Lou Brodie was our Artist in Residence in 2012/13, in partnership with Lyra Theatre. She endeavors to create work that explores and celebrates the local community and surrounding geography.
Working with Imaginate
As an artist the best part about what I do is meeting people and getting a chance to chew the fat with them and find out about their passions and what excites them. My residency places me in a unique position to work at a grassroots level with the community and young people of Craigmillar. From here I endeavor to create work that explores and celebrates the local community and surrounding geography. Offering opportunity for us to make great works of art whilst keeping the voices of the community at the heart of the work we create together.
In addition to this I will be using the residency to continue to push my own practice and develop my own projects. I am fascinated by moments of social discomfort and how they can be used as conventions within performance.
Space as they say is the final frontier. In the context of a residency it’s one of the most important lessons I think I have learnt this year. To carve out space for yourself:
Space that allows you to play
Space that allows you to think
Space that allows you to read and research
Space that allows you to watch with an open heart and listen with an open mind
Space to let the work speak
Space to make connections
At first space can feel epic, like you might drown in its hugeness. However, one of my biggest revelation was in how to make space and the solace and creativity it can offer. The irony is that this residency year has at times felt like one of the busiest years since I graduated but the busyness has been punctuated with moments of space (sometimes enforced by the very wise Fiona Ferguson). This journey into space has seen me, post Imaginate, take on a 2 day a week residency with Castlebrae Community High School. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I have a dedicated room in the school to work, read and research. In addition to this I am collaborating with the 3rd years and Head of English Fiona Connelly to continue researching and making a performance for teenagers. My hope is that this residency will perhaps lead to bigger projects with the school not just for myself but for other artists interested in engaging with how their practice can sit within this environment.
The residency being rooted in a place and community has offered grounding. It’s also thrown up loads of questions which I think have particularly suited the kinds of processes I am attempting to create. I have learnt loads about the way I work. Particularly focusing on invitations and their importance as I seek out and endeavor to fully realise a social practice that I can proudly ground my arts practice within. I have taken risks and believe that as I continue to reflect on what I have discovered this year I will have the confidence to take more risks and be more ambitious in my work.
Travel has also been a big part of this year. Whether it be the commute from Glasgow to Craigmillar, traveling across the globe to see new work or experience new working practices or a simple walk in Craigmillar itself traveling from one location to another as someone tells me a story of this place. Both space and travel share a liminal quality. It is not the start or the end of the journey but the middle. The time where you reflect on the past and imagine the future, make plans, become confused, excited, exhausted, nourished and ready for that future. I notice in myself that this liminality can feel unsettling; as I write a funding application I am struck by doubt, as I see another work I question my own. On the other hand it feels full of possibility as doors open and people smile back.
And so with this in mind I set myself a rule – If an idea feels both terrifying and exciting simultaneously then I should see it through! And so with both a little bit of terror and much excitement I go forth into the (Hopefully not final) frontier.