|Croí Glan, Unseen. Image by Tomasz Madajczak|
What are your impressions of West Cork as a creative place for dance?
The West Cork Arts Centre has been so incredibly supportive both of my work and of Croí Glan's work over the years. Our collaborations go all the way back to 1998! West Cork is also a very inspiring place to dance in terms of the beauty of the landscape, and because I was born here it feels very deeply like home which I think adds to the pleasure of making choreographic work here.
What was the Inspiration for your work?
Stacey White is an abstract visual artist who has been working with plankton on and off for over 30 years. When she started talking about working with plankton here and collecting waters from the local seas to see plankton under a microscope, I started thinking about other invisible benevolent and malevolent forces, particularly because it was during the pandemic. I was interested in making an
interdisciplinary show with her that looked at many invisible forces including plankton, which creates
50% of the world's oxygen.
What point did the work go from concept and development to becoming a full work?
We have been in residence at the Arts Centre all year researching and developing the show. Then we had a Tipperary Dance international residency with Tenerife LAV in June, with a work in progress showing in the La Granja Theatre, which was when we really started to develop the full work.
How has your work evolved by bringing it to West Cork Arts Centre?
I think performing in a white gallery space really inspired the video projection design by Luca Trufferelli. And it also inspired the idea of an installation. There are about 300 of Stacey White's mixed media abstract paintings of plankton on the walls of the gallery as we perform.
Has the way you approach the work you are presenting changed from the time of its creation
given that the Uillinn is a gallery space?
No the show was always designed for a gallery space because it was created at Uillinn. I think what changed was when we went to La Granja Theatre and realised the show could also tour to theatre spaces.
Three years ago, Tara and I began working on our collaboration for our performance of Unseen. Between lockdowns and Tara’s illness last year this project kept me going. It is about unseen things in nature both benevolent and malevolent but more and more it has become a piece about love.
I also wanted to add that the support Uillinn Arts Centre has provided over the past few years both in my artist residency and continued space to work last year was absolutely wonderful and truly helped my end of Unseen to become a reality. I am truly grateful to everyone at Uillinn Arts Centre.