by Lorraine Wood
A day in the world of a festival conjures up a feast of different encounters, feelings and images: a space that feels so alive and transient, a place where history is being made, a series of moments being played out, people coming together, passing one another, engaging, interacting and reflecting.
Fleeting moments are created in Ruth Flynn’s Diary. Taking place in a darkened room , this piece mixes a rich language with a monotonous presentation style, taking you through the ebbs and flow of human thought process. This head on collision with consciousness creates indistinctive ephemeral scenes, initiating a distance between the performer and it’s closely seated audience. Recall works on suggestion, identifying the nuances between spoken language and internalised thought. Diary addresses how we identify with our issues, using reminiscent qualities to collate a collective reform of what is real and what is perceived.
It was Philosopher Descartes who purported that minds and bodies were not synonymous. In If you want bigger Yorkshire puddings, you’ll need a bigger tin Lucy Hutson takes the audience on a journey of discovery, as she playfully toys with an inner confusion around gender politics. There is an incongruous link between the image of body – feminine/masculine and body image, carefully represented by a growing distance between fragility and the sense of self. There is a strong point of contact made between the relationship with minds and bodies, created through a rich tapestry of displaced memories and carefully refined logic with gestures that are softly spoken and never shouted.
Tim Etchells comments on his position of being a thinker in residence and the lines of correspondence drawn throughout the festival. In the warmth of those who inhabit the space, thoughts are alive; there is presence of body and of mind. There is a sense that in our art practice and in life, those who we work, play and correspond with, we carry them with us. This notion diffuses throughout the festival; we carry little pieces of those who walk along side us. A snapshot of conversation momentarily permeates one’s mind, two lovers embrace in a stolen moment when it is thought that no eyes befall them; it is a point of reference which links us all. The power of association helps to quantify how or why a gesture, a word or a moment of contact stays with us.
Outside of that darkroom and those theatre walls, there is stark presence of the current climate mirroring the political climate, that which is palpably austere. However a hint of sunshine broke through the winter clouds, perhaps indicative of respite. This moment of contact is a reminder, that we too carry it with us in art, in life and beyond.
A ray of sunshine has never meant so much.