Accelerator - Sam Hardie & Lewis Hetherington

c Tiu Makkonen & Helen Murray
c Tiu Makkonen & Helen Murray
CREATURES emerged as a way for us to explore ideas around mental health and wellbeing for, and with, young people. There is a tremendous pressure on young people in the contemporary world, and we want to work with them and psychologists to find playful, creative and stimulating ways to have the conversation about what's going on for them, what's happening in their emotional inner landscapes? We are so excited to get the opportunity to develop this idea with Imaginate, to genuinely get the chance to explore, make mistakes and take risks, as we discover what this project could be, in collaboration with young people and some other really exciting artists.

—Sam and Lewis

After a call out process in late 2021, we are delighted to welcome Sam Hardie and Lewis Hetherington as Imaginate Accelerator artists for 2022.  CREATURES is a performance research project looking at the inner landscapes of our emotions and asking how do we make them visible on the outside?

"Working in collaboration with young people, psychologists and a range of artists, across movement, text and design, we want to celebrate the messy complexity that lives inside all of us. What are the wild, beautiful and scary creatures that live inside us, and how might we let them out?! 

To begin, we will work with young people in schools, talking about their feelings and how they express them. We’re interested in asking young people what emotions they feel they have to hide away, and why. The pressures on young people are huge, and we want to see how creativity can help to process some of the things that they are dealing with. 

We will take this learning and inspiration into a room, with performers and designers, and collectively respond to all this material. We will allow the research process to direct where the making process might eventually go, perhaps an installation in a library, a catwalk show in a shopping centre, a promenade performance through a forest, a series of films directed by the young people? We’re excited to find out. This phase is just the beginning!"

Sam and Lewis met through The PappyShow, who are a playful and physical ensemble theatre company who create distinctive and critically acclaimed productions, lead inclusive workshops rooted in kindness, and work tirelessly to develop the industry we move in through connection, uplifting, and platforming marginalised voices. Sam co-runs the company and Lewis is an Associate Artist. They quickly bonded over a shared love of play as a tool to create performance, and also they love being very silly. They share a real passion for creating spaces where emotional vulnerability is celebrated as strength.  This project will be supported by the wider PappyShow team.  

Formed by Kane Husbands in 2013, The PappyShow are a diverse company; difference and diversity are the cornerstones to our work and process. We use exercise, training and a physical and therapeutic approach to devise and create our work.We bring people together to move, dance, create moments of radical joy, share stories and take time to PLAY! We exist as a social enterprise – working across performance and platforming the marginalised identities that we believe society could do better with.