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3 September 2021

The miniature and the epic

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“Over the first two months of my fellowship with Wildworks, I learn three things quickly. Wildworks is a miniature scale, an epic scale, and filled with stories”

This year space has been so finely checked.  Meter by meter, step by step, our tangled lives separated by masks and the smell of 70% alcohol.  In the spaces in-between, I often found myself pondering, re-evaluating, What now? I’d spent three years post-graduation in London among queer/ally artists and theatre-makers. Making amazing work while teetering on a match of burnout. Like for many things, ‘It shouldn’t have taken a global pandemic’ but, well, it did.

 

With a new spark, I defy my 2m routine and move to Cornwall. That’s 335460m (I checked). Eager to start my fellowship with Wildworks, plant strapped in the middle van seat and belongings hugging each other in the back. In the morning I’m in London, in the afternoon I’m in Cornwall, and the next day is my first day at work.

Over the first two months of my fellowship with Wildworks, I learn three things quickly. Wildworks is a miniature scale, an epic scale, and filled with stories.

 

In 2017 I spent a summer placement with Wildworks and only touched the edges of what is a beautiful web. A small tight core team expanding into a wild bunch of associate artists and freelancers. In the first month, I meet some of these amazing people. Popping into the office, out on-site visits, zoom calls and the opposite on the beach with ginger beer, Pimm’s and cream tea. Some are familiar faces, some new. Sat under a gazebo on the beach, I hear people’s adventures with Wildworks, their first taste of the outdoor company and with Bill whose presence burns bright in each memory. There are so many stories it’s hard to keep up, but I love every second. The gazebo above us beats as it lifts and descends, and in this small group of people huddled together on the beach, I feel the warm heart of Wildworks.

 

A month later, and it’s already nearing the end of August.  I’m stepping into Galatea R&D at 101 Outdoor Creation Space. The room is set up beautifully by Emma Frankland and filled with what over the week turns into a close-knit ensemble of D/deaf, hearing, queer/ally makers, performers and academics. Starting with tentative excitement, we meet and greet each other, tea make and learn each other’s sign names and pronouns. It feels incredible to be back! We speak about our experiences within the industry, the last year and honestly share anxieties about being in a room with so many people. In this light and openness, our play space is created.

I begin working with Mydd incorporating design and outdoor staging techniques with the ensemble cast. This starts with a question, what does protest mean to you? The space then changes, little bit by little then all at once. In the warehouse, which once held missiles, our ensemble wield glue guns, spray paint and cardboard. Protest banners rise straight from the heart of their rally calls. The feel of Greenham common and the ex-USAF missile base combine with the essence of Diana the hunter. Heading outside, the protest continues. Signing. Singing. Setting the industrial estate as our space…

 

“Bold and Strong   

She goes on and on and on  

You can’t kill the Spirit   

She is like a mountain”

 

Ica Niemz

 

Photo Credit – Nadia Nadarajah & Ica Niemz
Original lyrics by Naomi Littlebear Morena

 

 

For interviews and more information on the Galatea R&D follow the link below…

 

BEFORE SHAKESPEARE