Archive for May, 2011

Candoco’s 20th Birthday Party

Monday, May 30th, 2011

Candoco Dance Company celebrated 20 creative and inspiring years at Greenwich Dance Cabaret on 20th May.

Candoco threw away the rule book and made audiences radically rethink who could and could not be a dancer, they have changed dance for ever” Brendan Keaney, Director of Greenwich Dance.

With Candoco’s inclusive ethos, artistic success and international acclaim, it has revolutionised the dance world and inspired participants and audiences alike.”  Celeste Dandeker, Founder & Patron of Candoco.

Nigel Charnock compared the evening, (Choreographer of Cold Tongue – City To City Cabaret, Still – Candoco and founder member of DV8). The evening began with a film directed by Margaret Williams shot in 1994 of Candoco and was followed by Deaf Men Dancing performing Elvis! and Boys.

Deaf Men Dancing. Elvis!

Deaf Men Dancing. Elvis!

Catherine Long danced Right Arm Solo followed by Vicky Malin and Dan Daw of Candoco dancing Imperfect Storm choreographed by Wendy Houston.

Imperfect Storm. Wendy Houston

Candoco. Imperfect Storm 

The raffle followed. I had donated a drawing of Vicky and Darren rehearsing the Hofesh Shechter work The Perfect Human in 2008, one of a series of studies for painting Don’t Look Back.

Marc Brew won the drawing and was the next to perform

Marc Brew. Remember When Nigel Charnock.

Marc Brew. Remember When.       Nigel Charnock singing to us 

You can see Marc Brew’s Nocturne at The Greenwich and Docklands Festival on 25th and 26th June.

Cando2 performed Lay Down Your Weary Tune. A finale on stage completed the evening with many who have danced with Candoco over the 20 years.


Happy Birthday Candoco!


Laurie Anderson, Trisha Brown & Gordon Matta-Clark at Barbican artgallery

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

This exhibition, Laurie AndersonTrisha BrownGordon Matta- Clark at the Barbican Art Gallery opened in March and I am ashamed to say I got to see it just a few days before it closed on 22nd May, that’s pathetic isn’t it? Particularly as it was so brilliant, I should have gone at least more than once.

Exploring the work of three New York artists in the 1970’s: Performance artist and musician Laurie Anderson, choreographer Trisha Brown and artist Gordon Matta-Clark. The exhibition is divided spatially by placing the working drawings, films, sculptures and documentation on the upper level. On the lower level dancers perform.

Fioor of The Forest. Barbican

Henry Montes in Floor of the Forest 

In October 2010 I drew Floor of the Forest when it was performed by Candoco and Laban dancers in The Queen Elizabeth Hall in London’s Southbank Centre. Floor of the Forest, choreographed by Trisha Brown, is performed on a frame on which a lattice of ropes are tied and threaded with clothes. The two dancers move slowly to ambient sound, along the structure by dressing and undressing through the draped garments. The long pauses when they hang upside down, supported only by the clothes creates a powerful sense of weight and gravity which pervades the performance.

Open House

Open House 

Gorden Matta-Clark’s Open House explores the relationship between performance and structure. Seen from above, the performers move in, out, around and over a metal container/skip. It has maze-like corridors and doors that they move through. As they walk, climb, sit and roll they call each other and chat. It feels very inviting I want to join them, I can’t be the only one to feel this compulsion. Sure enough as the dancers walk away the audience move towards and enter the structure, opening and closing the doors, exploring how it feels to be inside.



I missed the first part of Trisha Brown’s Planes. I was sitting with my elbows on a table, my eyes closed and my hands over my ears. I was activating The Headphone Table. Laurie Anderson’s investigation into sound traveling through the body through vibrationsFragments of recorded poetry were reaching my ears through the pressure of my elbows on the table, my hands working as headphones. It was totally mesmerising. Also a pillow, lay your head down and the pillow softly speaks, activated by the weight, how deliciously soothing… I crouch over with my eyes closed wondering if this could be the answer to my intermittent insomnia.

Planes: a wall with holes cut into it, the dancers slowly climb across, stopping when they reach a new position, balancing, again the sense of gravity and strength is powerful. This felt very familiar as I drew, reminding me of the feeling of the pull, stretch, balance and tremor of fear when on the climbing walls with my two sons.

Captured Like a Firefly in a Jam Jar

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

The Open Studio was a great weekend, my studio was constantly busy, thank you if you visited me, many left emails to be added to my mailing list. If you were unable to come and would like me to let you know when I am next exhibiting work please send me a message via my web site contact page. If you would like to leave a comment which is always appreciated, please do so via comments (below).

Goodbye to Captured Like a Firefly in a Jam Jar bought on Sunday, delivered yesterday

Captured Like a Fire-Fly in a Jam JarCaptured Like a Firefly in a Jam Jar.  2010. 1m x 1.4m

The next solo exhibition/performance will be in the new gallery at Second Floor Studios in September (date to be confirmed).

Open Studio Saturday and Sunday

Friday, May 13th, 2011

Don’t forget, my studio (Studio 17, Unit 0) and 100 others will be open to the public tomorrow and Sunday, 11.00 – 6.00

Second Floor Studios, Harrington Way, Warspite Road, Woolwich, Lodon SE18 5NR

 Some of my new work:

LOL, (Lots of love)

LOL (lots of love). 2011 

From drawings of Protein Dance 

Come,been and gone Come, been and gone. 2011

From drawings of Michael Clark Company

wire sculpture. Irina Irina (life-size sculpture). 2011

wire sculpture. James James. 2011

Sally McKay’s Sketch Books

Sketch Books

Candoco Rehearsal

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Stine Nilson and Pedro Machado, Co-Artistic Directors of Candoco Dance Company have invited me to draw during rehearsals for Candoco’s new work by choreographer Marc Brew. 7 years ago I had a residency with Candoco culminating in a joint exhibition and performance at Waterside Arts Centre, Manchester. Since that happy collaboration I have drawn them many times, painted (Don’t Look Back. 2009) using the drawings as inspiration and based 3 sculptures on inspirational Candoco dancer and personal friend Bettina Carpi.

I arrive in time to draw the class, led by Candoco dancer Darren Anderson. The cast of 12 warm up to Prince – what a fabulous way to start the day.

Candoco image 1  Class led by Darren

Marc Brew arrives during class, we quickly catch up on the last 2 years when I last worked with him, drawing during rehearsals of his beautiful dance Nocturnes, (scroll to Nocturnes 1 and 2, see the dance at Greenwich Festival this June), we talk of his recent post of Associate Director with Scottish Dance Theatre and he asks me to draw at his forthcoming Fusional Fragments. He gives me a speedy account of Parallel lines, the work we are here for. The cast of 12 includes 2 dancers of Chinese origin and 2 Brazilian dancers as well as the core dance company. China, the UK and Brazil: the past, present and future hosting cites of the Olympic Games.

Candoco image 3

A fascinating but complex linear structure crosses the studio. The dancers shift from class to rehearsal, the taught lines are lowered and raised, dancers move between, in and out, over and under them, giving the effect of a giant cats-cradle

Candoco image 2

Marc Brew rehearsing

Candoco image 5

Candoco Bettina Carpi

Bettina Carpi (above)

Candoco image 9a

Candoco image 10

Sadly I could only spare 1 day to work with Candoco because of a very special family birthday last weekend and the Open Studio this weekend but I will soon return to draw.

Open Studios in May at Second Floor Studios

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Twice a year at Second Floor Studios we open our studios to the public, there will be at least 130 studios to walk round and meet the visual and fine artists, craft and design makers.

Open Studios May 2011

Opening night – Thursday 12th May 5pm – 9pm

Saturday 14th May 11am – 6pm

Sunday 15th May 11am – 6pm

Second Floor Studios, Mellish Indust Estate, Harrington Way, (off Warspite Road), London, SE18 5NR

My studio is 17, Unit 0 (the building overlooking the river). I will show life size wire sculpture, framed and unframed charcoal drawings, sketch books (seen in my blog), etchings and paintings on canvas. See my website to view more of my work


Charles Linehan Company at Laban

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

On Wednesday Charles Linehan Company performed at LabanThe Fault Index is a series of connected and unconnected events, in a different order at each performance. The music is lyrical, one beautiful episode danced by Greig Cooke and Theo Clinkard to a soundtrack with bird song transports me to fields in sunlight, I think of DH Lawrence, The Rainbow,  “Their life and interrelations were such; feeling the pulse and body of the soil… the young corn waved and was silken, and the lustre slid along the limbs of the men who saw it.”

Charles Linehan Company The Fault Index

The Fault Index 

Connections are made between the dancers throughout the episodes, through eye contact and gesture but no physical contact, when finally two dancers briefly hold each other their touch has so much power, sparks almost fly.

The Clearing was originally conceived as part of Dance Umbrella 2010 as an installation in The Borough Hall in Greenwich. See the drawings on my blog, October 2010.  These sketches made 6 months later in another venue with alternative, atmospheric lighting hold a different quality; certainly it was dark and I had no idea what I was drawing. I’m not sure which is truer to the choreography but they are both true to what I felt as I drew.

Charles Linehan Company The Clearing

Charles Linehan Company The Clearing

The Clearing 

The choreography of Charles Linehan is a kinesthetic experience of great power which will touch you for days after.

Charles Linehan Company will perform this program at The Place on 19 May, post-show Q&A with Siobhan Davies and at Northern School of Contemporary Dance 14 May.