Entr’actes: Alternative Arrangements

 

Image by Felicity Bristow

Image by Felicity Bristow

Entr’actes: Alternative Arrangements is the title of a new collaboration with visual artist Felicity Bristow. We hope the first of a  series.

For this project our site of reference and reflection is the geological formation of Hutton’s Unconformity at Inchbonny, Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders.

The performance is part of a day long programme of artist led events in Jedburgh on November 19th 2017 as part of the wider ‘Mapping the Borders’ programme for the Being Human Festival .

‘We are not to look for nature in a quiescent state; matter itself must be in motion, and the scenes of life a continued or repeated series of agitations and events’

James Hutton, Theory of the Earth 1788 Continue reading

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Extending Practice: Update and Change of Date

20170210_161548-800x450The next Extending Practice Session will be on Tuesday February 21st.

Please note that this is one week earlier than originally advertised.

Otherwise same time, same place: 10am – 12pm, Studio on the Green, Selkirk.

More information about the sessions and a list of dates until the summer of 2017 can be downloaded here. extending-practice-group-programme-2016-2017

We are asking people to contribute £2.00 per session to help the group continue once our Live Borders funded sessions come to an end in July.

Look forward to seeing you in the coming months.

Extending Practice Group

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We are an informal friendly gathering of professional creative practitioners from different art forms that meet once a month to share and extend our practice.

The sessions are led by choreographer Claire Pençak and commence from a body based, performative practice but are presented in a way that can be taken up and adapted to individual art forms. The group includes movement practitioners, visual artists and musicians. Writers would be most welcome to join!  Continue reading

Piloting Strategies: Arts and Land Use

Originally written by Kate Foster and myself for ecoartscotland the following blog gives an overview of work we have been doing around Land Use.

ecoartscotland

Kate Foster and Claire Pençak have written this article to highlight the ways that they as artists (visual and dance/choreographic), have been engaged with land use and in particular the development of Land Use Strategy for Scotland through the Borders Region Pilot.  The article specifically responds to a previous piece on ecoartscotland which asks “What can the arts contribute to a Land Use Strategy for Scotland?”

Some of the really central challenges for artists working with land use issues are highlighted by Kate Foster and Claire Pençak including the discipline and practice specific languages used by environmental scientists and land managers as well as the dominance of Geographical Information Systems technologies.  Kate Foster and Claire Pençak’s projects demonstrate some of the best approaches that can be learnt from the past 60 years of ecoart and the longer history of art.


Introduction

Previous posts on this topic have pointed out that…

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Dispatches from the Source: writings from improvisations

Working the Tweed

In June 2014 four of us went to look for the source of the Tweed.

Back in the studio  I was interested in exploring how we remember a place and what we remember about it through movement improvisation.

Below are a selection of short pieces of writing that came out of these improvisations.

The writings are illustrated by images made by Tim Rubidge at the source by pressing paper into the peat.

i
Imagine a path following along a curve.

The curve
The Tweed
And the imagining.

ii
It was a green – veined white, its wings, tributaries of a river, flowing towards the source.

 peat_edited

iii
Who was the person to first put their hand into Tweed?
No, it wasn’t me.
One of the others.

peat1

iv
And we listened
And we listened

What did you hear?

Trickling

Trickling ?

Trickling underground.

You heard it even though you couldn’t see…

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Source Materials: A proposal

Working the Tweed

dispathches from the source 009

In February we welcomed Christo Wallers, a film maker based in Northumberland, to the team of artists working on the Dispatches from the Source project.

This is Christo’s proposal for a 16mm film project in response to a conversation about the ideas we have been exploring so far around source materials. I had also recently discovered that the deep groundwater that feeds the source of Tweed also feeds the sources of Annan and Clyde.

This film project plays upon the shortcomings of primary source material. As you mentioned, the source of a river’s water is impossible to isolate, due to the plurality of sources of water that feed into a spot which is in itself only labelled as the ‘source’ because of a general agreement, as opposed to an empirically provable location.  The source of the river’s water becomes a mise en abyme, as each source has its own source, in…

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Approaching Choreography

Working the Tweed

Improvisation, Meeting of Ettrick and Yarrow Dancer Tim Rubidge. Photo Kate Foster Improvisation, Meeting of Ettrick and Yarrow
Dancer Tim Rubidge. Photo Kate Foster

Approaching Choreography is an attempt to articulate a more ecological approach to dance making and choreography through the frames of Placing and Perspective; Pathways Through; Meetings and Points of Contact and Working with Materials and Sites.

It emerged through a series of improvisations and conversations in the Scottish Borders and Northumberland with dancers Merav Israel and Tim Rubidge, environmental artist Kate Foster and writer/researcher Dr. Wallace Heim.

Improvisations, Ettrick Water, May 2014 Photo Kate Foster Improvisations, Ettrick Water, May 2014
Photo Kate Foster

The idea was produced into a small booklet as part of a collaborative Speculative Ground Project with anthropologists Jen Clarke and Rachel Harkness for the Anthropological Association Decennial Conference, in Edinburgh June 2014.

You can download a PDF of the booklet here:Approaching Choreography

Approaching Choreography is a Tabula Rasa collaboration.

Text and idea:  Claire Pencak

Design: Felicity Bristow

Video Images: Kate Foster

Dancer: Tiim…

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Proposal for Engagement: An action score for place making by Claire Pencak

Working the Tweed

I had been wondering if there were other ways of considering how we use land that made it easier for more people to be able to engage with ideas around Land Use and feel able to contribute to debates and consultations around these issues. The Scottish Borders along with Aberdeenshire was selected to develop regional pilot Land Use Strategies which will ultimately inform the  revision of the national Land Use Strategy which is to be published  in 2016. In the Scottish Border this regional framework was developed through mapping and a series of public consultations to seek the views of communities. I had been to a few of these and found it tricky to know how to engage with it as someone that isn’t a land manager or land owner.

I wondered what might be a choreographic response to thinking about habitat and Land Use?

Current ideas around place-making seemed…

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A Gathering of Waters: catchment poem

Working the Tweed

A Tweed Catchment poem

Read them aloud to really taste the waters.

Tweeds Well Cor Water Smidhope Burn Glencraigie Burn Pipershole Burn Badlieu Burn Old Burn Peddrire Burn Glenwhappen Burn Fingland Burn Hawkshaw Burn Hallo Burn Rigs Burn Fruid Water Longslack Hallo Burn Gala Burn Biggar Water Holms Water Lyne Water Manor Water Ugly Grain Langhale Burn New Holm Hope Burn Dry Cleugh Kirkhope Burn Linghope Burn Horsiehope Burn Mill Burn Tower Burn Hallmanor Burn Hundleshope Burn Ternies Burn Rae Burn The Glack Belanrig Ditch Glensax Burn Stakelaw Burn Shortstrands Meldon Burn Eddleston Water  Fairy Dean Burn Longcote Burn Whitelaw Burn  Dean Burn  Wormiston Burn  Gill Burn Edderston Burn Soonhope Burn Kittlegary Burn Common Burn Haystoyn Burn  Waddenshope Burn Linn Burn Kailzie Burn Kirk Burn Dirtpot Burn Fawn Burn Kay’s Burn Quair Water Kirk Burn Banks Burn Gumscleugh Burn Peat Burn Deuchar Burn Blair Burn Weil Burn Fethan Burn Glass…

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Young Water / Old Water

Working the Tweed

We spent a sunny day last May working on the edge of the Ettrick Water at Philiphaugh, a stone’s throw from the hydro turbines. It was the first few days of a project working with dancers and movement improvisation to explore what an ecological approach to choreography might be.

Improvisations, Tim Rubidge at Ettrick Water, May 2014. Photo Claire Pencak Improvisations, Tim Rubidge at Ettrick Water, May 2014. Photo Claire Pencak

The collaborators on this were Claire Pençak, choreographer, dancers Merav Israel and Tim Rubidge and environmental artist Kate Foster.

One of the questions that emerged from this process was – How long would it take for a droplet of water to travel from the source to the mouth of Tweed?

This was the fascinating email from Professor Chris Soulsby, Chair in Hydrology, University of Aberdeen in response to our question.

‘What may seem a simple question actually has a very complex answer!

 I’ll start simple, for water molecules (water may…

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