11 Dec Melanie Thompson speaks about upcoming solo show at Heart of The Tribe
“We the readers, listeners and watchers are crucial to the text, story and performance becoming powerful. We are not the impartial observers, we are a fundamental part of the circuitry; if we are not connected, the charge will not be able to flow”.
-Kate Tempest, performance poet
Melanie Thompson, Multidisciplinary Artist and Core Artist at Heart of The Tribe, talking about her upcoming solo exhibition ‘Where Do We Go From Here?’
“This solo exhibition is a chance for me to share with the town that I live in, and of course also visitors from elsewhere, a taste of my varied practice. When I was a child I was lucky enough to be taken to a lot of theatre performances. I was always fascinated not just by the actors or the story but also by the lighting and the sets and objects that all added up to make a complete experience. So when I studied I chose a course that would teach me everything about composing and creating an immersive experience for the viewer.
All my professional work has been about creating a personal response. I am either commissioned by, or I approach, an institution with an idea. Over the last 20 years most of my work has been site-specific so the place itself is as important as the artwork. I trained as a dancer, actress and visual artist and have since taught myself how to write and make films. I often collaborate with musicians and composers.
The solo show is called ‘Where do we go from here ?‘ because I think this is a question most people are asking about their lives and futures at the present moment. As an artist I feel it is part of my job to start a dialogue concerning this question. But because I am an artist I do not want to try to answer it myself, instead I want to open it up for the visitors to the gallery to contemplate and discuss what it means to them in their inner and outer lives.
The work shown is drawn from my past, present and future practice. I want the visitor to have an immersive experience where all the senses are stimulated through juxtaposition of objects, text, film and live performance so this will not just be an exhibition for the eyes. Each space in the gallery will be redefined and challenged by the materials and objects I am using to create each installation, including the garden.
My only offering to begin to answer the question for myself is the act of empathy.
I believe that if we can ‘put ourselves in another’s shoes’ we can begin to move forward together. So I am presenting that idea as a performance throughout the exhibition. I will invite the public to offer me a pair of their favourite shoes and a piece of music to accompany me, and I will put myself in their shoes everyday and feel what it might be like to be them. The shoes will then create an ongoing installation within the exhibition.
A film will also be made of all the responses and shown during the exhibition.”
Empathetic Shoes – A Live Streamed performance. Part of ‘Where do we go from here?’. – 1st – 23rd February
Would you like to be part of an art project?
All you have to do is think of your favourite shoes and the music they should move to and contact Melanie Thompson.
She will then talk to you about yourself for the project and your shoes will become part of a short live performance in the gallery during February.
All shoes will be returned on, or after February the 24th.
contact Melanie : firstname.lastname@example.org or the gallery
More info on Melanie – www. melaniethompson.me.uk