Response Time!

I was having a wander around online last week and I came across a video, which I didn’t know existed, following the development of a piece I made for a project called Response Time last year. Response Time is a fantastic project that was launched in Aberystwyth by Scriptography Productions, and has since travelled to other spaces in Wales. It involves a set period of time, normally 48 hours, in which artists, writers and performers are invited into a space to create performance art in response to the art and the space, which is shown on site at the end of the 48 hours. It leads to some excellent work, and inspires some powerful magic in those that join in. For a start, it proves that you can make art with only a limited amount of time. It also encourages new ways of looking at art, spaces and possibilities. There is no time to worry, overwork it or lose interest. There is no time to over think it, only time to create and let it loose into the world.

There are several pieces I’ve made for Response Time that I would love to develop further, but even if I never do they have all given me a great deal of confidence and informed my way of working deeply! Anyway, I thought I’d share the video I found, so you can get a glimpse of some of the work I do (and how excited I get about things…)

Project Response: Transitions Hayley Addis from Ian Smyth on Vimeo.

The piece I ended up making in the event I talk about here was a video, which you can catch a glimpse of here. I visited the gallery on the Friday evening, filmed everything on the Saturday and then edited it together that night as I had rehearsals most of the Sunday. The sketch book I talk about was present for people to look at as well, but ended up being a mostly unseen artefact – which is interesting in itself for a performance art-work.

Now… I wonder if the video I made exists online somewhere too! It disappeared from my computer shortly after the event…

 

(Video made by Ian Smyth, who documented that weekend and filmed the footage which I edited together into my video-art!)

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Chinese New Year Storytelling

Last week I told tales to about a dozen children for the Chinese New Year celebrations hosted by Lampeter’s Confucius Institute.

First the dragon awoke from his winter sleep, then we learnt why the New Year is celebrated as it is, and why the year of the Goat comes after the year of the Horse. We saw the legendary beast Nian, still running after all these years, and debated whether it was the year of the goat or, instead, the year of the sheep!

Chinese Zodiac, River of Animals - Goat
Chinese Zodiac, River of Animals – Goat

Goat years are also known as Sheep years, and are known to give rise to gentler things, to be family orientated and caring. I take it as a good sign that I got to entertain the youngest members of the families at these celebrations (and to hear a story about a squirrel from a budding performer as well!) as the year was at its youngest, and the snowdrops are appearing all around the hills of Wales.

I do seem to be getting in the habit of collecting Chinese animal tales, don’t I? They are great fun and, thankfully, suitable for all ages. I do adore the dark and gruesome fairytales, such as those by Giambattista Basile in Pentamerone, but I’m naturally such a softy that the animal tales children love suit me down to the ground! On my list of tales to explore is a darker fairytale set, which the old, weird, Welsh story of Blodeuwedd, the flower maiden who became an owl, and my favourite Anderson tale ‘The Little Mermaid’ (which inspired my short story in Future Earth magazine) would probably sit quite nicely in, don’t you think? For now, I’m back under the direction of the goblins at The Circus when it comes to stories, we’ve got some work to do polishing up the new acts, they and I!

I do feel like now is a good point to just say thank you. Thank you for reading to everyone who comes across this post. Thank you to everyone who supports me in my endeavours, goblinesque and otherwise. And thank you to the Universe (and notably to the Confucius Institute) for the opportunities to tell tales professionally. I do so love it!

 

Storytelling at the Confucius Institute

RabbitYesterday afternoon I laid out my twelve Chinese Zodiac animal paintings, donned a beautiful Chinese jacket and told animal tales for 45 minutes to an audience of about 25 people.

There was much nodding and smiling and encouragement all the way through.

I did attempt to film it but for some reason ended up with a dozen 2 second clips from the first few minutes instead of a continuous recording. Such are the joys of Mercury retrograde, perhaps. I have, however, been promised photos, which will be shared soon.

DragonIt was so much fun to see a whole set of stories come together and to get such wonderful
feedback! This was my very first completely solo set and I can’t help thinking that this is one particular show that will return again…

Anyone fancy hosting a session of animal themed storytelling?

 

Thank you to Krystyna who opened the door to me and the wonderful Chinese workshoppers who made me feel very at home in that room… not to mention the rest of the audience who, upon hearing that there was to be storytelling, immediately (and literally) pulled up chairs and sat waiting patiently for silence to fall so the tales could begin!

 

View the Paintings Here!