Saturday 27 August 2016

ADF Bounce! festival 2016 - saturday

image from ADF programme

A masterclass workshop on connecting people with dementia to their creative selves. This workshop by the Lawson sisters followed on from an exhibition at ADF Gallery earlier this year where their father's art was exhibited. 'Presently Absent' was curated by Bronagh Lawson.

image from ADF programme

Aaron Williamson, an adept performance artist, was present outside the Castlecourt shopping centre. In a booth he demonstrated step-by-step instructions on how to execute everyday movements and use common objects. 

I am a visual artist and have always found performance art 'difficult' to comprehend. But once I decided to break each performance I viewed into a series of happenings I discovered that I could appreciate some of those parts. When Aaron touched the overhanging heart that said 'It's a wonderful world' I found humour. When he manipulated the selfie mirror on a stick I felt innuendo. When he read short statements from a placard I agreed with each statement and yet had the same feeling rise in me that I might have had when attending school and enduring repetition. Perhaps these have nothing to do with Aaron's performance but they are what I drew from it.

images from ADF programme

With a performance and a workshop Streetwise Community Circus provided something in the festival especially for families. This year's Bounce! production told the story of Robin Hood entering an archery competition. The workshop taught basic circus skills including stilt walking for beginners.

Early evening saw the Sing For Life choir gather on the steps. All singers have either survived cancer or have a connection to cancer through family or friend. Laid back music, lovely harmonies that filled the space.

image from ADF programme

This evening's performance was a double bill from poet Alice McCullough and singer songwriter Pat Dam Smyth. The theme of the show was the darkness some of us experience in our lives. To call it 'Mental Health' would be to medicalise the emotions spoken and sung of. Instead the artists took us on journeys of themselves. And there was humour dotted between each song and poem among the grief and sadness which hung in the air. It was a very personal sharing of emotions felt within real lives.

Maybe it's the Irish blood in me that allows me to appreciate a good lament. I loved each phrase spoken, each word sung and didn't want either performance to end.

Copyright © 2016 by Roisin O'Hagan/bloowabbit
All rights reserved. The artworks/illustrations or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the artist except for specific permission granted with a free downloadable.

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