Tuesday 03 October
11am – 2pm-ish
Rant. Chat. Eat.
TALKING ABOUT THE WALK
Hosted by Flora Wellesley Wesley
Sometimes how we talk about a project is all there is to begin with. Our words might describe our intention: what we are aiming for the work to do or be, why we are doing it, what spirit we wish to do it in. For starters we might only talk to ourselves about it, let our ideas percolate privately. Somewhere along the line, if the public features in our process or we need help to resource the work, we open up – each in our own way and to our own extent. What do we say? What inspires how we talk about our work? How does writing feature in our practice in general? As artists we are faced with the challenge of creating room, good conditions, for our work to speak for itself. Language builds context and affects how we apprehend things. It can create shortcuts and enlighten. So the words work goes on. How are we going about it? And how are we finding the task of going about it?
You need not bring anything but yourself. And maybe some cake.
Flora is a dancer and performer who has worked with a variety of choreographers, directors and visual artists besides independently and collaboratively making her own work. Her MA Performance thesis (LCDS, 2012) explored the ‘insider expert’ role of the dancer. Her interest in issues of agency and empowerment led her towards trade unionism (Equity Dance Committee 2017-19) and peer-led initiatives: most recently Nora, a project in which she, Eleanor Sikorski and Stephanie McMann position themselves as dancers who curate and perform together. Between 2008 and 2013 Flora was part of the editorial team at BELLYFLOP Magazine documenting, reflecting on and intervening in the contemporary dance scene in London. Flora was also one of six dance artists who collaborated as Hiru Dance Organisation on productions such as: The Public House, Lazy Susan and The Cave. Flora has danced for choreographers Simonetta Alessandri, Seke Chimutengwende, Florence Peake, Eva Recacha and Robbie Synge, worked with visual artists William Hunt and Grace Schwindt, and done collaborative research with visual artist Kira O’Reilly, performance maker Guy Dartnell and site-specific theatre director Rebecca McCutcheon.
Flora is a member of Chisenhale Dance Space.
The Coffee Mornings at Chisenhale Dance Space were initiated by Gillie Kleiman, an independent dance artist and proud member of the artistic community around the organisation, as a way in which dance-makers and -doers could talk about the relationships between issues of production, public policy and the politics of the cultural industries and the artwork that they are making and doing. The events are open to all artists and arts practitioners, whether or not they associate themselves with Chisenhale. We sit around the kitchen table and eat and talk. There have always been people there who know each other as well as those who don’t. There is a loosely-held format which includes a writing-up of the facilitators’ thoughts after the meeting Initially Gillie started off each time. Now the Coffee Mornings are led by different dance artists or artists’ groups each time and from 2015 Gille handed over the running to Hamish MacPherson, also a member of Chisenhale Dance Space.