Archive for November, 2010

Simon Mulligan Quartet at the 606 Club

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Simon Mulligan 2 Simon Mulligan 1

Last night I watched the Simon Mulligan Quartet at the 606 Club in Chelsea, it was the most beautiful jazz piano I have ever heard.

Thank you and Happy Birthday Simon Mulligan.

Culture Shock: Roman Greenwich

Monday, November 29th, 2010

On Saturday 13th November Greenwich Dance‘s 13 – 18 year old dance group, NrgDANCE, danced hip-hop, with choreography inspired by Roman artefacts seen at the Museum of London by the students. My 13 year old son dances with NrgDANCE.


Fashion students from Greenwich Community College put on a cat walk show modeling their designs based on Roman costumes and Greenwich Theatre‘s Young People’s Theatre acted a short play, together they put on a fantastic evening.

 fashion show greenwich theatre

The venue was Greenwich Heritage Centre and the project is Culture Shock: Roman Greenwich, part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad project, Stories of the World: London.



Rotor at Siobhan Davies Dance

Friday, November 26th, 2010

Four dancers move at varying speeds following a circular path. The central figure walks, the outer performer is running, changing direction they make comments to each other as they run again, increasing the speed until you in the audience start to feel caught up in it and dizzy. This new dance, A Series of Appointments choreographed by Siobhan Davies, was performed in the beautiful Roof Studio of Siobhan Davies Dance Studios. Later a film is shown of the dance shot from above and projected onto the studio floor, highlighting the patterns created by the dancers movement.SDD 1

The dancers stop, seeming to take time out, sit on two benches facing each other, continuing with comments, the words are from playwright E.V. Crowe, they are performing Live Feed.

The dancers, directed by composer Matteo Fargion, stand in a line in front of music stands and perform Songbook, creating a song out of simple gestures and (often comical) noise.SDD 2

Gill Clarke, known to many for her strong dance technique classes (she taught and inspired me years ago) performed in ceramicist Claire Twomey’s installation. The room was filled with unfired ceramic pots, on tables and on the floor. Ceremoniously water was poured into one pot at a time. The water collapsed the unfired pot and water flowed out on to the floor.

Is It Madness. Is It Beauty

On the ground floor Sam Collins‘s The Conversation Revolved showing the dinner party scene from the Hitchcock film, The Suspicion fractured by mirrors and repeated in a circular formation. Really clever.

I went on the last day, I wish I’d gone on the first so I could have returned, the whole afternoon was fascinating and inspirational. I have drawn the company during rehearsals for In Plain Clothes in 2006 and Two Quartets in 2007 and The Collection during performance at Victoria Miro Gallery in 2009.

Whitehall Student Protest

Thursday, November 25th, 2010


My 16 year old son and friends were there, exercising their right to democratically protest against education cuts and higher tuition fees. They set out to march peacefully.

Many were ‘kettled’, (blocked in) by police in riot gear, in Whitehall for hours in the freezing cold and dark, not knowing when they’d be allowed to go home.

Can this be justified?

Rethink Parliament

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

My great friend and fellow artist Rachel Gadsden has been the artist at the centre of the national project Rethink Parliament run by Parliamentary Outreach in partnership with Rethink and Disability Arts Online. The programme engaged people with severe mental illness with the work and relevance of Parliament. Launched in November 2009 by the Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt Hon John Bercow MP, 16 art workshops around the country followed, led by Rachel.

The participants created self-portraits in an enjoyable non-judgmental environment. At the closing ceremony on 8 November, held in the House of Lords, Rt Hon John Bercow MP highlighted how crucial it is that politicians make themselves more accessible and relevant to people with experience of mental illness. One of the participants gave a very moving account about how much the project and Rachel had touched his life.

House of Commons

As the other guests filtered out under the shadow of Big Ben, I took a left turn into a corridor and went in search of the House of Commons, to watch and draw a debate. Above is the resulting sketch.


First Night of Open Studio

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

Last night over 100 of us at Second Floor Studios opened our studios to the public. I had a constant stream of visitors in my studio, many commented on the wealth of creativity and talent they had encountered. Mine is Studio 17, Unit 0, by the river. We open again on the weekend from 11 – 6 on Saturday and 11 – 6 on Sunday. Click on Second Floor Studios for travel directions and more information. Here are some shots of the work I’m showing, the majority of the work shown is for sale.Drawings

Framed drawings, plus many more unframed in the browserCommon Dance


,sketch books Guardian angel

sketch books, wire sculpture,

Bird girl

plus 8 framed etchings and many more in the browser

Emanuel Gat Dance, Winter Variations

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Two men in plain clothes dance for an hour on a big empty stage, sometimes shadowing each other, sometimes alone, sometimes in perfect unison.

Gat 1

It’s as if they are reading each others minds and responding without the need of sight. They rarely touch, rarely acknowledge one another with even a glance, but their muscular bodies seem to hold an empathy with each other.

Winter Variations grew from a shorter dance, Winter Voyage, also created and danced by Israeli choreographer Emanuel Gat and Roy Assaf. Performed at Sadler’s Wells and on tour as part of Emanuel Gat Dance‘s current programme.

Gat 4

A year ago I drew Emanuel Gat with Candoco Dance Company rehearsing ITranslation. This lyrical, beautiful dance was recently performed at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall on the Southbank as part of Candoco’s touring show Rendition’s. He works the dancers hard, creating an energizing supportive space, with clear intentions.

Gat 3

Winter Variations is meticulous in detail, the dancers never falter. Throughout the dance the relationship and mood shifts between playful, mournful, sensual ending with isolation. Music ranges from Schubert, to The Beetles urban “Day in the Life” moving on their knees; a song by Egyptian Riad al Sunbati to Gustav Mahler’s Song of the Earth, to which the men dance in tactile sensual unison, only to agonizingly separate.

.Gat 16

In Preparation

Friday, November 12th, 2010

A solo performance study — a dance scientist who is also a dance artist — exposing the effort beneath ‘effortless’

In Preparation

Athina Vahla in collaboration with Emma Reading, Mary Ann HushlakSusan Sentler, Sarah Chin, Squib-Box and Monica Alcazar.

On October 30th, Dance Scientist Emma Reading performed a new dance work for the annual IADMS (International Association for Dance Medicine & Science) conference in Birmingham.

1 emma Reading   2 emma Reading

3 emma reading

4 emma reading

Emma Reading rehearsing 

Open Studio

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Frantic Assembly

Next week I will open my studio to the public as part of Second Floor Studios Open Studio Event. My studio is 17, unit 0, (the building overlooking the river). I will show sculpture, framed and unframed drawings, sketch books, etchings and paintings. All work is for sale or I can work to commission. See my website to view some of the work.

Opening night: Thursday 18th November 5pm-9pm

Saturday 20th November 11am-6pm

Sunday 21st November 11am-6pm

Second Floor Studios, Mellish Indust estate, Warspite Road, London SE18 5NR

Over 100 visual and fine artists, craft and design makers will open their studios to the public.


Move: Choreographing You

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

The dialogue between visual art and dance is of primary concern in my practice as an artist, so the new exhibition at the Hayward Gallery, exploring the interaction between art and dance from the 1950’s to the present is of particular interest. Spectators are encouraged to interact with the exhibits, many of which have been created specifically to be used in dance performances, affecting the movement and outcome of the dance.

Every day dancers (alumni of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance) are in the gallery performing and discussing work. They are very knowledgeable about the dances and will readily talk to you, by interacting with them you will be part of a Performance Event, Production created by Xavier Le Roy and Marten Spangberg.

American, Mike Kelly, has created a theatrical space, laying out objects for the public to interact with in Adaption: Test Room Containing Multiple Stimuli Known to Elicit Curiosity and Manipulatory Responses the dancers perform with the props in this space.

move 13

move 4

On Saturdays between 12 and 4 the Yvonne Rainer dance, Trio A is performed in the gallery. The complex pedestrian movements are danced in a fluid continuous stream, no music. If you read my blog on 21st October you may remember I drew two of the dancers performing Trio A on the pavement outside Cafe Luc as part of the Secret Frieze After Party. Impromptu performances of Huddle, choreographed by Simone Forti based on improvisation and chance takes place throughout the gallery. 

trio A huddle

Trio A                                             Huddle

rings hoops ropes

The Fact of Matter is choreographed by William Forsythe

consisting of gymnastic

rings hanging from the ceiling for visitors to swing and step through exploring the limits and weight of the body, a test of physical and mental agility.

Hula-Hoops are laid out for everyone to use in Rooftop Routine. Ropes hang from the ceiling to sit or stand in.There are also screens with archived material to watch, and many more displays to interact with than I have mentioned.