AIDF: What happened & what happens next…?
Award: Artists International Development Fund
Thanks to Arts Council England and The British Council, with support from the Artists International Development Fund, Tara is currently undertaking a research project in the Netherlands.
“The AIDF is great support towards expanding networks abroad and exploring new art forms and platforms for my work with Miniature Museum. In my trip to The Netherlands, apart from visiting people to introduce what we already do, I wish to develop ideas for creating a new installation/show that can tour the international street theatre scene. In creating something that can work to that situation, I hope it can also be applied to touring a variety of places in the UK, from the street and festival through to museums and schools.
I’ll be spending some time with artists I’m inspired by and resonate with in different ways: Electric Circus, and artist Valerie Van Leersum. Bart will join me in some of this process.
Electric Circus ‘Headspace’
Electric Circus use techniques including puppetry and animatronics to create a unique form of street theatre. We’ll spend time with them in their studios picking up new skills and experimenting, brainstorming ideas. With this mentoring/collaborative time we want to build ideas for new work – determine which ingredients to use, what can of structure and form to take, and consider dynamics of audience interaction.
I will also work closely with the artist Valerie Van Leersum. Valerie’s way of working was an inspiration in the early research that led to the creation of the first Miniature Museum pilot project. Now we have the chance to research together, and develop ideas for a new collaboration and exchange in the future.
I’ll meet up with street theatre agents Entr’Act, and will be contacting and visiting various artist hubs and museums, and a street theatre festival or two. Valerie’s atelier is within the ‘artist city’ studios at NDSM wharf, and Electric Circus atelier is on ADM, a vibrant ‘cultural free-space’ community of artists, makers, festival organisers and workers. This is also where I am staying.
Through the process or working and being in such places I hope we can encourage some exchanges between Dutch & UK artists, between Stroud Valleys Artspace and Amsterdam artists groups…and maybe introduce new genres of street theatre to Stroud, which has already gained a reputation as an innovative creative playful hub of artist-led initiatives.
I’m looking forward to seeing what emerges! This will be a rich and inspiring research time to produce bigger plans – a proposal to create new touring work, plan for a project collaboration/exchange with Valerie van Leersum, and some cross-cultural pollinations. So important in these times especially.
Many thanks to Arts Council England and the British Council for this fund!