23 Apr Helen Ottaway “Art Talks”
Helen Ottaway – A New Kind of Requiem. Talk held at Heart of The Tribe Gallery on April 9th 2022
Words by Melanie Thompson – video below.
I have known Helen for sometime and have collaborated with her on a series of projects in Somerset as a composer but also as an installation artist and a curator of large art events, see website for work. www.palaceintrusions.org.uk
This talk started as part of a 2 hander with me called Bodies of Water which toured Somerset 2018. We both shared experiences of creating work where the starting point was water. She has since developed it and made it a solo touring work.
Helen Ottaway – A New Kind of Requiem
Over the last few years, following the death of her mother, Helen has been working towards a new kind of requiem: A participatory work that will
combine elements of the choral tradition with sound installation and outdoor art. She started working on this project while on an artists' residency in South West Sri Lanka, an area devastated by the Asian Tsunami in 2004. She took inspiration from both her personal grief and the catastrophic loss experienced by the community around her. The talk includes musical performance and sound installation.
Helen Ottaway is a composer, pianist, installation artist and curator. While a student at Goldsmiths’, University of London in the 1980s, she studied briefly with John Cage and up to 1998 worked as a performer, musician and composer with experimental music and theatre groups, touring nationally and internationally. In 1999, with arts administrator Steve Ehrlicher, she formed Artmusic to create, promote and produce collaborative, site-specific and participatory work. She has received commissions from BBC2, Salisbury Festival, Bath Film Festival, the Bernardi Music Group and others. Landscape, water and nature provide inspiration and are recurring themes in a style that is predominantly minimalist with influences from folk, English pastoral and church music traditions. In 2021 she was awarded a Develop Your Creative Practice grant by Arts Council England to collaborate with writers and walkers. Her new kind of Requiem will premiere at Inside Out Dorset Festival in 2023.