leicester UK 2014

leicester UK

de montfort university / july 2014
















guest artists

miriam keye








jill cowley








sally doughty




eleanor walker







jo breslin








miriam keye
1 (not Rewriting Distance Practise)
I went to the place where the ceiling pipe looked like a giant skiing astronaut
robot’s foot. It is covered with a silvery foily covering. Possible thermal. A bit
like a thermal blanket or boiler cover. This cover has no texture. It has bumps
and folds. It is a reflective surface where the light and shadow is refracted.
As a foot it would wear a bouncy shoe. One with a think spongey sole. Its other
foot is nowhere to be seen at this time. He’s not really a ski-er. More a giant robot
spaceman who moves well in snowy landscapes. His gait skims over the surface
of the snow, even though he is giant and heavy and his movement is fairly slow
and rhythmic. Maybe it causes a compression of the snow underfoot with each
step. Perhaps this then allows the snow to become solid blocks, like bricks for
building with. Perhaps he arrives first on the space mission to the snowy planet
and perhaps he builds the space station for everybody else when they arrive.
1 (ReWriting Distance Practise)
A table
A table is
An Island (is a table with a long roll of brown wrapping paper, some pens and a
small blank canvas)
An Island for writing, scribing, drawing, scrunching, ripping, catching- UP HIGH- crying
A moveable map, a dress, a tether to the practise
A place for reflection, reminding, tethering
  • Fucking cockroaches
A chair
A chair is an Island
I land
On the chair
An audience chair
A witness chair
Don’t split hair
A frame, an island, a chair, a place to view
With a view
To enter
When, why, how, where
Don’t split hair
-Fucking cockroaches
A definitive encyclopaedia that has no definition- no dentist, no clowning, no circus.
Yet it has 2 covers, a front and a back, with a generous focus on oral fixation and
large male appendages.
What draws in a dance and where does the dance fit?
What is behind the dance and what makes it interesting or well shaped or have a
reason for being there?
The score has such freedom it allows for other ‘scores’ to be included- how do we
build a choreographic score within the structure of the framework. Do we want to?
When I enter I am often entering with a view to balancing the space.
Invite myself to try bringing in a totally new idea and seeing if it sticks.
I seem to be more comfortable speaking in a kind of faux American/ Canadian accent.
Broke through a self-conscious dance’y moment by staying with it and finding a movement
focus- decay and gummy and decrepit. Twisted dance.
Man I’m tired. So very very tired.
Must remember to actually write something in the space.
I discovered yesterday that when writing in this way (now, not as in when in the space) as
an automatic response type writing it is another way to filter all of the options that are possible
and potentially arrive at one that might actually potentially be interesting.
These days I believe it is all Ok
It is Ok until I find that it is not Ok
Then at least there is a period of time when it is actually Ok.
This is the day.
This is the day when the restrictions are lifted.
It’s a game and I am allowed to play the game.
I am a part of the game.
We all are, the campers, the coriander farmers, the writer, the pens… and their kids.
That poor poor blackbird.
I think I am getting better at staying in the game, to have been practising noticing, going with,
switching, staying with, abandoning, offering, watching hearing, giving, trusting, playing, being
Lin’s hands and head came out from behind the upturned table
My hands become the blackbird, is it working? Maybe if I add in some tweeting? Was that really
Sometimes I get lost between the performer and the pedestrian
Shall we read soon?
When does it end?
With Peter the Tap-dancing Blackbird.
3 duets sweep across- to stay with, to harmonize, to interlock- rather than to be the same.
We land ready for our solos.
~The lady on the horse galloping wildly across the countryside all the way into Ascot, coming in 5th
~The journey to the North via the Angel of the North passing through the competition to draw the North
~Compass directions begin to confuse a little tiny boy- BIG TREE little me, he is now over 6’3
~Bird Angel found me asleep. She just wants to be The Bird Angel. Is that too much to ask? Really?
~A Mother sees her child transforming. It must be heartbreaking to see your child, who is so full, so
perfect, feel less than
~So let it resonate through my body. The space is active, resonating with the tears & the sobbing,
release, relief, a palpable emotion all along the diagonal…
…To join the lady on the horse
Connecting through the vibrating sounds of the spine, into an ensemble song where we travel through
the compass directions- the side, the up and the down; finding our flag dresses and creating dual diagonal
pathways to come in at the last race of Lady’s Day at Ascott. Here we are, who is going to win? “See that?
That’s you that”
It’s a perfect 5
Rejoining our duets
The tent needed a pole
The travellers were on their way
They speak Russian on Mars
The Lake District needs to compete
Maybe it would install a surf beach?
Maybe an invitation for visitors to design their own peak.
The tent is no longer big enough
Not for R2D2, the shrimp, the leopard or the table.
It needs to be inserted into that hole
That one, over there, in The North, way up North, over there, more North than North has ever been before.
I love this pen.


eleanor walker
Rewriting Distance – Writings by Eleanor Walker
Quick Shifts Laboratory 30th June-6th July 2014
MONDAY 30 June 2014 (Open Lab)
The thread of self-weaving history was spun about the notion of connectivity
Fantasy histories, imagined figures, characters, landscapes and concepts
populated the space and wove through our world between us, about us, from
person to person.
Images of passing the baton, the torch of liberty
Lines and strings and silver chains
Freedom and restraint
Bounds of love
Tethers that hold us here, and there, and together
Concepts, designs inventions
Storytelling, lecturing singing
Casual conversation
And show stopping numbers
Challenges, games and competitions
Co-creation, collaboration
Asking questions
Seeking help
Demanding answers
TUESDAY 1 July 2014
The Compilation of the Encyclopedia of Nothing
(except C-D the missing volume)
What colour is nothing?
What page number is stillness?
4293? or 4793?
Swinging and singing
Laughing and biting at the silent stillness
Silly, snappy, touchy,
Playfully we bite each other
A trip to the dentist
More biting and licking and teeth falling out
Smoking and chewing
Licking and sticking
A giant phallus
Cover picture modeling
Posing and framing
Instructing the artist
Reading the score
Singing the drawings
Drafting diagrams of sounds
The armpit a mouth
The voice of the belly
I’m sorry
my feet
I’m late
Sorry, Not sorry!
I’m laughing
I’m stillness
I’m late
I’m sorry
We’re sorting and categorizing, recording and editing
We are erasing
We are archiving
Can you see the books of nothing lined up on the wall?
We see a shelf that’s not there
A ghost lingering
Our virtual volume has weight, has presence still
Here and now
Forever gone and not gone
Pieces preserved
Pieces lost
Pieces erased
The Incomplete Inventory of the Missing Volume
C- No Circus, no contact, no collecting, no chairs, no cha-cha-cha.
D- No dancing, no dinosaurs, no ducking or diving
WEDNESDAY 2 July 2014
The slick oily black base of a building
Reflecting me back in disjointed darkness
Another me in there
Another dark doppelganger or alter ego
Who is she?
Dissected in the sleek surface
Others are reflected travelling through
Passing in and out
From this bright world to that dark cool one and back
Black bleeding up from the floor like wet jeans
Passing through doors
Institutional beige
Regulation colours
Regulation fire doors
Air locking and sucking
Sectioning off a chunk of space
A cube of air
And now suddenly for me all rooms are cubes of air
Out into the light again
And more metal and marble and and glass and stone
Cobbles and paving
All laid out in lines channeling you “this way”
“Not that way!”
“Don’t go over there”
“This way” insisting!
Ting, ting tinga ting Ping!
“Stay with your partner over the crossing”
Old stone of the Magazine
A 14th Century regimental weapons and ammunition store “hence it’s name”
Used during the Civil war, still used today by the regiment to house uniforms,
equipment and… records? There was a 3rd thing.
The 1234567 metal pads in the pavement -6 steps apart
I step on each and count
Then 123 down the slope.
I decide that it’s been 10 minutes
I decide to smoke
I decide to try to get lost
I find a place I don’t know
I’m not sure if I’m supposed to enter
I do…
She finds a secret garden. Close clipped hedges conceal what is inside.
Passing through a small gap she enters and discovers she is not alone.
She sees two other walkers have found this place and greets them cheerily
but there is another here.
Quietly sleeping in the shade.
Guilty for disturbing his peace, she leaves an offering for him to find when he wakes.
A single cigarette silently balanced on a low hedge as she departs.
Cobbles and railings and stones
…and then a place where I cried once in the rain
I cried on the phone to my mum- trying to hold an umbrella, a bag, a phone, a
soggy fag.- trying to hold it all together. I was so scared and so tired, sick and
tired with worry and fears and tears falling. This place makes me cry now just
Railings and stones
and then “Sergeant Post Box” standing victorianly in the midst of this mish mash
of history, the clash of old and new, metal and stone and glass 
I’m channeled away by lines and pathways.
I’m hurried off and through and away.
I’m returning to the beginning.
I turn the corner and and see that black other again.
I stand with her, the wind blows, I wait
I wait for the breath on my skin to stop
I have to await the arrival of…
The End
FRIDAY 4 July 2014
We made an accident a virtue
 An imagined tragedy; real risks
An appeal for help, for money, for aid
“Call the emergency services”
to build and rebuild
to rescue and restore
Performance sans frontier
Uncontainable timescales- shared histories and personal stories
Creeping in, crashing in, flying in
Tethering themselves’ to the space, to us, between us.
Finding a balance between the elements
Finding an equilibrium inside ourselves and in the space.
Setting up tents in the hills farms and mountains.
Building nests and playgrounds, rings and arenas.
Drawing maps and laying down markers
Showing others the way.
The sound of music with Peter and Paul
The hills are alive with mudslides
Then tents are crushed and invaded by other campers’ music
Climbing, Wrestling swimming drowning flying
Unending endings!
SATURDAY 5 July 2014
Entering singing together
Breezing easily together
Locking in together
Pacing out together
Around and through
Over and under
Perching and riding
Witnessing, spectating and cheering
In the chairs we share and support
And feed and question each other
Friendly ears and eyes
Nods of agreement and encouragement
If you have to do a solo- first do it like this
Some make images
colouring with black horses and blue pens,
with dresses and hats, with textures and soundtracks.
Some draw maps and give directions
Some explain, some show and tell
Some explore and feel and find
Orienteering through this performance
Knowing the landscape, the feel, the texture, the paths, the landmarks- the traces
and trails we leave behind
Feeling at home here in the place we have made together
– that is the key.
SUNDAY 6 July 2014
We love that guy
our surfer from the salty shore
Far-flung flings to the stars
To Mars
To the lakes and mountains
We find it hard to down-size
Calls and echoes
Techno textures
Soaring on currents
Riding the waves
We can be filmed anywhere,
Anywhere in the universe.


jill cowley
Rewriting Distance
day 1
After Practice
Pressure of the witness chair.
Do you go and wait, or risk not getting in when you want to go?
Enjoyed the repeating, bringing things back.
Tired but engaged but not getting up as much as I would like.
Found moments of authenticity within what I did, and said when trying to accomplish a task.
A pedestrian task.
Maybe this is something to keep working with.
Ta da daa da da daaaa.  Ta da daa da da daaaa.
“Oh say can you see, by the dawn’s early light….”
Love watching how clever people are, how quick.
I notice myself wanting to add in my knowledge and stopped this, because an
inaccurate flow is better and funnier (perhaps) than having someone chipping in.
Know-it-all is not welcome.
The witness chair feels very different in this situation, compared to the pairs.
In pairs you knew you would get up.
With an audience you made the choice
(or didn’t)
day 2
After Practice
No clapping, no cheering, but seeing and hearing.
Frame it again and again.
It is definitive.
Sorry about the feet, they were late and they bit you.
Watching and waiting, giving time, enjoying the circus.
It’s warm in the window.
She is in the window with the sunlight on her face in the frame of the window,
Good evening and welcome to the encyclopedia.
Which page?
Any page, any time, but always stillness.
See those hieroglyphics?
The dinosaurs are missing from my life.
Sorry, sorry about that.
Ivy trails and tales of long forgotten books.
I pause.
I end.
I find it hard to enter from the front.
I observe myself wanting to sneak on from the side, to merge into something without confronting it head on.
Crossing the border is hard from here, because the border feels large.
No border at the side – you are already in the space, in the action.
Bringing in things from earlier felt like a possibility, but difficult.
day 3
After Walking
Where to go?
People crowd me, too much to see.
I don’t usually notice people, so now there’s too many things to take in.
People move in diagonals across the space.  It’s the quickest route, I think.
That path is not comfortable.
Trinity House, Trinity Gardens, Castle Gardens, in the garden.
There’s Jo.  Go another way.
Forgot about Skyride; that was an excellent day.
They flow around the building like a stream of fluorescent ribbon.
How to get down?  Is that the river or the canal?  What’s the difference?
Soar Point, River Soar.
Sunlight to shade and back again as I pass under the arch.
The blue bench is warm on my back and legs; perfect.
Not perfect.
What do I look like?  Some weirdo on a bench.  No phone to hide behind.
Not perfect.
Too far away.  There’s a gap between me and the thing I want to be part of.  Like
the witness chair again.
Join in.
Sitting on the edge; don’t jump!
This is it.
I need this in my life.
The water flows away to my left , taking the fish and the reeds. 
How many dragonflies?  Beautiful dancing and play.
Hello!  I haven’t got anything, I’m afraid.
The white neck bows away, feet betraying the activity below.
Moor hens, ducks, butterflies, swans, fish.  All coming into my stillness.
So still.
Noticing so hard, he passes unnoticed.
The sky in the water brings new depths.  Ripples cross the clouds and a bird joins
the dragonflies in their dance of delight.
I notice things as if for the first time in a long time.
No phone.
No time.
A noticing walk is part of life that Erin should have.
We need to re-learn to be, and to notice.
“12:15, I told you yesterday, 12:15”
No time.
“It’s a round one, you see, in the collegiate chapel.”
Back the way I came – is that failing?
No, use what you know.
You know a lot.
Miriam’s moving slowly.
And here it is: don’t lose that feeling now.
After Practice
I fear the beginning.  What will come or not come?
When to go?
Don’t wait too long.
I enter and pause to tidy the space – why do I do that?
I like to organise, to format, to arrange.  I like to know why things are where they are.
I talk about books.
Books from my childhood, on my shelf.
Arranging them and re-arranging them again and again.
To what end?
I need to get higher.  To be the huge book against the wall. 
The table is a willing prop but needs clearing first.
I rise and I follow the ever-decreasing books down, down to the floor,
I can’t get any smaller.
I can’t be like the flower fairy book.
But it’s enough.
I’m OK, I survived and next time will be easier and just as hard and easier and fun.
day 4
After Practice
Tents, intention, hills far away. 
Ahh ah ah ahhh.
Not remembering how I got in.
It was at the table, the island, the place second to the chair.
Staying and drawing and tents.
No poles necessary if you hang it in a tree.
Feels individual.
Not got a sense of pressure to join, but rather able to pursue, something, and in
that pursuing, notice.
A song, another song, starting a song, calming the space.
To leave or not.
To lie and wait.
Waiting for what?
Here it is.
Wrestling and gymnastics and pinned to the ground.
Don’t squash the coriander.
Left, centre back, like an erratic boulder from the glacial flow.
It has intention and purpose.  It doesn’t panic.  It is waiting, biding time for the
next earth changing event.
day 5
After Practice
Scotland, the highlands in the North.  Wasn’t going there but did, thanks to the
sword-pen dance.
A map shows the way, or suggests possibilities. 
What’s on the map?
A blank map holds endless possibilities, restricted only when pen marks the paper.
Is Leicester here?
And Wales?
The Lakes are hilly and the peaks are smaller and Scotland is very far north.
There’s an angel in the north, and you can stand inside her.
Small in the folds of her robes. 
Hold her up and capture it on a photographic map, because we won’t see it again.
day 6
After Practice
Life on Mars survives without a compass.
Without east or west or north or south.
There’s gravity and it falls repeatedly to the ground.
Will she ever catch it?
The tight, restricted space gives way to endless space, with moons and orbits and
the Lake District is spewed joyfully into the landscape.
Peaks abound and surround the single lake, where the weight is too much to hold alone.
Be prepared to wait, to catch, to hear an end.
To not move on.
To stop.


lin snelling
day one

for Sally Marie

Reminds me of you,
these beads do,
as they hang
like a necklace
suspending and true

How long has it been,
since I’ve seen you?

They’re ever unending,
sounds like a leash,
hanging breath,
move, reflect,
parallel lines in
gravity and time,
pulling up to sound,
while gravity
pulls down.


Superman has a name,
changes, … and
lives in a frame …
is tethered
to and from something,
and all
at once.

It’s called running in circles,
putting the tops on and off pens,
those damn cockroaches,
moving around as static images
through space,
holding their own
looking fashionable.

The engineering of art,
how delicate,
and chaotic,
it all is.

(I’m stuck, … can you help me?
double tethering …
thank-you …)

again and again
calling for freedom and liberty,
who gives a fuck about the words?

Sing song with the words in front,
we don’t see, and see, them.

She’s singing a song; let’s sing along,

Applause and end …

Thank you.

day two

An empty wall
hieroglyphics tracing,
body gone,
mark left.

Rewriting encyclopaedia erasing,
name the definitive,
…sorry we are a bit late to start,
begin from the feet up,
from page 90064,

pages renumber
as stillness,
creating a rhythm,
erasing song as it goes along …
through backside of book
pages …
laugh and cry,
because there is nothing/everything
on them.

Placement out of order,
letters are running into each
other, attempting escape.

No more C and D, and so the
hawk is magnificently incomplete,
the story is out there
and has a very stylish front and back cover.

How could this attempt ever be made?
How can something include everything?
(it can, it can, … echo of pages and disappearance)

Stillness, hear
bass played on canvas,
laughing the same way
every time,
“I’m sorry”.

Being late
that’s the point!

I like when it’s not there.

The eagle is filling in by itself
almost catching its’ wing back

Erasing the encyclopaedia, trying,
going backwards, when it ended at the wall.

Everything, everything came back,
a glimpse/flash knowledge
swallowed quickly
because putting things in the mouth
is necessary and desirable,

spit it out,
like gum underneath every table turned over.

Is she really chewing my fingertips?
Is she really not going to put her foot down?

singing yes and no dancing to questions

Halleluiah … to the erasing encyclopaedia,
the empty wall,
the way I saw looking at it.

From the paper: written during the practice

there is a song
it’s an encyclopaedia
It’s travelling
between alphabets
It’s very still,
and its on page 90064
look it up
in the bicarbonate of soda biography

day four

Dear Sally:

Wish you were here,
the garden is fabulous this time of year,
Lady Eleanor,
takes such good care
of everything.

Problem is she wears
orange pumps and
has a strange way with
keeping it all green …

It works though,
especially when she
gets those seed memos …
she’s always ordering up,
improving and expanding,
she writes everything down on
postcards … and its crazy
her throw them all up in the air
when she gets excited.

How long are you travelling for?

part two

The unending journey of blue,
begins with
a balancing act
an accident,
an emergency
a glacier.

Back and forth in time,
the stories of pens and colour
and the deafening folding of an index card
in 2 halves.

This is a one-person tent?
… and together,
this tiny village
becomes a town,
devastating with the
hills alive
and the sound of music
and mud.

This telling tale gets
involved with weather and
breath taking vistas,
view from all places at once is overwhelming
and tethered to no where:
the name a field of coriander.

Every morning waking up,
the hills are in a different place,
there is a brand new
person giving directions
and it feels like there
is a song in the

This camp ground,
quiet in the middle
of field,
time to write another note to
all the journeys taken together

Wish you were here.

day five

she began on a horse
a black horse,
the thunderous sound
she had a long dress on,
the finish line slows things
now on your
way north and up
through the
lake district
with mountains and small
and why on earth do they call it
the Lake District,
with all those mountains
north, south or sideways
what a great dance
of east and west,
mixing it up,
the way one does sometimes
while walking in the city,
the way the streets line up
with sun or water.

Now in every city
the lake is south,
which doesn’t always work,
especially if you try too hard
to follow directions.

Almost always in relation to what’s around,
the bird angel
wakes from slumber,
sets off on a joyous diagonal flight.

Performance at Embrace Arts

A band without name,
beginning to
travel solo,
with braids,
with jeans
with Martha Graham,
who climbed a mountain of page,
made a tent.

In a matrix of stage and audience,
stories measure,
eventually the metres climbing
on top of the table,
the song building to an end …
arriving with
uncontrollable chaos and ease,
like nothing we had ever
heard before,
or will again.