Now that we have entered Spring and passed the anniversary of the first lockdown, it gives me the opportunity to express how things have changed and how the project in Hawkwood, has helped to maintain a rhythm through these extraordinary and challenging times.
Nature shows us how nothing stays the same, life is forever evolving and changing. I remember in 2016 watching a river in Wales and it hit me how a river is the perfect example of this. It bubbles up as a Spring in the mountains, becomes a stream, then a river and finally ends up in the sea. It never stays still is always on the move, finding a new course or direction. The surface dances in sunlight or wind, influenced by the ground it is flowing over and the weather conditions.
The woods are changing now from its wintery sculptural image to the delicate emergence of new leave growth and the cacophony of birdsong, as humans we also change as the weather becomes warmer we spend more time outside and our bodies feel more energised. This is all influencing how we are moving in the woods. I have found myself twisting and bringing lightness into my movement to represent the coming of spring. In contrast to work we were doing in autumn, when everything was dying and withdrawing.
I wanted to find a way to continue with the work in the woods, so established a system of writing out instructions for the group
As we went into lockdown in Nov, I wanted to find a way to continue with the work in the woods, so established a system of writing out instructions for the group and telling them to choose a spot where either we had worked during Sept and Oct or finding a new place of their own choosing. Here are a set of instructions I issued on our first week in lockdown.
1) Find a place in the woods that you are drawn to move in. This could be any of the places we have already worked in or somewhere of your choosing
2) Warm up:
Warm your bodies up in whatever way feels comfortable for yourselves. (15 mins)
3) drop your head forward look at the ground, observe what is there then take a shape with your body that represents something of what you see, hold it for a min then continue this taking your head to each side and back and repeating the same process really observing the different shapes sensations the woods feed to you.
4) Then explore the area you have chosen to work in by walking slowly, quickly in different rhythms observing how you move up hill, down hill, play with this and exaggerate the small movement and see what evolves. eg you may find that coming down hill you drop your hips a bit like a horse when it walks down hill.(15 mins)
5) Find a particular spot in the area you have chosen walk to it in a certain rhythm then use the rhythm and the visual influence around you to create an improvisation, if you feel able switching between natural human movements and more abstract movements that represent the natural environment. Record what you do and experience and feed back to the group through the group email. (15 mins)
The film illustrates what was created from some similar instructions, before we went into lockdown. The mover is Katie Lloyd Nunn I loved the way she moved between the tree and the stump and used the stump as stimulus for grand circular movement with the body and arms embracing her surroundings.