The Dance Collector: Artist in residence at The Birley

The Dance Collector is the artist in residence at The Birley Artist Studios & Project Space in Preston from August to November.

Working within this contemporary art space is really exciting for me.  – My plan is to develop my work on The Dance Collector on Preston market, as The Birley overlooks this market space, so finding a way to bridge the gap between the two spaces (and two worlds) is something I will be pursuing.

My current ideas for the residency are:

Ideas for Preston Market:

  • Engage directly with the Polish community to gather their stories & histories, & their place within Preston.
  • Participate in local dance groups, perhaps showcasing their acts at Preston Market.
  • Continue to gather stories, dance moves & dance histories from Preston.

Ideas for The Birley:

  • Invite community groups in for Polish food/drink & perform for them their stories – possibly set-up a pop-up café, dance workshops.
  • Create an installation of the stories & photos whilst I remember and perform dance moves collected as a durational performance.
  • Create a link between Preston Market and Krakow’s Sukiennice (Cloth) Market – tracing one over the other, merging their stalls & stories, sketching out their histories.

I’m really excited about this last idea and have already spotted a cloth stall on Preston market.

I wonder about the woman who works on this stall and women who work on similar stalls in Krakow.

I wonder about making costumes from the material on their stalls and the dances they & I could (attempt to) dance in them.

I wonder about the generations before my grandmother and whether they worked on this market, whether they danced in the main market square.

I’m interested in the real histories and the imagined ones,

the ones in which I live in Krakow,

the ones in which I can dance.

A first outcome for this residency will be on 25th & 26th September as part of the Lancashire Encounter Festival.

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