Brace your self…it’s all about the residency!

braces wardrobe
ready for Present Laughter…..the costumes are gorgeous..many things custom made

Couldn’t resist!  Continuing to be incredibly  pleased (understatement) to be selected as  Emerging Artist in Residence for Chichester Festival Theatre  (CFT) and I am currently going for totally immersing myself in the life of the theatre. One of the benefits of the residency is the close access I get to buildings and personnel and the community touched by the theatre and I am planning to use this experience to create work that will be exhibited at CFT in the autumn to celebrate its’ Festival 2018 season.

So what’s has been happening so far? Learning about CFT Day one: I arrived (on the teenager going on 30 year olds 15th birthday) – paying close attention to all the beautiful trees that surround it in wonderful Oakland’s Park – and

Image result for oaklands park chichester

 

and of course

Chichester Festival Theatre_1295C. Photo by Philip Vile
thrust stage inside….

the striking Post War 60s building. (Interesting fact 1.  All the money to build CFT was raised by members of the public..you see crowd funding is not new…Interesting fact 2. – CFT was the first thrust stage to be built in the UK in 450 years…..what’s even more interesting is I now actually know what a thrust stage is – go on google it …you know you want to!)

First I met with the deputy head of the Learning, Education and Participation (LEAP) Department that creates a year-round programme of practical workshops, talks, tours, performances as well as running the largest Youth Theatre in the country. Its four main areas of contact are children and young people, families, community and education.  I’m trying to build up a holistic picture of the theatre and it’s community and the influence it has.  I am also interested in how it makes contact and interacts with the outside world.

industrial ironing
in wardrobe…this is actually an iron..it is a thing of beauty

I spent the rest of the day being amazed by the vastness of metro house – the CFT’s prop store – searching for props and attempting to re-cover a lamp for Present Laughter, which I was lucky enough to see the week before.

CFT_Website_Images_447x792px_Random
random/generations

I was  privileged to be invited to the ‘meet and greet’ with the cast of random and generations where I met and talked to the actors and the South African choir – check them out on instagram! The plays are hard hitting and amazing. Brilliant set.

wardrobe….

In my spare time (that’s a joke by the way) I’ve been researching the history of the building using, amongst other things, books by Kate Mosse and Leslie Evershed-Martin, the man who started it all and who seems like quite a character.

Image result for leslie evershed-martin
leslie evershed-martin

Coincidently, I  met a woman at a textile event (Brockenhurst) whose grandfather owned the building firm that that built a part of CFT in the 60’s.  She was a cornflower girl – one of the girls and women who sold cornflowers to raise money for the theatre back in the 1950s. Serendipity. I need to find out more….

I was invited to (and attended!)  a talk by Tinuke Craig, director of random and generations (fascinating and insightful, an amazing, interesting and very accomplished woman), and met members of the the Commissioning Circle and the Youth Commissioning Circle.

As my residency progresses I am continuing to to meet as many people connected with the theatre as possible and have been finding out about the Pass It On and Renew  projects which have helped the theatre continue to grow and evolve. The reach of the theatre goes far beyond just the people who attend the shows.

Next I will be spending a bit more time in the prop department and meeting some of the army of volunteers who support the theatre. My sketch book is getting  fat and I am getting lots of ideas…I have begun to make experimental pieces in response to time spent st the theatre…I will begin to post these as a visual documentation of my time here. It will be interesting to see where this goes.

 

 

 

images above are in the prop department……..guess the show….

Meanwhile the  Art One Degree Show started last night..great to see lots of new art..the preview was busy and buzzy…….and am now getting ready for a trip to the New Forest, New Milton to be exact…  for my drawing in to textiles  work shop tomorrow..I hope my students are going to enjoy it…its going to be quite exciting  – we’re going to some drawing from the right side of the brain exercises  (thank you Betty Edwards)..and wire drawing and then turning our designs into  textile pieces!  Really looking forward to it!

PS I have actually been doing some work too..so will put pics in my next post..I have a thing going on about how to download images on to my computer  ….

PPS I’m updating my site so stay with me….there are a few glitches…..I will get there!!!  Onwards and upwards.

PPPS …off to pack my car!!

PPPPS Sorry I didn’t get to see you Sarah

 

 

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