RIG Arts: Creative Movement Artist in Residence
location Broomhill, Greenock, Scotland
dates August - November 2018
Greenock based dancers taking part in a Create Movement Workshop with Laura Fisher at Broomhill Community Hub and Gardens
Image Credits: Sebastian Hakka
From August - November 2018, Laura Fisher undertook a residency in Greenock with socially engaged arts charity RIG Arts as their Creative Movement Artist in Residence. The residency was part of The Broomhill Project, known locally as "Up The Broomy" which supported four artists of different disciplines (sculpture, music,film and dance) to undertake a residency in Broomhill over the course of 3 years. Artists in residence delivered free, open participation workshops in their specialism to residents of Broomhill, Greenock and Inverclyde and were commissioned to create a piece of artwork for, about or in response to the post-industrial area of Broomhill.
Supported by Creative Scotland, River Clyde Homes and RIG Arts
During their time as Movement Artist in Residence, Laura lead a series of workshops with local participants at Broomhill Community Hub & Gardens looking at ways into moving, the experiential body in space and their embodied relationship to architecture and environment.
Emerging from these enquiries Laura created a site responsive and site specific performance title "On Prospecthill; Portraits of Broomhill". The performance involved screening a multiscreen dance film featuring movement portraits of different people moving in and around Broomhill, onto the 60ft gable end of the Broomhill Tavern in Broomhill upper car park, temporarily transforming the car park into a site for performance and community gathering.
"F R E E S P A C E can be a space for opportunity, a democratic space, unprogrammed and free for uses not yet conceived. There is an exchange between people and buildings that happens, even if not intended or designed, so buildings themselves find ways of sharing and engaging with people over time, long after the architect has left the scene.
Architecture has an active as well as a passive life.
FREESPACE encompasses freedom to imagine, the free space of time and memory, binding past, present and future together, building on inherited cultural layers, weaving the archaic with the contemporary."
-FREESPACE Manifesto, 2017 (Farrell & McNamara)
Drawing reference from the FREESPACE manifesto (2017) which looks at the artistic purpose and functionality of open, undeveloped or “free” space within architecture, the work considers the geographical landscape of the area of Broomhill, focussing on the car park which adjoins Broomhill Court and the surrounding network of walkways, as inspiration and site for performance. Working with the understanding that architecture choreographs the everyday movements of the public as they travel through space, the performance event and presence of large projected, moving images onto brutalist structures aims to act as an artistic disruption to the existing functional use of the space; temporarily altering its purpose by transforming it into a site for performance. I am interested in the how the concept of “visual spectacle” can offer such a disruption and attract attention and curiosity, leading to a change in the social choreography of the space.
Projecting the work onto the gable end of the Broomhill Tavern, which is surrounded on three sides by residential properties, temporarily transforms the function of the architecture and visually transforms the aesthetic experience of the space. Encountering the work in such a way, I hope might encourage new ways of viewing, being and moving in familiar surroundings and inspire further creative projects or use of the space in future.