videoartist from UK
1. Tell me something about your life and the educational background
I’m an interdisciplinary practitioner and researcher and my PhD brought together aspects of performance (live and for screen), psychotherapy and feminism. My life involves being Artistic Director of the Personal Text Public Body Lab, Film-maker, Choreographer/Performer and Senior registered Dance Movement Psychotherapist.
For eighteen years my interdisciplinary practice has included international performance for dance/theatre and film as well as training actors, dancers and therapists. Recent short films include: aroundthebend (2002) shown at Philadelphia Film Festival; In My Body (2005) selected for Cologne Online Film Festival and Personal Text Public Body (2007) a 90 minute touring film Installation shown in 2007 at: International Festival for Dance on Screen, Riverside Studios, London and in 2008 at: Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis, Porto and Arts in Mental Health, Wanchai Cultural Centre, Hong Kong.
Currently, I am the Co-ordinator for the part-time MA Dance Movement Psychotherapy Programme at Roehampton University, London. As a Dance Movement Psychotherapist with fifteen years of experience my clinical practice has been in the area of adult mental health within the UK National Health System. International facilitation includes: Institute for Dance and Movement Psychotherapy in Warsaw, Poland and Arts for Peace Foundation, Ireland. I continue to write, research, perform, direct short films and teach with a focus on integrating my performance and psychotherapeutic experience.
2. When, how and why started you filming?
My first film aroundthebend (2002) was a collaboration with filmmaker Ron Hagell. Ostensibly, as a choreographer, I relished the fact that film offered a way of ‘re-visioning’ bodies, language and time.
3. What kind of subjects have your films?
The central themes of my work are: the body, gender, sexuality, embodiment, personal and public performances, the performance of social selve(s) and the embodied politics of everyday life.
4. How do you develop your films, do you follow certain principles, styles etc?
Primarily, I illicit autobiographical material from either myself or the performers I work with. I produce performative material in the context of a ‘Lab’ in the studio (see www.embodiedpractice.co.uk) and then begin to structure this material for film ‘episodes’ in an urban location. I always encourage an element of improvisation with the camera where the performer can develop her/his relationship with the camera as ‘seer’.
5. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.
Canon XH A1 HDV Digital Camcorder and Apple Mac final cut pro.
6. What are the chances of new media for the genre film/video in general and you personally?
Accessibility. New Media offers viewers opportunities of seeing in more accessible ways. Because of this, I think that it is arguably one of the most powerful ways of disseminating film.
7. How do you finance your films?
External funding such as Arts Council England and smaller financing bodies.
8. Do you work individually as a video artist/film maker or do you work in a team? if you have experience in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?
Primarily I work individually and sometimes with a cameraperson and an editor. However, since I develop content for my films from autobiographical material I consider that the intimacy of this needs to be held in an ethical way – from process to product.
9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?
Feminist philosophy, particularly in relation to the re-visioning of social selve(s). For me, this is a practical philosophy which is about re-visioning bodies and identities for women, men and transgendered individuals.
10. What are your future plans or dreams as a film/video maker? Can works of yours viewed online besides on VideoChannel? Where?
Future plans: a sci-art collaboration which involves a film installation and DVD and shooting with my father’s 8mm camera which is nearly 50 years old! Also, I’m aiming to finish editing my recent short film City Ghosts. Shot in location in Hong Kong the film explores themes of body identity and visibility.
List some links & resources