Arts Council Funding Spring 2016 – Spring 2017
Developing and weaving my whole artistic practice – performance & inclusion
Curious Making: New R&D Spring 2016
In April 2016 I was testing, finding and creating even more inclusive and accessible ways to make performance.
The residency took place at Trinity School, a special needs school in Dagenham. My artistic collaborators were Kim Lucas and Sus Hewlett. We were working with students to develop the beginnings of a new performance. Between us, our focus was towards the kinaesthetic, moving experiences, in the immersive environment of Architects of Air’s Little Dome Project.
I’ll get a chair! Autumn 2016 – Spring 2017
Building on both the momentum of my Unlimited R&D Commission (2014) and a Residency at Citymoves Dance Agency as part of DanceLive Festival 2015, I will continue the development of I’ll Get A Chair! into a fuller work.
September 2016 I hosted a study room gathering at Live Art Development Agency (LADA). The evening was about gathering & chatting with me about my new solo work with a chance to chat about some of the wider themes that are beginning to emerge in my work. We spoke about performance, views of the body, self, disability, ability, the moment of reveal or not, humour and encounters. Using experiences to provoke and to begin to unpack some of the ways the body and notions of disability are seen, used and spoken about.
After the gathering I wrote a blog for LADA Read it here
Read more from Spring 2017
Artistic Rationale for both projects February 2016
My artistic practice encompasses performance while finding ways to embed inclusion and access into what I make. I work at the edges of performance, theatre, live art and dance. These threads of practice and the contexts for my work are intertwined and constantly inform and evolve both my work, and each other. I am at a key moment in my practice where I can bring together two strands of my work: performance and inclusion, going deeper and more fully to explore the coherent links to be woven between my solo practice, and my inclusive arts practices. I relish this time to engage in more grounded research, to challenge ideas of what inclusion is, what it looks and feels like, who can engage and how. This is similar to performance. What is performance, especially in the circles of performance I hover in and close to, who can participate in the arts and how.
This funding from Arts Council England enables me to use experience as an artist and an inclusive art practitioner, to further infuse the two areas of my artistic practice, and embed both streams of work more coherently so neither one is an add-on. I want to build my experience of working accessibly and inclusively to create more established, resilient, responsive and curious approaches to performance work.
Working between the boundaries of theatre and dance my work uses movement, autobiographical stories and narrative to humanise what is it to be or have a body. Through performance and encompassing ideas of disability, I invites audiences to challenge their understanding of body and the self, and to reconsider the social and medical constructions of the body.
I have worked with Andrew Dawson, Graeae Theatre Company, GDance, Candoco Dance Company’s youth group Cando2 and several independent artists working with inclusive practice.
Unstrapped: Unlimited Research and Development Commission
Unstrapped explored the expected and unexpected uses of medical equipment in performance. Made in collaboration with Rachel Freeman, in an outdoor space on a farm and working with dancer Saffy Setohy. Read more and watch a film here
Find out more about Unlimited here
I Am Half of Who I Am Autumn 2012-Spring 2013 I Am Half of Who I Am was a performance project fuelled by curiosity of the self. Only half of Lou’s body, her left side, is medically labelled with Cerebral Palsy. Her right side appears normal. Made in collaboration with Andrew Dawson. Read more and watch 3 films here
With Help From Dorcas 2007
A light-hearted performance in a disused hospital in Coventry, late at night. With Help from Dorcas gave a glimpse into Lou’s experiences with the NHS.