VIRULENT EXPERIENCE

I went to an amazing event at Conway Hall in London last week.  I’ve been to a performance by Foolish People before and loved it. Again, I was not disappointed. Here’s a blurb about it from the  we got tickets website.

Conway Hall and FoolishPeople present Virulent Experience, an immersive theatre event and art exhibition that combines immersive performance, art installation and interactive investigation.

Virulent Experience takes place in a future where Conway Hall exists in its new incarnation as The Virulent Museum of Human Experience, the terrifying location of the darkest fragments of the human psyche. A strange site where every banned emotion, experience, dream and nightmare can be made real.

Once inside, audience members will be free to explore and investigate the evolution and devolution of ethics, morals and the impact to the mind, imagination and free will of humans via a fictional future version of London.

‘Virulent Experience’ is a three hour immersive event, lasting from 7:30pm until 10:30pm with two entry points.

There are three cycles of the performance that audience members are able to stay as long as they like within.

Link to tickets:

http://www.wegottickets.com/f/4659

What I like about this type of show, is that you don’t know what will happen. It’s scary and uncomfortable at first, but the  actors are so good that you begin to relax and enjoy the experience. The audience participate but in a way where you are not made to do anything, except listen, watch, and soak up the scene.  You are however, right in the middle of the action, literally. Actors brush past you, may be talk directly to you, or crawl below your feet. You could probably get more involved if you want to. I was almost tempted to run around and dance at one point, but I quite happily observed the drama from afar. Until an actor pulled me up from my seat, with me shouting no! no! but I loved it. You move from space to space, following actors, exploring rooms, being led, running, on the fire escapes, in beautifully lit rooms, in the basement, amongst the warren of corridors of Conway Hall.

My boyfriend had a really bad headache when we arrived and as it started, I thought may be this was too much for him. But no, he also enjoyed it and his headache even went by the end. He thanked me several times for inviting him along. As a games designer, he found the scenery and narrative really inspiring and said he would recommend it to other games designers.

There was also art work on display.

About Foolish people

http://www.foolishpeople.org

FoolishPeople create filmtheatre, music and books. We curate and engineer immersive experiences that have the power to raise the numinous within the spectator.

Over a number of years, we have developed a unique practice, Theatre of Manifestation. We combine mythology, shamanism, drama therapy, strategic forecasting and open source collaboration in the creation of this work. Each piece takes form by merging text, performance, sound, art, light and the building itself to create a unique, dreamlike world that living characters inhabit.

Our audience must choose their own journey without guidance, a technique which challenges their habitual way of watching art and entertainment in a conventional manner. Static consumption is not possible, active engagement and participation is vital and absolutely necessary.

Each audience member will have their own personal experience inside the piece and will absorb different installations and parts of the narrative in a non-linear fashion. Fragments, which the witness will use to construct their own reality.

This structure allows for an intimate interaction with our art that can be a powerful, compelling and liberating experience, though sometimes uncomfortable, as the content may challenge and stir powerful emotions within the spectator. These accumulate in our ultimate aim to initiate an expansion in consciousness within the individual, for positive change.

John Harrigan founded FoolishPeople in 1989, taking its name from the Fool major arcana of the tarot. The Fool encourages us to walk our own path, not the path of the ‘herd’, to become a free spirit, free from societal constraints, who is able to let go of outmoded beliefs and ideals.

We have produced our work across a large variety of sites including conventional theatres, galleries and site specific venues. We have worked in prestigious cultural venues such as the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Arcola Theatre and the Horse Hospital in London, historical buildings like the Galleries of Justice in Nottingham, internationally to America and Amsterdam and worked for clients such as the BBC. Our core collective features five artists from England, America and the Czech Republic, which grows when we undertake new collaborations with worldwide artists in the development of our open source projects.

If you would like to discuss a collaboration or receive information on FoolishPeople workshops please email: art@foolishpeople.org

The acting was slick and powerful and seamless. I go to theatre productions a few times a year and sometimes the smaller productions get under my skin more than the bigger shows with bigger budgets. Theatre to me is a one time physical and close experience, that is more magical and engaging than cinema if you see a good’un. This show blew my mind and I can’t really explain why or what or how it did it in a blog, but that you should see it for yourself as it is too good to miss.

The show runs at:

London Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, WC1R 4RL

6th to 31st August

If you miss it this time, check the next one out as they are brilliant.

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EMBRACE PHOTOGRAPHY at Ruskin Park

I went to Ruskin Park today in Brixton on a photo shoot with Embrace workshops. Here is a link to their website.

 https://embraceworkshops.com/photography

So I borrowed my boyfriend’s DSLR camera for the third time and spent a good few hours taking shots of the models who had come along. Here are some of the results.

The digital shots were on a 20mm lens so it was hard to get close- ups. I also shot a roll of black and white on a 50-100mm lens which I still need to process. I am really enjoying all the workshops and courses London has to offer this summer. The session today,  involved a brief introduction, followed by a shoot on location with two tutors and a handful of photographers from different backgrounds. The tutors were on hand to guide us with technical issues. Then we each finished up by selecting 6 interesting photographs and discussing them collectively back at the studio.

Paul Winstanley

Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, 6 Heddon Street, London W1B 4BT

© Paul Winstanley, courtesy of Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London

It has finished now (30th June 2012) but there was work by Paul Winstanley at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery this summer.

The work seemed empty and somewhat ordinary, with unthreatening scenes of urbanity. From a distance, the  photo- realism felt cold and predictable, but as I  approached the paintings, the imagery started to shift.  I experienced a kind of darting movement or a flutter, as my eyes focussed on the brush strokes. This was   a surprise as I  expected them to be more stable and flat. There are no defined edges to the forms, as they have been feathered out. The surface was meticulous, so had a rhythm to it and thus created a strange optical sensation. I liked his paintings, as I  felt I was being  simultaneously pushed away and enticed closer.

© Paul Winstanley courtesy of Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London

The work embodied a dreamy gentleness, depicting a  bland expanse of neatly manicured parks with ordinary public doing ordinary things. However the self-absorbed subjects  are expectant and watchful. The characters are about to turn, or something may just be about to come into view. The audience is a voyeur over a public space, where a fleeting moment can be scrutinised without worry for looking too long. The mundane becomes fascinating, because the audience conjures  intriguing scenario of what’s to happen next.

© Paul Winstanley, courtesy of Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London

This show has finished but there is another one. I would like to see it before it closes.

Containing The Possible, Main Gallery

Martha Rosler
God Bless America, The Box
 
5 July – 1 September 2012
  
Mon-Fri 10.00-18.00 Sat 10.00-16.00 

Pin hole images

Image

I have been in the dark room today. I did not know how beautiful the weather was outside. However, I have now processed a of film and also made some pin hole images from a pin hole camera. The box was made from a square washing tablet box,  a can, a pin and some gaffer tape. I am going to create an exposure tonight and see what happens. The pin hole camera is an amazing device, simple, yet effective.

pin hole image

inverted pin hole imageThis was a 20 minute exposure after midday.

This is the box used to make the above images.
Other pinhole images

keith dotson

Black and white sepia tone pinhole (sténopé/ lensless) photo of wooden dock with boat on a lake by Christian Poncet

There was even a world wide pin hole day on April 29th 2012. It seems to have been going since 2001.

Steve Irvine- “Taken with a ceramic camera. A 45 minute exp. on a paper negative.”

Richard Pitman, “Explosion”
London, United Kingdom”This is the huge ash tree at the bottom of my garden. It’s been raining incessantly for the last couple of weeks so the light was pretty poor. Ironically, as I type the sun has broken through. It’s glorious!
An old Canon 10D dSLR with a filthy sensor. A black plastic coffee jar lid taped over the lens mount. Hole in the centre covered with black electrical tape and a neat pinhole in the centre. Haven’t changed it since last year.”

http://www.pinholeday.org/

An image from my film shot this morning