This blog collates collaborative ideas, thoughts and processes generated by visual artists, Steven Anderson and Kirsty Stansfield. We have been working together since 2009 and share an interest in site-specificity, performance practice and theory, and in collaborating with non-artists.
We experimented speaking the words of the cut up texts made from the transcriptions of interview material with parents. Photographs taken by ourselves while in residence in the neonatal unit were used as a backdrop for the voice, opening up interesting juxtapositions and new meaning from the material.
A link to an audio file of Kirsty speaking one of the Parent's cut-ups can be heard here.
Here are some still images with examples of the cut up texts.
Day 2 with Susan Worsfold exploring voice and space
The aim of the day was to explore the voice, cut-ups in relation to the physical space.
What we did ......
Voice warm ups and exercises & tone work.
One line of parents' text at a time, full volume.
One line on our own, one line together.
Exploring archetypes: 3 zones (parents on a chair at the side, consultants on stool elevated, baby on floor facing projected slideshow of images from unit). Rules: to deliver one line at a time and then to move to different zone. The baby zone was to be non-verbal and continuous tone or choose not to make a sound at all; parents could choose any line from parents' cut up; consultants could choose any of artists' questions. You could choose where the or to whom the text could be directed to.
Repeated above but introduced nurses cut up, consultant's cut up and artists questions. The artists zone was in centre and the parents' zone at the side, and the other zones were as above. The rule for the nurses was to be continually moving while reading the texts. Then changed the zones, so artist were at side and parents zone was in the middle.
Repeated exercise and the changed what role was performed in each zone. Eg. nurses on floor, consultants were at the side, parents were in the middle, artists kept moving and baby high up on stool.
Sentences from parents' cut up were placed around a chair, eg on base, on back rest, on legs. Kirsty sat on chair and delivered texts, moving around chair.
Same set up as above and Steven sat adjacent and asked artists' questions to Kirsty. Kirsty replied but using one sentence of parent's cut-ups, moving around the chair.
Steven delivered one line, "Waiting for cuddle was worth it, really worth it, but sometimes i just felt, will she know." Punctuation was a cue to take a breath, change physical orientation and deliver the words. Started will full energy and brought the volume down to emotive depth over time.
Observations / Reflections
What did we learn?
possible exercises for parents and staff: observations of environment / photos. List of words, or conversations to which images are a backdrop. Eg, one each could generate 3 different responses from parent, nurse, consultant.
give camera to them and ask them to each photograph an aspect of the unit, eg reflections, a space they are comfortable with, spend longest time. This may help represent their role.
Axel Venvoordt - curator creates a whole to present art and antiques in a domestic type space, the way you can relate to art could be from a well designed couch, how your body's position relates or effects your experience of an art work or a creative space.