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  • 2013

    Clapham Library

    The show

    Through this initiative BeautifulMess wanted to create a collaborative, celebratory, site-responsive performance to be performed and shared in different spaces throughout the library building. The aims of the project were to demonstrate and celebrate the artistic, cultural, educational and holistic opportunities and potential of this innovative, contemporary community hub, and to develop organic methods of self-expression and artistic skill in a group environment. Thematically we explored the history and ongoing legacy of libraries, books and stories as a central and timeless pillar to all members of society.

    Collaborative performance-making techniques were developed through an organic process- finding the best ways for participants to communicate and express their ideas and stories together through multi-sensory means – using narrative threads inspired by stories taken from in and around the library (classic books, personal narratives, library staff and users) explored visually and physically.

    As part of our focus in creating multi-sensory theatre, participants explored the acoustics of the space, the ambient sounds and the politics of silence in the library, contrasted with the rich soundscapes of the imagination evoked by our favourite books, to develop a performance score. And by creating sensory installations the group was able to animate and accentuate architectural features of the library, inspired by the environments we find in the stories we explored.

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