Artist in Residence: Clare McGarry (Blog 4)


Play Day

I hosted a play day with other artists interested in making work through a multi sensory approach. I was curious to explore how narratives can be formed by starting with multi-sensory activities.

I brought in tons of sensory props to play with:

I asked everyone to pick a material and play with it, then to think about what they were asking the audience to do. We then made a mini journey through sensory experiences using the materials, it was very encouraging to see how potential stories can emerge through this. I taught everyone a two part harmony melody and we played around with some of the character suggestions from Gallowhill Primary School which was very funny.

Development Week One

The residency is moving into a new phase as I start focusing on the creative content of the performance. The show is called Cosmopot and will take place in a giant teapot structure.

Erskine Music and Media made a brilliant short film of the development that you can watch below.

I know that I am interested in linking this in some way to the teapot constellation of Sagittarius but for there to be a real story or character that links the two worlds together.

I had the pleasure of working with two fantastic actors, Isabelle Joss and Carmen Pieraccini. They are both extremely creative and offered many great suggestions.

Ali Maclaurin the designer of the project popped in and out during the week, bringing a big tent with her. This gave us a great sense of what it is like performing in an enclosed space. We all got a much greater sense of what the teapot will look like.

We explored the musical identity of the show too, with our Sound Designer Nik Paget-Tomlinson whom I am really excited to work with for the first time. Nik was brilliant at responsing to the action live, creating raindrops, soundscapes, loop pedals etc.

We explored lots of multi sensory content and there were certain things I loved that I really want to fit in the show somehow:

Rain & umbrellas

Wobble ball changing colour

Confetti and fans

Audience lying down

We talked about exciting ways the children will enter the space. We had everyone entering on a skateboard! (photo)

My original idea was that they would slide down the spout, however we have moved away from this idea now as it is not accessible. Children will still enter though the spout but it will lower like a draw bridge and they will go through a magical sensory tunnel!

I love the idea of the audience given a task, put in a group and there being some interactive part that each group takes part in. I keep thinking of those choose your own adventure stories. This to me would seem relevant and engaging to a group of 5-8 year olds.

We developed different strands of story lines:

Scenes from our world

Girls Looking at the Stars

Camping trip

Scenes from a magical world

Mrs Silver

Floomadom

Talking teabags

Tea monster

Tea spider

Tunnel people

Right now I am thinking about all this material and asking myself:

Whose story is it?
What is relevant for 5-8 year olds?
Is there a way to connect both worlds or do we have to stay in the real world or the bonkers one?

Lots to think about but the start of something brilliant I think!


Get In Touch

Renfrewshire Leisure
11 Christie Street
Paisley
PA1 1NB

Tel: 0300 300 0250