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Residency Commission for Graeae

In celebration of its move to purpose built accessible premises at The Bradbury Studios, 138 Kingsland Rd in Shoreditch, Graeae invited me to undertake a residency commission inspired by the building itself and the process of creative activity that takes place in and around the company. I attended performances of "The Garden", and rehearsals and performances of "Rhinestone Rollers", "Against the Tide" and "Reasons to be Cheerful".

Graeae slide show of my ink drawings

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Click in centre of above black box to see Graeae slideshow of ink drawings from my sketchbook made while attending rehearsals for "Against the Tide" (1.13min, no sound).

This slide show runs a sequence of drawings made while I watched rehearsals for Graeae's production of "Against The Tide" in 2010.

The deaf and disabled actors were strapped to aerial poles and bend and sway in the air individually and in groups as part of the performance.

The drawings were done in ink with permanent pens and dipping pens in a small sketchbook on my lap as the actors rehearsed and choreographed their movements.

There are 18 black line drawings, all made very fast and direct from life. They depict the actors warming up by stretching or doing handstands, the rickety wooden set and the empty areil poles (like oversize pogo sticks).The actors are seen from below and are suspended on their poles in the air, bending impossibly forwards and backwards or coming together.

The pen is sometimes splodgy, the actors are unrecognisable, and the drawings are spare and gestural, (often only a few marks), in an attempt to capture the sense of movement generated by the actors.

More information on Graeae www.graeae.org

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