So here we are then. Inside. At school, we all had to stay inside when it rained.
From the far reaches of the teacher's cupboard was brought... ' The Wet Play Box'...
Now and until forevermore known as 'The Wet Break Box'... after I was reliably informed by good friends, among them of course my bestie Julia Davis, that the term 'wet play' has other meanings... which we needn't dwell so much on.
This 'Wet Break Box' was a tragedy of raggedy elements. A stack of already-coloured-in colouring books, a few packs of dried up felt-tip pens, an impossible jigsaw, made impossible by the existential incompleteness of its contents, games with no die, maths puzzles with no answers. And amongst all this, one solitary pristine Beano magazine. And Oh how we fought over this Beano with rabid and wanton desire. Oh, we raced to be first into the box, to spend just twenty minutes with Dennis, Go-Granny-Go and the Bash Street Kids, the only possible remedy for the devastation of having playtime cancelled, discovering there'd be no Duck-Duck-Goose, no Power Rangers, no picking itching powder out of your shirt, or eating leaves, no footballs being kicked at your head.
25 years later and my mind floats back to those times, perhaps jolted by the ones in which we now find ourselves, when our communion with the physical outdoor space has been once again restricted, and I think back on the ferocity of elbow jabbing that occurred as we dived indoors to snatch the one remaining treasure from the chest of broken dreams. Not only did we lack the vision and creative endeavour to see the potential in the imperfect 'rest' of the box - the vintage wax crayons, the broken hungry hippos - but it seems slightly contemptible and a bit pathetic that no one ever thought to bring Oliver Twist to the party and simply ask for more felt tips. Or another Beano. However... before I expound my treatise on recycling, re-imagining, up-cycling, or whatever you might call turning a Ludo board into a camping tent for a decapitated hippo, and before anyone goes back to thinking about the other kind of wet play, allow us to swiftly tilt our cheeks towards the more poetic internal wet break boxes of our hearts... all the possibilities that lie in store... if we sit a while and wait.
I suppose this page is an attempt at an anti-dote to both the disappointment and the terror of not being allowed out to play. Some bits and bobs I had the pleasure of making with old and new friends, and some bits I've pulled out of back-catalogues and given a given a good going over.
Solidarity with artists around the world, trying to keep afloat... now culture's been cancelled.
A Creation Myth
Hammock: music video Johanna Amelie
Director Caitlin McLeod
Producer Maria Aguilar
Camera Ines Aznar Lorda + Maria Aguilar
Editor Tegid Cartwright
Cast Philippa Hambly, Karolina Karter, Benjamin Aisa Schreiber, Johanna Amelie
“The story is about three characters who have each experienced a big life event - a loss, a heartbreak, a change - and now they feel separate to the 'normal world'. They realise the world isn't as it seems, that it has many more dimensions and colours and spaces. This knowledge is like a secret, or a super power. It is sometimes painful and sometimes invigorating. In the video we see each character ask themselves the question: what would happen if I broke the rules of the 'normal' world and explored my inner life, externally. We see them physicalise this at a dinner, through the streets, in a shop, underground, and finally each character ends up in wide open space which is big enough to hold their emotions. They notice each other, and realise they are not alone.” - Director Caitlin Mcleod
Meetings with Mask Makers
Here begins a project very close to my heart... over lockdown I began some conversations with mask makers about the craft and history and culture of masks, particularly those identifying as womxn. I hope as this little corner builds, it's not only a series of magical conversations dedicated to those who dare to build, but also a mini investigation... to try and unpack our relationship with masks in 2020. You can click on the names at the top of each to go to the artist website.
Tradition/ Creative Process/ Cycles
* so apparently the term is 'anthropocentric' ... I think, if you're gunna go for a big word, just commit. Eventually it'll catch on.
** And in the Pre-Columbian era, gold was mixed with various other things including silver and copper... not bronze.