to the burren crawl pilgrimage performance idea:

She quoted Rumi: ‘If you cant walk, crawl’,%E2%80%93%20Rumi%20%2D%20CoolNSmart

She said, critically, keep going, keep making! Eventually you will achieve a critical mass. But do it for yourself. This is what I am doing. She acknowledged how hard it is with kids and that she admired my determination. It is interactions like these that give me motivation to keep making.


crop circle crawl


Did some research today into my crop circle crawl- we were supposed to film but it was raining, of course. Will try again tomorrow. Interesting experience to do some test filming and see what it was like to be on the ground, amongst the grasses. Insects flying up. Uneven ground underneath my knee pads. This field is literally 2 mins walk from my house. Owned by local man Barry, who is kindly allowing me to use it for this purpose. very beautiful, meditative space. These, my friends, are the advantages of living in the country. this piece is the only particularly time sensitive one as it needs to be done before the hay gets cut for the animals. currently all farmers are growing the grass in their fields and then when the sun comes out they cut it for hay. Barry has assured me he is not cutting his in the next while so I have some wiggle room but not a lot.

research moving forward to complete the triptych to be done by me:

Tide Map: Recce on smaller beaches- go and explore west coast of clare and find one with a narrower width to allow for a wide angle camera lens to span all of beach- take into account accessibility and geography of area.

Mullaghmore pilgrimage: go do it and see how long it takes. then can plan for filming. ideally document in 3 ways- pan angle which ultimately will show crawl moving horizontally , and from drone, above, and from my headset also.

also look in to buying a small video camera to document this work?

See idea below for how to exhibit the work:


Have always remembered to take the time to write post performance thoughts since Aine Philips advised.. she said make sure you do it while the memories of the experience are fresh. Sure enough I’m already forgetting and it was only on Thursday evening and it is Sat night now.

I travelled up and blogged about that. sitting on trains, churning stomach, at forty bloody seven!

Upon arrival, only Jen there and Brian in alley having a smoke. How lovely to see them both and I knew it would be ok, because if only him and Jen and Stephanie were there it would have been ok. But the empty space made me have a little laugh to myself- I mean what exactly had I been expecting? Brian, being the legend that he is, helped me chalk out my prop of the words THIS IS NOT THE END in Ogham script onto the paving stones on the ground outside the gallery.

Then I went up and got changed and did my superhero mask with my face paint, hastily grabbed from my studio the day before. I’d looked around a bit for some red materials and red leggings, kind of knowing I would find neither with the environs of Ennis. That was ok, Ive learned to work with what I have. I took my now traditional pre performance selfie – to remind myself that this, like everything, will pass

Then down I went, barefoot. Ironically I had thought about wearing my slippers downstairs as the floor and toilet floor would undoubtedly not be the cleanest. Remembering that I was about to go out to the the alley (Joys entry) to perform in bare feel I realised the uselessness of this. I’d been freezing all the way up on the various parts of the journey and had anticipated being freezing during the performance. This was not the case. Adrenalin is an interesting chemical state.

Off I went. I was glad immediately that I’d no shoes on. I felt connected to the ground. The other big advantage was that there was music playing in the alley, coming out of the pub opposite presumably. As someone who detests silence ( In case I might hear a bodily function like chewing or worse) and who has the radio on at home all the time- this was a relief. I’d thought Id have to perform, al fresco, without music, as the music would only be heard inside. I was going with Pauline Olivero again, specifically Bye Bye Butterly and I of IV, well these to start with and as I found out after that I performed for just over 30 mins, these are the only tracks that those in the gallery space would have heard as they add up to 30 mins or so. I chose them again for their other worldly context, as the the Swedish journalist who covered Ad Spatium rather fabulously said, they sounded like like tuning into an extra terrestrial radio station. Copy right situation remains murky..

Anyway I felt quite exhilarated but it was definitely time to finish when I did. I had no more to offer at this point. To say it was an enjoyable experience is wrong but my questioning of the validity of the reasons why I was doing what I was doing did dissipate while making the actions. I simply had not the capacity to dwell on them, my main focus being on crafting what felt like appropriate movements for the space. Ever since the week before. when I had been crouched in the playground of a school I was painting a mural in, working, when all of a sudden the bell rang and I had been surrounded by surging small children jumping skipping and running, coming out on their break time, I had been unable to stop thinking about the joy and carelessness and infinite immortality of their movement. It seemed to me to be the only thing that I needed to focus on and to try and seek out, to seek for even a glimpse of this pure joy, these children, secure in their own state of immortality, in the moment. My actions were but a poor echo of those I saw in the playground, and as I knew I could not emulate them nor did I wish to, I wanted to explore and reclaim them as a middle aged woman and to push them and repeat and wrestle with them and present them as a mission statement and as a declaration of my existence. I wanted to use the to claim my right to be in that space at that time.

I am stopping now, as I need more time to think. I always feel so mortal, so human, so real after and during doing these things. I fell contextualised also. Just one more living breathing human. Next morning I felt a little broken, and my feet were throbbing after all that jumping and running in bare feet on the paving stones, but I didn’t have time to concern myself with my podiatric issues, I was focused on navigating early morning Belfast to get to the train station to catch the 6.50am train. That night, at home, the tiredness and physical exhaustion hit all at once, along with my HRT induced period. My body was waving a white flag. I was glad to get to bed.

movement preparations for This is not the end, thursday, Ogham, Catalyst Arts

crawling, skipping, swopping, shuddering, skipping, hopscotching, leaping, striding slowly, swinging arms and legs high, exaggerated motions, side gorilla walking, kneeling and pivoting back and forth, using the walls to lean agains and twist around up and down the alley. pressing against the window, reaching, zigzagging back and forth, squatting. moving through squatting in a duckwalk. It came from being at Clonmoney national school outside painting their mural and the bell ringing and small children spilling out for their break time. they move constantly, hopping one foot to another, or jumping, or swaying, or spinning or twisting. They trotted/ran/skipped along. The non stop movement was so interesting and made me think about how stillness is an adult thing we adopt over time.

key elements to incorporate throughout

series of childlike movements- skipping, hopscotch, jumping, horsey riding (AKA monty python) running, pushing, pulling

forwards/reverse movements, start in the middle, make a movement, reverse it and come back to centre, add on, repeat, etc.

spelling out this is not the end, and MATURE and EMERGING in my own alphabet sporadically throughout the work at different times. Pause periodically in front of the gallery window to do this

I have gone through some movement practices twice now. not feeling right at all about it but if I did fell alright then that also would not be right..

Main performative goal for tonight: to move non stop. that is my endurance goal. can I keep moving. using the actions as listed above. I see performances where its all about the slow gesture. No slow gestures here, first it will be too cold, second I want to challenge the norms of how an adult should behave in public, the societal rule that we walk in public, we don’t bump into each other, we maintain a space between ourselves and the next human. Move within the space- use the narrow alley, kind of like pacman around corners, negotiate the obstacles (people) and move around them. I want to liberate my narrow middle class anxiety of offending anyone simply by my existence or for taking up too much space. Red dress for power and red eye mask for super hero humour and slightly silly play on mature emerging heroine, saving the mature emerging hordes from fading into inconspicuousness.. and to signify strength and the ability of the mature emerging people. By dressing up you change the narrative. It makes me more Other. More non normal, for the time I inhabit the costume. Encourages a certain spectrum of behaviour. Allows passers by to quickly ascertain that a non normal happening is occurring near them so they can prepare themselves to encounter this however they may choose to.

Right now have that sick churning in my stomach, and the familiar voices of negativity are knocking around upstairs. They are saying- this will be stupid. You are too old for this. People will be hostile to you in the street. You will get too cold and will have to stop. You will cut your feet and slip and fall. You won’t last long. You will panic and fuck it up. You will run out of actions. People will be bored. you wont be able to do it without the music. You will look like an idiot. You will look a bit pathetic. You are not interesting enough to hold anyones attention.

It’s impossible to silence these voices, I have to let them play out, They will be gone to a certain extent when I start, and they will be fully gone by the time I finish. They will come back a bit straight after and very soon after that they will be gone again as I wont care anymore. it will be done one way or another.

A good way to manage them is to remind myself of that fact that ultimately none of this matters and if it all goes to shit thats ok. Also, it wont please everyone or perhaps anyone, and anyway pleasing people is not the goal here. Nor is entertaining others the goal. I want to make actions in the moment as a response to the material discussed above, and as a celebration of my own physicality. I can move and I can run and I can skip and I can hop scotch and jump around and that is to be celebrated. I just need to keep going. As long as I can move I can do this, even if I have a brain freeze and I go blank I will just repeat the movement in the opposite direction and repeat again, etc and then can plan the next move and go from there. Also this is all also hypothetical as there is no predicting what will go down until I am there, in the space doing it. It may all go in another direction. If I get too bad I will remind myself that from high above, we are all small grubs crawling around a rock, going about our business, some in a more privileged bubble of existence than others. And I am definitely one of the privileged ones. The sheer fact that I can do stuff like this cements that.

And it’s all transient, it’s all shifting its all ephemeral, and it will not last long, And then it will only exist as a memory. It’s an acknowledgement of what Henry Joy McCracken, who joys entry is named after, fought for, the freedom and democracy to do as we please and how culture is to be celebrated as it was fought for.

Emotional Load- Pack UnPack for Second Collective, Vault Studios.

On the train back to Dublin after doing Pack/Unpack- a 3 hour durational performance, as part of Second Collectives Imagine Belfast Event. But it felt like the performance physically began when I started travelling to Belfast this morning at 8am from the Luas station, Ballinteer, dublin. I hoiked, heaved, pulled and dragged my heavy cumbersome suitcase through dublin and Belfast. Im always pleased to do some physical work, living in dread of muscular dystrophy as I do. The suitcase provided a bit of physical effort in its transportation, so for that I am grateful. It’s on the luggage rack of the train looking at me now.

We made it, the performance, in the carpark of Vault Studios, which Sinead toured me through beforehand. Such a huge, well equipped, well maintained space! Also, today was a beautiful, sunny, cloudless day. As I had said to Sinead at the end of the performance, I’d almost felt the need to defend my performative action as relatively, it is an underwhelming one. Packing and unpacking a suitcase full of stuff. I reckon I packed and unpacked approximately 12 times. A core group of people sat nearby and watched and we talked together over the duration of the performance. As the day progressed I got a little tired and my back was a teeny bit achey. Apart from that, absolutely grand. I always feel grateful I have a body that allows me to do these things.

Having made this performance before I was interested to see how it would feel and how it would translate in a very different environment. The first time was 2019, pre covid, in December, in the departures/arrivals hall of Shannon airport. It was a strange disembodied experience, namely as there were so few people around. A flight would come in, people would arrive, leave, and a few staff would walk up and down, but as the morning progressed it got eerily quiet. The duty free was open, and the café, with basically no one in them. Random intercom announcements and flashing signs, in a large, windowless space so no telling if it was night or day,  but no one around. It was all a bit 28 days later. This was before United Airlines pulled out of Shannon too. At that performance I encountered passengers, travelling past the performance site. They would stop and talk now and then as they passed by me, kneeling on the floor, surrounded by stuff.

This time though I had a core group of people who sat and watched for most of the 3 hours. I was interested to hear what the experience of sitting doing this was like for them. Certainly It was different for me- I was engaged in an action all the time, thinking on a surface level of what to take out or put back in next. Also listening to the conversations going on and talking too. It was low key, and everyone there seemed relaxed, and we collectively knew nothing crazy was going to happen. It was not an exciting piece of performance. I am framing it this way and speaking in the negative rather than the positive because I started thinking during the performance, should I end it earlier? Is this boring? Are they here just to be nice?  I began to question myself and my actions, the validity of it all. But who says a performative action has to be dramatic. It’s good for me to push myself mentally and physically and so I worked away, in the knowledge that here, the magic lay in the repetitive movements over the time, and the questions and observations that arose around the task.

We discussed consumerism, the female voice and the role of the matriarch, who does what in the house, second hand goods, recycling, the panic of what to pack when going away, how clothes look different on you in a shop then when you take them home. We talked about children and how they get emotionally attached to objects, and how we as adults do too. We talked about mindful buying, panic buying, guilt buying. I felt comfortable there and found my little audience to be made up of strong, independent, thoughtful, curious, creative women. I felt privileged that they would give their valuable time to sitting watching me and talking to me.

It was in all a learning experience for me and I felt like I did not have to impress or make gestures of largess today. As the performance continued however I felt I needed to change the energy and I started to move faster. I even started to sweat as I continued. The repetitiveness of the action was starting to get to me and I was really starting to resent all these items I’d brought in my case that I’d set out to arrange over and over again. Id brought: my normal clothes which happened to be clean on the spare room bed yesterday, stuff that doesn’t fit the kids any more, some dresses in my closet I’ve never worn, a bag of baby stuff I found in the cupboard, some clothes belonging to family like my granny’s cardigan, my mums skirt. Also your normal travelling stuff like toiletries and socks and underwear. Books. my laptop. a sketch pad. pencils. All these things I’d stuffed into the case in a hurry, all now taking on different meaning. I’d not examined and held them like this before.

It all momentarily felt a bit useless. But what is useful anyway? A word that is only effective in the context that it is used in. I reminded my self there is power in the small gesture, and that repetitive action can build things and also tear them down. I projected strong energy into the action and kept going, with renewed purpose. I had come all this way and dragged this suitcase full of memories and emotional clothing baggage so I would finish. I did so with the same lack of pomp I’d started things with, just closing up the suitcase and that was it. This time I’d squished my laptop case, my jacket and everything in to the case. It was truly packed.

Ogham Residency so far

Drawings I have made in response to the prompts sent by Jen on the ogham Residency, a 3 artist process based residency in Catalyst Arts, Belfast. Other artists, sculptor Stephanie Tanner and painter Brian Kielt. Curator Jen Alexander. I asked to make a drawing response each day to a prompt from the space so as to feel more connected to the project. I am only able to get up at the beginning and the end. I went up last weekend and worked in the space on the Saturday, I made a drawing on a sheet of plywood Jen had in the space. Not sure the size of the sheet- maybe 3 x 4 foot? Did not get it finished, so thinking about how to finish it remotely. Currently thinking about layering a red drawing on top- by asking Jen to trace what I want added on to acetate and project it on then draw over the projection. Something that jars with whats already there, not trying to blend in. layering. layers through the window. layers like in Brians work. Made copies of things like in Stephanie’s work.

This week has been a treading water kind of week- just to stay above the surface week of parenting, trying to meet work quota, domestic life and everything else squished in. Doing these drawings is keeping me connected however, and keeping the Ogham residency in my surface thoughts, just as I thought it might. To be continued as things progress.

So last week, towards the end fo the week, after thinking about how to progress the drawing and remain part of the residency in situ as well as remotely, I decided to take Jen up on her offer to continue work for me on the plywood drawing- as a way of staying connected to the space and the continuing work and as a way to practically progress the drawing. I was initially a little hesitant as although it had been my idea, I have never asked anyone to work on a drawing before. Then after thinking about it I decided it was a good thing – after all this is a process based residency, and that it would be interesting to see where a collaborative work could go. On the Saturday, when Stephanie and Brian were in the space, Jen went and got red pens and trialled a few colours until we found the right one, and then worked on the drawing as per my instructions. Here is as far as she got:

I really like this and am hopeful to see what else can be achieved now. After all I made the drawing whilst thinking about the journey I had made up to the space, and what I saw out of the window of the various trains I had taken. The two other main influences were the relentless imagery of the human misery manifesting itself in Ukraine, on my newsfeed. It had permeated my thoughts to an extent that I didn’t feel like I could make a drawing without referencing it somehow. I drew a version if an image I’d seen of a small boy on a swing in front of a bombed block of what looked like apartments. An adult man stands beside him. It was of course what a kid would want and need, some bit of normality, to go in a swing, in the midst of all this chaos. To me it felt like relevant visual metaphor for the situation at the time, all of us here in our unharmed environments, going about our business as normal, impacted only in our heads and newsfeeds by this awfulness. The other element I wanted to incorporate was the brocade design of the chair Stephanie had selected to work with. I had already used this design in some drawings and was interested in the idea of the pattern creeping across the space, and what it could symbolise. Now thats it’s got added red it has taken on a whole different power.

As each day progresses I am thinking about how I will formulate the performance to close the show of the work made on the residency. Thinking about: the colour red, journeys, how I have viewed Stephanie’s and Brian’s work unfolding from a distance, the spaces within Catalyst, striped red plastic tape which has been a recurring image for me so far, the chair, layered imagery, ogham writing and how its structured and more.

Stuff going on and sweden thoughts

Stuff going on:

4 school residencies going on: Artist in schools, St Annes. Blast Artist ptnrshp: Clonmoney School and St Senans School. TAP Artist prtnrshp- Scoil Chriost Ri. All 4 of these school partnerships taking up a lot of space in my head and the planning and organising needed to go with them. Lovely teachers and kids, especially the kids at St Annes who are great kids, and sometimes to me seem distant, absorbed in their own world for a myriad of reasons.

Finished organising dates for an online drawing workshop for kids for DLR Lexicon Dublin. 3 sessions, starting mid March.

Making 4 drawings for show in glór around the lockdown book reading club 35th May, run by Moran Been Noon.

Scheduled to perform for Imagine Belfast under 2nd Collective Call out for 26th March.

Taking part in Ogham, a 3 week residency ( I’m going up at the beginning and the end and responding remotely otherwise) with Catalyst Arts, with 2 other artists, sculptor Stephanie Tanney and painter Brian Kriel. Kind of strange and wonderful stuff.

So I have a tight band of apprehension and anxiety about getting everything done and trying to live up to my own standards in between. I got back from my Sweden trip last Monday. I can still remember details of everything but I know this won’t stay with me for much longer so I wrote down an account of the performance on the flight home, in the back of my Performance Artists Talking in the 80’s tome of brilliance. I wrote about my experience of the performance action, thinking about what Aine Philips had said in our mentorship sessions, to always write down and account of youth thoughts as soon as possible after a performance before you forget. I’d brought this to read on the way over etc, knowing that it might serve me well and keep my mind in that space of performative awareness.

So here is my account as scribbled down, mostly unedited:

Nobody Home: Performed in  Gävle, Sweden, February 12, 2022. Post performance, as usual struck by the post action low, feeling bereft and ridiculous and sad. And mortal. Questioning the point of the whole thing. And why it has to be a performance with people watching. And which parts were for the performative nature of the whole thing and which parts were me. And if this mattered or changed the authenticity of things, as if authenticity mattered. Beforehand I was nervous and annoyed that Marten had not been able to get more paper- (there was less paper for the space than I’d wanted- Id wanted a square space in which to move in but we ended up with a good deal less and I was unsure how I could move within this) he’d said the shop was open till 8pm but when he got there it was shut, fucks sake. I was stressed and cross that everything was not in order and not perfect by any means and I didn’t know when i was to start. It always comes down to the understanding that I don’t like myself, I don’t feel good in my body and the need to push past that. I refuse to allow this to govern my actions. This has to be overcome and managed, in everyday life and in art. Am not sure if it can be utilised, well it can in some ways like in my piece for Revision, endless talking. For example, when I look in the mirror and or see a photo I am usually pretty dismayed, and also annoyed by how this reoccurs on each occasion, as if it is, as mentioned, not productive. At least not productive yet. I have taken steps to manage this by shaving my head and getting big dark framed glasses so as to exist within myself authentically (theres that word again) and confront my physicality in a daily calm way. The performance was as usual, not easy to produce. I crawled into the room slowly, allowing myself to occupy the space and command attention of the area I occupied. I paused every few seconds and held the position. When I got to the paper I stayed down, squatting, and kept my gaze downwards for the first 1/2 of the actions. I am not sure of the music I chose, Pauline Oliveros, will have the same pleasure for me now after having had made these actions to it and used it in this way. Certainly whilst occupying the stage room before the performance ( nasty brown leather sofas, corridor smelling of toilet) and head the opening notes of Bye Bye Butterfly playing, it, the music, changed in significance for me. On the paper I was rolling and stretching and crawling. Now and then I would pause and knock on the floor, 2 or 3 times, and listen, ear to the ground. There was no answer, therefore the title of the work. Marten (pronounced in Sweden as ‘Morrten’ I now know) had asked me beforehand were people allowed to talk and move around, and I said yes. But as this began to occur, maybe 20 minutes into things, I could hear laughter and talking and people standing to the side of the paper where I was, with their backs turned to me, on the floor, looking at the art on the walls and it felt disrespectful and was also making it very hard to focus, as I was finding it challenging to continue working while this was happening, even though it was me who had directed that it could be so. This then got me thinking about my need to be nice and my penchant for being agreeable and my past performances in front of much smaller, intense, sympathetic audiences who were also artists and therefore wholly respectful and appreciative of the energy required to push put a performance into a space. So this, these recollections, the noise, laughter, nearness of people engaged in other activities, all served to distract me and made staying focused much harder. I decided that I was not finished and that I would continue and allow the performance to evolve in this way, as I was at the same time amused by my dislike of the talking and walking around. I felt I needed to allow it. I kept going but felt like it was time to finish soon after. My ability to know what to do next had diminished and also the paper was tearing up off the floor. I scribbled hard, intensifying the action and providing myself with an outlet for my frustrations, and got up and walked out. (this time up and onto and to the right of the stage) Afterwards I felt stupid and cried a bit. I was absolutely covered in charcoal. Marten came in and said one of his mates had said it was a religious experience watching or something like that. I asked him to get me a drink and fins out was there a shower on the premises. He returned with a bottle of beer and I trailed after him, belongings in hand and beer in the other, down to the kitchen area where there was a shower. I had my shower- it took ages to get the charcoal off with the bottle of hand soap I’d nicked from the toilet- and felt a bit better. It was a new action for me and I am glad I tried it. There was a good piece of journalism n the local paper about it also. I must try to get it google translated. Also, see Stelarc, p 442 (of the book I wrote this in) on the past and memory. Also- the feel and taste of charcoal in my mouth afterwards.

action drawing performance process

I need to write down this stuff so as to sequence my thoughts, which are all muddled up and hence causing me stress:

I spent time in glór studio this morning with a view to developing/rehearsing some movement sequences for the upcoming performance I am doing for the art event in Gävle, Sweden. Name of event: Ad Spatium (meaning, to go the distance) its latin, and therefore a compromise between English and Swedish. Event is on 12 February, and I have the usual low level humming anxiety over what to do and how. I have been thinking about it for about 3 weeks now, complacency is not an option 🙂 The added issues of a language barrier and me not knowing the general temperament of Swedish people and Swedish arty types and non art types and who will be going if anyone and what they think performance art is.

Actually I know this doesn’t matter.

Anyway My time in glór told me the following: floors are hard and unforgiving 🙂 id thought about a series of repetitive movements drawing from body weight routines I would have done before, and slightly progressing changing each set of two mirrored reps. movement patterns I thought of- crawling along, outwards and back inwards (backwards crawling) with chalk in hands and in my mouth ( I had no chalk or paper with me so it was fairly hypothetical) gesturing on floor, reaching stretching turning over, rotating, using chalk in hands feet mouth. moving faster, slower, changing direction. trying to push away the floor. To work with sound or not? thinking about how to tie in elements of my practice with this performance. This stayed with me from my drive back from revision with Day magee car sharing- he mentioned each performance bing like a step along the journey, a development of the last. Two areas which could be relevant- working with children – my current daily work- which involves music and moods, and and repetitive daily actions from my last performance with revision.

So I need to either draw on the floor or have a large piece of paper attached to floor. trying to put into words essence I want to achieve:

ritualistc – certain tasks included as homage to whats come before and whats happenign now

reactionary– to whats around me in the space at the time of performance

repetitive– certain movemens over and over to see how this feels- investigating flow state?

rythmic– to the sounds- maybe from people- coughing, talking, whispering, walking, or reacting and working to the music- thinking about Pauline Oliveros Bye Bye Butterfly

response– to the space and to my emotions

thought about starting by drawing around my bare feet, then onto my knees and drawing around that space, and so on. could incorporate into Tracing around people, around audience..

i want to be wearing a white t shirt and white jeans – use black compressed charcoal

to go the distance- to keep going

tried another bit of movement tonight

other notes made earlier- just getting thoughts down for the moment

tried making a head piece of gaffer tape- Head piece made of thick elastic black bands over forehead under chin etc, with places to hold crayons in it.  Drawing machine- strap a crayon or charcoal to my head- and hold one in my Mouth, and use one in each hand and one in each toe. Crawl around and make marks in different ways. tried this, nearly pulled off chunks of skin and hair. ouch.

Movements- thinking about my body weight movements. Lateral knee drop. Rolling like a ball. Commando cradle. Kneel, tuck in toes, low squat, stand repeat. Reaching over and stretching through and around to make a mark behind my back.  Take one gesture or action and slow it down and break it down into small parts and start kneeling down embryonic position then sitting up, repeat over and over each time increasing the range of the movement it could be a kick if it could be when you see someone you’ve not seen for ages snd you compotes your features into a forced smile or if you hear some news that makes toy about to cry and you push the  range of action a little more until you have completed the action in agonising annoying slowness accompanied by slowed down 1/ heartbeat channelling a bit like when I see annie get hurt and I can see and anticipate what’s going to happen and I see it unfold snd there’s nothing I can do and I see the intensity grow like a tsunami of grief and I cannot stop it only witness it and try to manage it but not stop it – call it a glimpse of grief – you move through the action and the action frowns- then rewind, repeat and each time a little more and the scream starts, you see the breath drawn in, and the scream grows, each time a little more (maybe no sound all shaking like a silent movie abc this ties in with the language barrier issue) thinking about how long this in between moments feels- its like standing in a valley in a vacuum of silence, knowing that next minute you are going to get hit by a wave of noise and emotion and grief like a to make this?

 Going t the distance Drawing a very big drawing on the floorUsing charcoal held in my mouth crawling Held in my toes reaching around in a circle  leaping around like as if having to jump from stepping stone to stone the floor is lava- treating as reactionary drawing to who ever is there-  Paper on a wall whoever comes in goes into the drawing they get added