Lancaster Arts hosted an artists’ lab in November to explore the question: How can art illuminate, interrogate or provoke political discourse? The event was inspired by Seeta Patel’s work entitled Not Today’s Yesterday within our Radical Histories, Radical Futures autumn season. As with much of the work we programme, this work explores complex ideas and narratives, without relying on the spoken word.
‘All Without Saying a Word’ invited a small group of people who came from a wide variety of arts backgrounds to discuss their approaches to creating work within political contexts, the subversion of language, self-censorship, self- exotification and how the radical is, by definition, unfamiliar – amongst other things! One participant sang a song, another passed around a book to look at language and choice, all spoke from their hearts about a subject that is often challenging to articulate.
We asked one of the participants, Emma Geraghty to create a response to the afternoon and here it is! All these Hills: creative response by Emma Geraghty
‘All without Saying a Word’ included:
Musician, Maya Bugge
Sculptor, Ellie Barrett
Dance artist, Seeta Patel
Interactive artist, Maya Chowdry
Musician and theatre artist, Avital Raz
Academic and social activist, Sunita Abraham
Academic and artistic director (Derelict), Chris Gilligan
Artistic director (Lancaster Arts), Jocelyn Cunningham
Artistic director (Tin Can People), Rob Gregson
Artistic director (Powder Keg), Emma Geraghty
Academic and artistic director (the bare project), Malaika Cunningham
It was a real pleasure being invited to participate in a discussion with other artists with different disciplines to my own. I wasn’t sure what to expect and went in with an open mind and heart. It was great to hear how other artists politically engaged with the world through their practise, and helped me feel that the potential for making an impact through the arts is alive and well, and also growing and adapting to the geopolitical landscape. This is very inspiring to me and makes me feel like I’m a part of a community that is bigger than my world and practice.
We will be hosting an Artists Lab every season, that include artists who are within our season programme as well as those outside – it will be a small, curated group and the topic will always have some relevance to the work we are presenting.