Journeys in a New World
So March 2020 came and went and we emerge through the other side of lockdown. In this new world we are still finding ways to do what we do best: create and present world – class work. Isolation offered us the opportunity to reflect, catalogue images from shows, to reshape working methods and ways of promoting fresh voices. We continue to edit recordings for Third Storey and on essential trips have kept a photographic record of deserted streets at this unique time.
We have used spare time and resources to reach out with offers of support to groups and organisations we work with, targeting support to help artists retune and redevelop scheduled site specific shows for the digital space.
In moving files to lockdown locations we’ve had fun unearthing aspects of our history: catalogue images, forgotten promotional items and snaps taken to document our activities. Some photographs from this, along with images from the annual progress review and project development files, will be temporarily made available here.
With isolation rules limiting what we can do, we almost miss those 24 hour marathons doing admin, writing up descriptions, packaging up work, arranging pop ups, promotions, workshops, preparing installations.
Surf the Zeitgeist
We invite you to join us in taking time to recharge, read, write, lend a helping hand, look at something new, look at something anew, visualise future work or create something just for pleasure.
As part of our new Distant Socialising series, we have been catching up with some of our friends and collaborators to see what they have been working on during lockdown. With venues around the world presently needing to limit access, we are missing out on those inspiring gallery trips, gigs, and theatre visits. If that’s you too, check out our ten digital destinations and get inspiration delivered to your sofa.
Take a Tour
Get up close to selected work that can only be seen online for a limited lockdown time, via Lisson Gallery. Lisson paved the way for us in those first boundary – pushing years and endures as a ground breaking gallery that confidently imagines the future and helps to define the contemporary.
Lisson’s second season of Spotlight Screenings is a programme entitled ‘Documents/history/truth’ and will showcase documentary – form films by artists, as well as works that play on key Guava interests of tradition, identity, fiction, the narratives and counter narratives created by cultural systems.
Check out work by Cory Arcangel. US -based Cory has gained an international profile as one of the earliest exponents of quirky digitally made art. Works using software and video games highlights how technology rapidly formulates and dissolves new cultures, subcultures, communities and traditions.
There are too many great things to mention over at Tate Modern but it is worth taking a look at the site and whilst there using some of your distancing time at home to explore the online archive of papers chronicling developments in British contemporary art.
We are currently working on an international lockdown poem featuring voices from across the world. We’ve loved working with our British and American co – curators who have got us digging out more online poetry whilst we eagerly await the final mix. www.poetryarchive.org
Culture Mile is still worth checking out: there is always plenty to see and do in between the annual Playing the Mile Festival. If you missed us Playing on the digital radio station, pity… but you can still check out one of our favourite festival highlights. Imtiaz Dharker’s work as a writer and film maker interrogates identity politics, heritage, locality and community. If you are working from home and missing your usual morning dash into the City, her Underlines/Overheard video brings taste of city life into your living room. Her work is on the British GCSE and A level syllabus so this may be one to share with the family.
Otis Mensah offers an alternative take on contemporary Hip-Hop and spoken-word. Otis has toured internationally sharing the stage with Benjamin Zephaniah, Sugarhill Gang and Wu-Tang Clan.
Named poet laureate of Sheffield, his Rap Poetics project has encouraged many an aspiring wordsmith to get creative. We are proud that he had space in his hectic international tour schedule to work alongside us and can’t wait to sit back with our Yorkshire tea and hear his upcoming ode to Yorkshire. The video to his latest release is on YouTube
Word on the Sheet
Find out why Barack Obama named the Booker prize winning novel Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo one of his favourite books last year. A long standing advocate of experimentation and inclusion in writing and theatre, Bernadine’s body of work gives us insight into how host culture shapes a diaspora experience and is increasingly shaped by it.
Check out Bernadine’s autobiographical piece in the anthology Tangled Roots too. This is a collection of stories by contemporary and award- winning writers, including Guava’s Mel Wong, exploring social and personal histories formed within dual heritage families. Edited by Dr Katy Massey the anthology forms part of the Tangled Roots project which took the most poetical artist and writers around Britain in a ground – breaking tour of spoken word performance and engagement, before going on to a USA tour. Both well worth a virtual hike over to Waterstones or Amazon.
Living Room Theatre
Staying in? Don’t need to move from your seat to bag a front row at the theatre. There is plenty online. National Theatre Live productions are playing online via digital theatre offerings around the country.
Our friends at HOME, Manchester and at LBT, Kirklees were quick to grasp the nettle and produce new writing and activities for online audiences in isolation. HOME announced a new commission series and you can see a range of things on their Digital Channel, including plays which would have been presented in the theatre but were recently cancelled.
As part of their Homemaker series artists have created new works in isolation for an audience also isolated by the coronavirus lockdown.
Lawrence Batley Theatre offers a range of activities for people of all ages on LBTV, including regular story times and the innovative Secret Story Network: a series of live interactive stories and games, led by a story conductor, that are played out on smartphones and tablets.
The May online airing of The Understudy, a radio play written by Henry Filloux – Bennett and featuring Stephen Fry and Mina Anwar has raised funds for theatre during this socially distanced time. LBT inclusive online welcome presence mirrors the warm greeting that visitors to the theatre find. Guava hands have been at work here too.
To see a wealth of great scheduled live art of all kinds from around the globe you might want to head over to see videos of work performed at the Social Distancing Festival. Catch up with artists who have repurposed output, filming their scheduled cancelled site specific performances, generally taking risks and digitally experimenting. Co – ordinated by the tightrope – walking, self effacing Rick…. one of our supporters and favourite Canadians