Tuesday, 1 November 2011

White Night

I was lucky enough to be a part of another event organised by Draw (headed by the generally marvellous Jake Spicer) in Brighton at the weekend.




The event, a night of drawing from the figure in St Paul's church on West Street, was part of White Night, which is a city-wide, night time arts festival. The theme this year was Utopia/Distopia.

I was initially going to be performing aerial for the night-time drawers, but sadly a last minute hiccup meant that this couldn't go ahead. As I tentatively enter the world of performance it didn't actually occur to me how much trouble health and safety causes when meeting with circus. Not really a surprise (!) but unexpected. I think aerial training involves so much time spent on considering ones strength, physical boundaries, safety etc, that once a routine is formalised not feeling safe in the air just is not an option. Which of course means other people's concerns almost feel misplaced...which of course, they aren't really.

Aerial no-go aside, the night was a beautiful one.
The church was a wonderful space for drawing - the entrance transformed into a distopic space by life-sized, dark puppetry - making the entrance into the open, white, space of the church even more of a relief!

Myself and lots of other people did some modelling -I worked from 8pm till 1030pm. The time passed quickly, partly thanks to live music being played, partly due to the church being full of interesting things to study.



The setting made us - the models, draped in white cloth - look somehow otherworldly. I was put in mind of the Vestal Virgins or the Oracle's at Delphi - or rather, my fantasy imaginings of them.




The very dapper looking Andy, and myself, ventured out later that night to walk the streets and see what White Night was all about...The change from inside the church fit too perfectly with the theme of the night! Outside was - to me - quite a distopic sight...Hordes and hordes of people, drunk, intoxicated and the rest, crawling the streets. The atmosphere was hectic, carnivalesque, and fierce. People were wearing incredible Halloween costumes, several of which I took careful mental note of.
As someone who spends most of her time drawing, reading in libraries, walking across hills, or hanging upside down far from anyone, it was all a bit much.
Eventually we retired from our wanderings back to Kemp Town where we were staying.

All in our another great event, my only sadness is that I never got around to having a draw myself!

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