I made a series of small films during lockdown 2020/21 – see Works.
They grew out of a daily practice which was my response to living through and with the global pandemic. It was not only a response, being outdoors was the one thing that was permissible. I leaned into it as they say and found myself dancing daily outdoors in the park that I live beside.
This new outdoor practice evolved slowly at first. It was consistent and had constancy. It was always there for me during this year of uncertainty and loss, and of everything I’d known ‘till know changing. It became a lifeline and a security.
I need to dance and move. It’s not really an option. It is my primary language, and way of thinking, sensing and being in the world. If you’ve got to dance you’ve got to dance, if you’ve got to move you’ve got to move. I’d lost awareness of this simple fact. The need and economic demands to make something of it, from it and out of it had obscured that. Movement for me is simply a necessity and will always be there for me no matter what. What a joy, this daily outdoor practice was, and a nourishment and strength.
It comes as no surprise that, of course, I was also making and manifesting something. Nothing was planned. It grew out of instinct, desire and a response to what was present. My daily dancing practice was shared with others in the moment, through chance encounters in the park. Then I began to share on twitter, at first as a way to connect with folks ‘out there’ and say hello ‘I’m here and I’m okay. How are you, are you okay?’. People liked it and it was resonating with folks and meant something. So, I kept going, sharing small film clips on twitter as a way to connect and as a way to nourish and resource not only myself but others too.
Then the opportunity came to make a series of small films. Each film focuses on something that either rose to the surface because of my daily outdoor moving or that I had been sitting with for a while – the necessity of movement and moving for us all as part of our possibility and potential, the over-commodification of our movement and physicality yet it is just there for the asking, the need for free civic space to inhabit and connect with other people as a place of belonging, the need for green space in the city as a necessity to living well, a deep and growing love and respect for the land, awe and wonder as necessary experiences, a knowing of the land because of relating to it through movement, the inhibition we feel as a culture to move freely and expansively in outdoor public spaces………and oh, so much more.
The films are rough and ready. I love that about them. They are essentially a dialogue between what was present that day in the land and the weather, and what the camera on my mobile phone picked up as it was propped on a tree or in a hole in the ground.
This personal daily practice, an essential way for me to process and respond to what is happening in the world right now, became work in the world. Quiet and unassuming, constant and consistent, both a still point and a generator. I’m keeping going for as long as the spirit is willing.