some things I have seen, done and made that have made me think, feel and smile over the last few months…
“Reading true literature [Nan Shepherd] reflected, ‘it’s as though you are standing experiencing and suddenly the work is there, bursting out of its own ripeness . . . life has exploded, sticky and rich and smelling oh so good. And . . . that makes the ordinary world magical – that reverberates/illuminates.’ ” taken from Landmarks by Robert Macfarlane.
drawing a line, coast to coast with skedge 13916 © eARTh 2016
with special thanks to francesca, noah, agnes, family and friends for your love, support and companionship 🙂
© p ward/eARTh 2016
a simple film about connecting with the earth – just walking barefoot along a muddy track in west somerset. the film was made with francesca owen as part of our ongoing collaboration and research towards the SOIL CULTURE project 2013-17 led by CCANW and RANE (http://artsandecology.info/pdf/Soil_culture_info_Oct2013.pdf). the images were captured on continuous shooting mode and edited using i-movie.
© Francesca Owen & Peter Ward 2014
not strictly environmental art but…
the wonder and beauty of nature, its diversity and resonance, is evident in all things.
take these mass produced (made in china), solar-powered dancing plastic monkeys I found in my local toy shop (price £2.50 each or 5 for £10). I saw one and simply fell in love with the charm of its cheeky little face and seductively hypnotic movement – it’s hard to walk past one without a smile and an attempt to emulate that hip action!?! despite the hideous process and materials of its production, packaging and transportation, the fantastic little fellows meet many of the criteria for environmental and ecological art, animated as they are by the sun and drawing us to interact and participate bodily with them, offering health, wellbeing and joy through their simplicity, as well as an opportunity to share. and despite the seemingly identical mechanical process of their manufacture and materiality each monkey also displays a subtle individuality of form, detail and movement, reminding us of those qualities within the ‘natural’ world*.
while it is easy to judge and criticize this evidently crazy ecocidal world in which we sadly and unavoidably participate on a daily basis, it is most heartening to observe the presence of Nature – of birth, life and decay, of joy, sadness and monotony – in even the most inanimate and overly manufactured products of contemporary life. our lives, the technologies that we rely upon and the products we so wastefully create, and even the political systems and civilizations that we uphold and tear down, are all intrinsically and thankfully founded in Nature and subject to its laws.
so, please take a moment to dance with me a little, secure in the truth and beauty of Nature…
serving suggestion: accompany with music of your own choice (i particularly liked sinnerman by nina simone) or just watch it as it is. enjoy!
© P Ward 2013
* or is it merely our perceptions that are shifting from moment to moment, our relationships that are altering as our experience evolves? maybe that’s a question for another day. whatever, let us not forget a sense of humour in our work, however great or small, however humble or potentially far reaching. as the well known saying goes “just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down”!…
i am aware of my space
i am aware of your space
i am aware of the space between us
and the space around us
i am aware of space
i am conscious of my movement (and its limitations) in space
i am conscious of your movement (and your limitations) in space
i am conscious of any movements that may interrupt this space
this space around us
that is conscious of all our movement within it
whenever I move I dance
whenever I dance I move through space
in relation to you and me and space itself
wherever I am I am moving through space
whether seated or sleeping or running or riding
this space is in motion
and me within it
in relation with
this constant flow
it is beyond my control
but within my awareness
within our awareness
within this dance
where boundaries blur
P Ward 2013
a collaboration with freddie opoku-addaie (jagged antics) and katy lee (dance in devon)
On a wet and stormy evening in November at Chulmleigh Community College in North Devon members of U3A South Molton, Home Grown Kids and the college along with myself and dancers Hugh Stainer and Hian Ruth Voon of Jagged Antics Dance Company, performed BESPOKE/A BUNDLE OF STICKS in front of an audience of 90 people. The 45-minute piece was the culmination of many months research and exploration together with dance artist Katy Lee and Royal Oprea House Associate choreographer Freddie Opoku-Addaie around my arts practice, A BUNDLE OF STICKS, as already documented on this site (see a-bundle-of-sticks-courage-copse-creatives/). The project had been organized and coordinated by DANCE IN DEVON as a means to bring contemporary dance to rural communities across Devon, along with Freddie’s interest in the place of craft in society and movements associated with them…
“I’m interested in working mechanisms of traditional craft techniques and what this says about the value of human creativity and manual skills in an age that is dominated by technological advances.” Freddie explains, “With this I do not want to arrive at a nostalgic view of a pre-technology era, but looking at notions of manual precision, clear work processes and how design and patterns leads to production.” Freddie Opoku-Addaie, http://dancecompass.blogspot.co.uk/
For myself with a holistic interest in how our bodies interact physically, spatially and spiritually within our environment, combined with the physical nature of A BUNDLE OF STICKS, I relished the prospect of working alongside artists from different disciplines and to see how others might interpret such a simple and primitive concept – gathering and carrying sticks. Under Katy’s enthusiastic and intelligent guidance community groups of all ages creatively engaged with the idea to produce phrases and movements which were then taken by Freddie and woven openly and cooperatively with all members of the project to produce the final performance.
While the piece itself had a mixed reception – contemporary dance is not often seen in rural North Devon – the process led to a rich and enjoyable experience for all involved. I was personally overwhelmed by the wealth of possibilities, both physical and narrative, that A BUNDLE OF STICKS inspired – the basis of the project being catalytic rather than an end in itself. It was also a massive pleasure to work closely with others, especially Katy, Freddie, Hugh and Ruth, and to experience such diverse and collusive ways of making and experiencing the creative process. I very much look forward to more opportunities such as this and seriously hope to work with Freddie and the others again in the future.
Many thanks to all…
P Ward 2013
(Further images and a video of the performance will be posted when available)