Thursday, 15 October 2015

Sarah Short@ Unfix

Sarah Short is a Glasgow-based artist, specialising in writing for performance. In all of her work she aims to create space to feel human connection 

What inspired this production: did you begin with an idea or a script or an object?:

This piece of work started with an idea. It was a new piece of work and hopefully the beginning of something bigger. I had an idea that I wanted to make a piece of work about grief. Having experienced grief earlier in the year I wanted to create a space that acknowledged what that meant for me and where I find my own strength to move forward within it. The answer led me directly to religion, primarly Catholism.

Why bring your work to Unfix?

This work seemed fitting to the concept of human ecology and I also felt that this festival would allow me a space to present an offering as opposed to a fully polished piece of theatre. The opportunity to do an installation allowed me to go through a very rich research process and the frame of an installation forced me to be very precise about what went in the space. Thus it was a very useful point of research within a bigger project that I may work on for some time.

 What can the audience expect to see and feel - or even think - of your production?

I suppose, primarily I wanted the audience to feel a sense of calming space, a space in the middle of a city to reflect and feel safe.

The Dramaturgy Questions

1.    How would you explain the relevance - or otherwise - of dramaturgy within your work?

I would argue that the presence of dramaturgy in any piece of work is always relevant. I suppose, as this was my first installation the way in which I worked with semiotics and the presence of research within the work felt different than I am normally used to.

2.    What particular traditions and influences would you acknowledge on your work -  have any particular artists, or genres inspired you and do you see yourself within their tradition?

I was greatly inspired by the work of Teresa Margolles and Suzanne Lacy, however this piece of work felt very different from theirs. I suppose, in terms of tradition my main link would be reaching out to the communities that I am exploring. In this piece it was those within the Catholic community, so conversations with priests, parish members, family and indeed a personal exploration were all part of the process of my work.

3.    Do you have a particular process of making that you could describe - where it begins, how you develop it, and whether there is any collaboration in the process?

Regardless of the piece I am making, my process always begins with an idea or a subject matter, from there I develop a hypothesis of some kind and then begin to research. I feel there is always collaboration but this usually comes from interviews/conversations with a cross section of people within the community I am critiquing on some level.

4.    What do you feel the role of the audience is, in terms of making the meaning of your work?

For me, I feel that the audience helps to contextualize the work. Without an audience, or the consideration of the audience I feel that my work may never become anything more than a personal research project.

5.    Are there any questions that you feel I have missed out that would help me to understand how dramaturgy works for you?
I can’t think of any other questions based on dramaturgy at this moment.

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