As I recall my first solo piece started by focusing on form in favour of content – me in the space with my chosen object considering; how do I move and manipulate it, what is my physical structure, frame, my wants and will in the space and time I have.
Having learnt, then, the value of form, for my next work I would begin the process with a stimulus for content, as an alternative to manipulation of the physical to then summon present thoughts and commentaries.
Researching the beliefs and habits of Native American Indian tribes led me to read a collection of folklore stories which were originated, preserved and passed on from such a culture (the words in the stories don’t change but the manner in which the story is told changes significantly from each individual to another). I fantasized on the myth I might pass onto my descendants and how I might deliver it to them to justify their attention. The story of Sitting Crow was written.
Having researched stimulus allowed me to experiment further on presenting variations of a given theme. Included in the piece were physical figurations of ritualistic dance, abstracted sentiments, natural story telling and impromptu text sourced from the prepared text (the Sitting Crow story).
Along with my chosen object (this time filled with paint for visual effect and metaphorical representation), the speed dialogue made up of improvised thoughts which concentrated in the theme of ‘searching’ so fundamental in my first piece, I was not ready to leave. This style of performing was the only access to presenting the subconscious self and this is my first and main interest. I wanted to see how this mode of behaviour would sit in the context of action that was opposing – straight forward story telling and still, statuette gesture.
In this mode you leave yourself vulnerable to the audience, being uncertain of subsequent behaviour in this improvised frenzy. The uncertainty is what I wanted to work on and make an art of. I had decided that I was to repeat a set structure: extreme physical gesture and text, story telling and then improvisation from story. This was to occur three times in the piece. However, I had no fixed point in which I moved from the story to the improvisation and as the performance develops and I move through the pattern again the modes interrupt one another. When I repeat the pattern for the third time I am improvising through most of the sequence and the story of sitting Crow is changed and fragmented into what preceeds and follows it- the work becomes humorous and less predicted and, I would hope, charming and obvious in it’s courage.