Making Time Track Your Delivery service, to see how far away your postcard is from reaching you, is now updated on my website:
Track Your Delivery
When participants talk to me about the project they often ask how many postcards I have and whether people choose 1 or 10 years most often. I have 136 in total from the different festivals, theatres and cafes plus I have some extra ones I did with students. The split between 1 or 10 years is pretty much even, with the 10 year batch having just a handful more.
The first lot of postcards are due to go out in 3 months – the first time I performed Making Time was for a festival in Leicester called HATCH: A Better Tomorrow which was October 2013. When I send back the postcards, I will include a message asking the recipient to get in touch to let me know whether they have done the thing they intended to make time for. But I’m also interested in those postcards which end up on the door mat where the recipient no longer lives – where someone else will find it and not know what it means. I hope those people will also get in touch. My intention is to collect all these stories and combine them with the experience of meeting the participants throughout Making Time to make a studio piece.
For now, Making Time is having a rest whilst I go to Edinburgh Fringe but it will be out again throughout the Autumn and Spring of 2015 – but then I think I really will have to stop before I have too many postcards to manage!
Making Time was in the cafe at Harris Museum in Preston today – such a beautiful building, filled with so much interesting art and history. I was positioned next to Foucault’s pendulum, which demonstrates the rotations of the earth and therefore the passing of time, which fits well alongside my one-to-one.
The main thing that interests me during these current Preston Making Time dates is being able to meet people and discuss our ideas about the things we want to achieve – especially when we find commonalities.
One of the key themes of the piece is identifying the things we cannot or won’t do – for me, this is about not being able to swim. I had lessons as a child every week for 4 years and made no progress. Today, one of the participants was a lecturer from the PGCert programme – who engages daily with learning/the ability to learn/the learning environment. My mother, who also cannot swim, told me once that it is not she who failed at swimming but her tutor failed to teach her. After the piece, many people tell me I should try to learn again how to swim. I do feel that I am more capable of learning as an adult rather than a child, with more determination and focus – but I now lack the fearlessness of a child – the ability to just jump in. I also think that I cannot learn/cannot be taught – perhaps I need to change that thinking in order to be open to the possibilities of being able to swim. I wonder what else I could accomplish once I understand what kind of learner I am and how I learn best…
Making Time returns to Harris Museum Preston on Saturday 19th July 12-3pm
Learning Quickstep & Salsa, plus sharing stories over cake about dancing and falling in love. This group was fantastic! So talented and welcoming – hopefully The Dance Collector will reconnect with them all again! Please post more stories onto here or email them to me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Friday night, Korova Arts Cafe hosted Making Time as part of a night called Korova-Klectic, which is on the 1st Friday of every month and includes a mix of stand-up, poetry, music, theatre, magic & sketch comedy! This was a really nice opportunity to emerse myself within the artistic community of Preston, and Korova are doing a great job at supporting the work and providing a great space and lovely atmosphere. It was really nice to perform Making Time as part of a night of other work again, as the last few showings have been stand-alone projects. Meeting the other performers and talking about our work is always a thing I enjoy about nights like these. Many of the performers on the bill were preparing for Edinburgh Fringe, so it’s also nice to start compiling my list of who to see when I’m there!
I had a really moving experience with one of the participants for Making Time during this night, as she felt I was really connecting with the things that have been on her mind recently – I have had a few people who have responded similarly, as if I am reading their mind, and the piece takes on a clairvoyant feel. As part of the one-to-one, I recite a list of things I would like to find the time to do, and these of course are very universal: Who doesn’t want to go to New York? Who doesn’t have a phonecall they’ve been putting off? The piece encourages the participant to make time for the things they want/need to do – they write this on a postcard as a promise to themselves and I archive it and send it back to them in either 1 or 10 years. Hopefully the participants from Korova on Friday will make happen whatever it is they want to do!
Performers on the night included Kiri Pritchard McLean, whose ‘Salmon Satchel’ game I am still playing, Dotty Winters, Brennan Reece, Lou Conran and Geins Family Guft Shop – the next Korova Klectic night is on Friday 1st August, the next stop for Making Time is Harris Museum & Art Gallery in Preston on 17th & 19th July.
Whilst in London over the weekend, for a sing and a dance in Hyde Park with The Pogues and The Libertines, I spent a couple of hours on Sunday in the blissfully white and quiet Serpentine Gallery. I arrived early and luckily didn’t have to queue, although when I left people were lining the paths of the park.
512 Hours is a new durational piece by Abramovic, where she spends 8 hours a day in the white gallery, 6 days a week from 11th June to 25th August, connecting with the space and with the participants.
The experience was similar to the opening hour of Abramovic’s piece at The Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester as part of Manchester International Festival in 2009, where Abramovic guided her participants through ‘The Drill’ which were a series of actions including drinking water and maintaining eye contact with other participants in order to “help the audience to view and understand long durational art” <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/art-news/5756869/Manchester-International-Festival-VIP-opening-with-Marina-Abramovic.html>
The activities which I engaged in during my time at 512 Hours included counting grains of rice, walking slowly across the gallery space as well as being in the space amongst the participants with my eyes closed and sound reducing earphones on. Abramovic moved around the gallery rooms, guiding people by their hand into the activities. The actions in the space were more varied and interactive than The Artist is Present at MoMA in 2010 although similar in terms of the exploration into stillness and connection with the space and each other. I found the activities very relaxing and removed from the busy city. Watches and phones were not allowed in the space and which again was a pleasant removal from the outside world. “The idea of emptiness – of mimalism, reduction and simplicity – plays an intrinsic role in Abramovic’s own work, and has increasingly led to ‘more and more of less and less’…this journey towards immateriality.” <http://www.serpentinegalleries.org/exhibitions-events/marina-abramovic-512-hours>
Yesterday, I spent the day at Preston Market – I set up a stall with cakes, put on my Polish dancing costume and met a whole range of people who kindly shared with me their stories and memories around dance. I encountered many people who remembered dancing at Blackpool Ballroom and the Winter Gardens – stories of ladies being asked to dance the Quickstep or the Waltz. One woman told me she was too shy to wait to be asked so spent a lot of the time hiding in the cloakroom. Various stories of Northern Soul at Wigan Casino and 53 Degrees in Preston were also told (& a few moves demonstrated), as well as Zumba classes, 80’s discos and African dancing. I got a few lines of singing from My Fair Lady alongside some half-remembered tap moves and the straight back, straight faced posture of the Irish jig (but a smile in the eyes of course). It seemed my costume encouraged memories of how other dancers looked and how they wore their hair – recalling Morris Dancing in particular. My waistcoat which my mother made by sewing on every sequin by hand became a talking point and echoed Eastern European traditions – a Bulgarian woman finding particular similarities and memories of home.
At first, some people thought that they had no connection to dance, but then eventually remembered a whole tradition from their youth. They were open to sharing their stories and seemed to enjoy the opportunity to recall their past. Many conversations between different people at my stall developed, and others continued on chairs behind me – finding common ground, sharing experiences.
On Monday, I am attending a tea dance in Preston and look forward to seeing some dance in action (& perhaps having a try…!)
What are your moves?
Who do you dance with?
How do you feel when you dance?
Can you Salsa, Foxtrot, Irish-Jig or Tap?
What was the first dance at your wedding?
Share with me your stories and memories around dance!