News: Artists

Julia McGhee talks about her week residency at the Work Room, part of her Interactive Experiments project. The residency was planned as a time to reflect, to review, to invite other artists into the studio to experience the ideas she had been working with and gain their insight into what had been achieved so far.

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“Creativity needs trust to flourish. Learn each other’s worlds. Build the art in a way that demonstrates you know their world” Anne Basting

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For the second part of the FRAMES residency I wanted to go bolder, include more of the pupils and have more visual impact on the school environment. This was inspired by my trip to Milwaukee (as part of my Churchill Fellowship) to spend time with the incredible Anne Basting of Timeslips.

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Shona Reppe who is co-creating Imaginate's commission and recently took part in our EU-funded PUSH lab explains how it has started to influence her practice: "Baba Yaga is about wild women reclaiming the true meaning of the witch as a wise woman who lives without fear, and not a spidery two dimensional purely evil hag..."

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This week I was delighted to start a pilot artist residency with Imaginate, embedding me for the term in St Crispin's school, which is for pupils who have severe needs (mainly non-verbal) on the autistic spectrum. This means a completely different way of working, which is primarily sensory. I knew this would be really challenging, but also fascinating to have to take theatre out its comfort zones and be forced to reimagine what it can be and do in this context.

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I’m over half way through my writer’s attachment and I’m pleased to say I’ve written some words. 4, 571 to be precise. The story I’m writing is a true story. There is a man in Aleppo, Syria, who chose to stay in the thick of war to care for abandoned cats. He wants to resist war by showing compassion and love for life. I like that. But with the story already out there, I need to add my own twist.

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We are delighted to announce that our latest commission, Baba Yaga, will be a co-production between Imaginate and Windmill Theatre Co (Australia), created by Rosemary Myers, Christine Johnston and Shona Reppe and co-funded through the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund.

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We are over the moon that Trickster-p have invited one of the artists who participated in an Imaginate workshop, Mamoru Iriguchi, to work with them on their next production as this exemplifies our desire to bring interesting artists together and facilitate new collaborations.

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Our flagship festival is now called Edinburgh International Children’s Festival (formerly Imaginate Festival). This change reflects the fact that Imaginate not only produces the Festival, but also has a wider remit as a year-round organisation supporting artists to make new and exciting work for young audiences. Imaginate's strategic role within the sector will thus be emphasised, while the Festival's new name will help build awareness amongst audiences who are not familiar with our work.

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Our Festival Director, Noel Jordan, fills us in on his travels from the last few months.

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There’s a man alone on stage ready to perform. There are also some children somewhere in Scotland, and some teenagers from Belgium who want to be a part of the show. And they have their own ideas about what should happen.

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