New Art Highlights

27 July - 2 August 2020

New Art Highlights of the week includes Melissandre Varin, Nastassja Simensky, Theresa Bradbury and Linda Izan

Drying Skin, 2020 by Melissandre Varin

melissandre varin

A performance navigating around meanings of collation of bed sheets and Afro-caribbean heritages.

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SHERDS: Five Verses On Six Sacks Of Earth, 2020 by Nastassja Simensky

Nastassja Simensky

I know small things. I let time go slow. Preserving a record – wearing it – bent bodied.

This performance was made possible by a collaboration between a unique ensemble of musicians and artists, who each bring their own techniques and approaches to the piece. Sherds is produced and performed by Nastassja Simensky and Rebecca Lee with Bobby Cotterill, Sophie Cooper, Alison Cooper, Kelly Jayne Jones, Caroline Trutz.

Sherds is a new performance which inhabits the parameters of a six-week archaeological field school in a silage meadow during the record hot summer of 2018. The five verses unearth, reassemble, and form anew from passing conversations, local news, and the rhythms of the dig, incorporating energy production, moorland nesting sites, ceramic sherds, early modern melody, and geological vibrations. The piece combines text, improvisation, field recordings and newly composed music.

Writing and libretto: Nastassja Simensky and Rebecca Lee
Composition: Rebecca Lee
Set and Costume: Nastassja Simensky
Lighting design and engineer: Seth Rook Williams
Sound engineer: Jim Brouwer
Stage manager: Sophia Simensky
Editorial consultancy: Maria Fusco
Composition consultancy: Mark Dennis
Choreography consultancy: Simone Kenyon
Pattern cutter: Karen Harrigan
Print and dye technician: David Hurst
Graphic design: Joseph Lilley (The Holodeck)
Press and marketing: Emily Sherwood
Photography: Reece Straw

Supported by:
Arts Council England, Jerwood Arts, Sound and Music and In-situ

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A Mirror Folded Back On Itself, 2020 by Theresa Bradbury

A Mirror Folded Back On Itself (2020) – Performance Description

Unfired porcelain vulvas depict the female body as fragmented, the performance explores ideas regarding expectations and boundaries. A denial of patriarchal femininity the work is to be crushed and destroyed upon her body. The destruction/disruption/subversion of femininity as prescribed through a patriarchal lens. The work explores dematerialisation – the destruction and indeterminacy of the objects, the transformation as performative. The performance represents the destruction of the artificial construction of gender within a patriarchal society. The work invites the audience to engage with and reflect upon an evolving disruption. The destructive element of the work relates to the unstable nature of femininity, as performative, rather than given or fixed. The eradication of the vulvas as enacting a transformation. The act of making the vulvas as a reflection of individual acts working to maintain and reproduce systems of oppression. The act of elimination is an investigation into becoming unrestricted by the politics of acts. To investigate the idea of obliteration as a liberating and potentially progressive act and to utilise destruction to interrogate and question social, political and cultural codes. The performer physically interacts with the work to temporarily subvert those gender norms through her actions.

Link to A Mirror Folded Back on Itself (2020) -

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‘Homage to Leda and Zeus’, 2020 by Linda Izan

Linda Izan

‘Homage to Leda and Zeus’. The figures depicted are engaged in a silent distraction. They are placed in an idealised scene that could be derived from antiquity or from pure imagination. The flora and fauna is abundant, sustained by a flowing, clean watercourse.

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