A spot of inspiration...
Today I've been really inspired by an interview with Sarah Hopfinger, a PhD student at Glasgow University. I
stumbled across it on the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland's Alumni page and I felt she had some useful and relevant things to say about creating performance and collaborating with others in beautifully simple ways with illuminating results.
In the interview, Sarah discusses relationships between artists and audiences and the kind of work we choose to present to them. I found this particularly apt as many companies and artists are having their public funding cut because their ventures are not commercial enough and cannot create enough capital to be considered viable. But what about art for art's sake? What about art for experimentation, for pushing boundaries, for exploration?
"I think the biggest barrier is the way performing arts is often ghettoised (artists making work for artists) and thus upholding an aesthetic that can seem (and often is) inaccessible. I also think performing arts tries to become less sophisticated in order to ‘appeal’ to wider audiences, which is itself patronising and counter-productive. By creating high quality, complex and experimental work that is accessible, wider demographics
will experience it with their own responses (as opposed to being told what to think and feel).
I guess what is important is creating art that you believe is important, not shunning away from things because of presumptions about what your audiences can/cannot understand – not reducing nor diluting your work in order to be inclusive, but rather being inclusive because your work pushes boundaries and experiments."
I studied alongside Sarah at Hereford Sixth Form College under the masterful tuition of Colin Thompson and Mat Walters. Together, they taught us to be passionate about our practice, create with precision and to make brave choices. Sarah was actually in the year above me but we worked together on a summer theatre production of "After Juliet" by Sharman MacDonald the scorching hot summer of 2006. (Picture on right).
It is exciting to see where her path is now leading her.