Week #3 Artist in Residence

Start the day with a song in your heart.

I started my day as Artist in residence this week in the company of the Tinahelys’ Women Choir. It was a lovely morning, led by choral leader Ann Keary. Our initial warm up consisted of some Superbrain Yoga, followed by a physical and vocal warm up. This is familiar territory for me and it’s always wonderful to see others connecting with their voices and their bodies.I thoroughly enjoyed the song choices and it was a pleasure to sing with others again.The choir has been running for some time now and has dedicated members. I might just continue my journey with song.It was a refreshing way to start my Wednesday morning and afterwards we took a little trip to Daisy’s Cafe for coffee and cake. There I met with and chatted to some of the women about my research and about art in general and the pursuit of creativity in our lives. That need to connect with others and collaborate. Again I felt the theme of isolation resonating within this conversation.

I love the power of association and how one small thing will stand out for me,on this day one of the music sheets had the sentence ‘ART IS LONG LIFE IS SHORT’ printed on it. This goes straight into my journal and becomes part of a reminder that this will be a lengthy journey and I may never be satisfied with the art I create but I better get cracking as life is short.

So after a lovely coffee and conversation I bid farewell to my singing comrades and made my way back to the Courthouse. This would be my first day working inside the arts centre since starting my research and development. I felt a little nervous as there are so many questions I need to answer and would my day prove fruitful at all? I had other ideas I hoped to work on that day, some text from Macbeth and Streetcar named Desire as I like to keep myself open to all possibilities.


I decided a little yoga would centre me in my body and connect me to my surroundings. And it did, more powerfully than I imagined it would. The newly painted Courthouse has taken on a new lease of life, it is bright and welcoming. I felt a very positive and comforting feel to the building as I explored my spatial awareness to it. I became aware of the energy of the space around me.

It was quite a profound feeling as suddenly I felt like I was having a conversation with the building. My initial aim at the beginning of this project was to engage with people in the community. At that moment I felt myself in dialogue with this historic building.A conversation with four walls. I felt this urge to push the four walls wide open, apart or flip the building inside out, where its internal features lay bare for all to see outside, for those who never come in to the building or those who have long forgotten to cross its threshold. I almost felt the building wanted to exorcise its past and connect with the community. There felt like the building wanted to enter into a new conversation. The building itself has a long association with the community and a somewhat checkered past in some respects. It is a vibrant part of the community now but I am now more curious than ever to research this past and investigate how I as an artist can speak on behalf of this building or represent it in a new light . I feel more than a slight responsibility. The Maya Angelou poem springs to mind….

The caged bird sings   17505889_10158443921155646_269887910_n
with a fearful trill   
of things unknown   
but longed for still   
and his tune is heard   
on the distant hill   
for the caged bird   
sings of freedom.



One of the staff on their return from break informed me of more of the history of the building and its uses down through the years. I was fascinated to discover the old holding cell outside and all those feelings of the past, of freedom being restricted and again the theme of isolation became much more apparent when I entered the cell. A marvellous site for a performance.

Even as I write this my mind is sparking new ideas and the connections are making themselves in the recesses of my mind. The next step for me is to sift through these ideas and concepts. Daunted much.

So this week has thrown open the doors and informed me further how to develop this project. The building is becoming a player in more way than one and perhaps the central figure of my story.

Tip#3 Sing more


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