Monthly Archives: January 2012

Twas the night before Bank Street and all through the house…

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Hello Wonderful,

Today has been a productive one, though I have been a little bubble of scared and stressed. Such is life, I suppose. Fundamentally though, it has been lovely, and in a short time, my good friend and all around wonder Dorrit is coming to pick me and a mass of sheets up and deliver us to Bank Street, where we’ll reside for the next few days.

So tomorrow is my first day at Bank Street! Come down if you like, it should be lovely and nice. Tomorrow is named ‘Setting Up Shop’  so I’m going to spend the day setting up. Where’s my list of things… Hmm…

OK, here’s my little first response that I wrote:

The three days are something I am both excited about but also nervous about. Initially, staying at Bank Street for three days was something I wanted to do simply because,  frozen as I was by insecurity and panic and inexperience, it seemed a sensible place to start. It’s important to me that I embrace all three of those aspects of this journey, and so my lack of surety is not something which I will ignore. Rather, it is something I’m going to explore over the three days, trying things out, setting myself little artistic tasks. The three days each have a central point/ aim. 
Wednesday: Setting Up Shop – Working out how Bank Street Runs from Day to day. Exploring the entire building properly, Doing tasks that look at creating ownership of a space, thinking about moving in, decorating, nesting, building, filling with clutter, and stripping back – how many different looks can be created within one space, cleaning a space in order to create your own mess.
And here are the list of things I’m taking in with me:
Print outs of photos – tea – biscuits – paper- coloured paper – blu tac – things to make breakfast in bed – water bottle – hot water bottle – slippers – dressing gown – mini heater – blankets – sheets – laptop – blow up mattress – camera – post it notes – fashion magazines (vogue, love, elle, tatler, id) – take away – teapot – speakers – furniture – rugs – photographs – scarves – oddities – pens – pillows – cushions – books – fruit bowl 
Are you intrigued? You should be. Come up and see me, make me smile.

A New Blog Post. But First, A Cup of Tea

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That goes for both of us. Pop and put the kettle on, then I’ll get typing, and you can get reading.

Ready? Found your glasses? I haven’t, hang on…

Right. A Blog.

 

So you find me in good and excitable spirits this morning – The day after tomorrow, I will be settling into Bank Street Arts as a temporary and very literal home, and devoting three days to making my piece. At the moment, it’s preliminarily called ‘This is where I live’, (after a particularly lovely set of emails somebody sent me) but that is subject to change.

I’m really, really excited. Lately, my residency with Bank Street has been quite admin heavy – important. And important to learn that artists do a lot of that, and that that’s why they moan about it on twitter so much (teasing, teasing… but not really…), and that it’s really stressful and that you constantly feel like you’re not doing enough. And that’s NOW! Now when money isn’t even the big issue or the main event for me. So yes, it’s all good. But it will be lovely to be in a space, getting creative, and trying to apply some of the ideas I have, and to start really engaging with the piece. And it will be lovely to just BE at Bank Street, to learn it’s rhythms and routines as a building, and to really meet everyone that works there properly, and chat to them and get to know them.

I have also had lots of time, recently, to think about the kind of piece I want to make, and how I want my audience to feel.  I’m from a theatrical sort of… background is too big a word, it implies roots I don’t really have. But I’m very much a thesp. I did plays at school, and then plays at uni, and I love them, even if they’re not what I want to do. There’s a spectrum in live art, and I do think I sit pretty far along the theatre scale – but I’m happy with that, and I suppose that’s where I feel comfortable. I want to combine the theatre-yness with the fact that I’m a really good (oop. I’m  putting big claims out here) hostess, I like making people feel comfortable and relaxed, and feeding them and taking care of them. So the piece has to combine three things – that story telling, illusion creating, theatrical element; that fun time, silly, I am 21, eat these biscuits bit that comes from my personality; and finally the serious bit: the voices of other people, the exploration of depression. Now that my ideas about the piece fit better with me, I feel more confident with it. For a long time, in my head it was quite cold and almost… sterile as a piece. And that’s not right, not me. So I’m happier now.

So fundamentally, you come it, feel nice, get drunk, then it gets emtional and we all leave in tears. Yeh? yeh.

I’d better sort out the content then, hadn’t I?

There will be more blogs today, I think, about the practicality of living in an Arts Centre, about all the things I’m bringing with me, about my day with Invisible Flock and about performance nights all around the UK that I’ve been stalking on twitter.

And also, I make video blogs. Probably made about 10 now, so I’ll be transcribing those over the next few days, because in most of them, it’s 4am and I look terrible.

Much Love, Speak Soon xxx

I hate naming things.

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Over the past few days I have been writing what I very seriously entitled as a

Proposal for Performance Night

naturally, having given the thing such a serious name, I crushed all my enthusiasm and creativity about it, and as such have been sat, staring at a horribly blank screen for hours. If I could call my performance night anything, I think I’d call it SMUSH and as things stand, I still might (I bloody won’t). The reason, I’d call it smush, is that smush is a made up word, that looks at squashing things together, and that, fundamentally is what my performance night is. Every month, it’ll be different, and every month it will bring something new together. It’s all about their being a community of people in Sheffield that are all taking care of each other as artists – seeing each others work, tweeting each other’s tweets, buying each other drinks, and reading each others applications, creating a real community that as well as being artistically engaging and fulfilling is FUN and SUPPORTIVE and DRINKS A LOT.

The Performance Night will take place once a month, every month for as long as possible. I’m in the city until at least June of 2013, and for as long as I am here, I will always try to run the night. Bank Street has a wonderful apprenticeship scheme, and I wonder if this is the type of thing that could possibly be handed over to them when I leave? I think having apprentices aged between 16 – 24 running things will always keep it fresh (fresh is a nice word. Fresh Art? Hmm. Not right) as well as enabling them to work with lots of different people at once.

 

The night will comprise of Live Art, Performances, Installations (if this is viable within the time frame), and anything else of a theatrical nature, including play readings, debates and discussions etc. In an ideal world, I would like there to be no barriers or restrictions as to what is performed, whether it be very conventional and traditional, or very avant garde – if anything it could be fun to watch work like that sit side by side.

Work is not necessarily required to be completed – if people have work they wish to experiment with, or works in progress which they wish to showcase, that is actively encouraged. It’s important for artists to have a space to experiment and try things out, especially when the night will be free for audience and performer.

The night will be run on an informal basis, and is expected to have a supportive, community feel to it, as strengthening a performance based fringe within the city is central to the purpose of the night. So afterwards, drinks, encouraging people to talk, and having live music. Each night should have a minimum of four performances. That’s a minimum though! Hopefully there will be more. I’m very nervous about this – I’ve only got one piece lined up for Feburary so far, and that’s only a month away. Especial effort should be made to attract students from both campuses to come and see the work – it’s free, their work should be showcased as much as possible, and it’s important that they begin to forge links with other artists within the city.

One of the big focuses of the evening should be encouraging discussion and collaboration between artists, so when the pieces are finished, there will live music and a bar for at least two, three hours afterwards, to encourage people to meet each other and socialise.

Boom! And there, hopefully, we have a performance evening met. I can’t call it Smush, can I? That sounds terrible. I need a name! Think of a name, and I’ll cook you dinner.

This right here, is what I’ve been planning of late…

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Building the Bedroom
Event Dates
1/02/2012 – 3/02/2012
Selina Thompson would like to invite you – no, urge you, to attend an event taking place at Bank Street next week, from Wednesday 1st Feburary until Friday 3rd Feburary.
The key focus of Selina’s residency is constructing a piece of work looking at Bedrooms, and the emotional connections that people forge to the rooms that they sleep in, to spaces that they make their own. As a part of this, from the first of February she will be conducting two sleepovers in Gallery Three as the beginning of a very literal ‘residency’ at Bank Street. Throughout this time, she will be collating her preliminary research and beginning to place small pieces of performance into the space, taking her experiences of Bank Street Arts as a home as her starting point. The entire event will be documented in photographs, video blogs and written blogs, so can hopefully be followed as it develops.
She is eager for people to attend this event at any point between 10am and 5pm, to have a cup of tea and a biscuit, and discuss the work that she is putting together with her, particularly those who have been so kind as to send her the photographs that are helping to shape her work. It’s not a performance or exhibition as such, in many ways, it’s just a chance to see a very literal work in progress, and have your say and input into how it is being formed.
She will be present from 10am until 5pm on all three days and is extremely excited to start creating her work, and meeting more of the people that use Bank Street.