Thursday, 23 July 2015
How different one day can be. At the start of my first performance at 2pm I felt relaxed if a little lonely, as far as I could see I was the only one in the gallery. I'm committed to performing whatever happens so got on with it. However a little sea of faces emerged from the entrance after the second song. They had been there all along, Sonny the angelic gallery assistant and the very special Cannon Hill Art School film crew. I performed he the song 'Home' a few times for the camera and even more people poured in. A well known and admired female artist came to see me and we chatted about a possible collaboration, members of the Art School also came to watch and chat. Families and individuals from all nations chatted to me after the second show too and I could have sold plenty of albums if it was ready! later on I was invited to play in the Arena Bar. It was noisy in there and I thought nobody was listening, but I am committed to performing so I just got on with it. It was less of a surprise this time when several people approached me after to thank me for singing, I reached them through the clatter somehow and I believe in trusting in that more than ever now. I could never, ever have believed this time would come for the songs from 'Winter of Desire' when I wrote them, tired and broken in a women's rehab in North London - on a borrowed guitar. ' Walk in faith and not by sight'? Oh go on then x
Tuesday and Wednesdays performances at the Cannon Hill Art School Exhibition were equally special experiences. The inspiration behind the discipline of performing everyday at the gallery, is partly to to see if I can bring my body into a space consistently – what ever is occurring within it (my body). We all have to turn up to life everyday for something, but singing and performing create a special and acute self awareness. There were times at the beginning of my career when at best I maybe had to cancel a gig, at worst lost out on major opportunity, because I couldn’t face the world and the world never knew why, that my body just wouldn’t let me perform. Nervousness made me crave carbohydrates, having a life meant having late nights, I had allergies that made my eyes swell, I had various illnesses and all of this can show (I think). I have improved over time but my shyness can still make me inconsistent and I am a women that experiences women’s things etc. It intrigues me to see if I can overcome whatever the body is ‘feeling’ over a period of six weeks and know more deeply that it isn’t just ‘fearing’ – ie giving in too easily to fear. If I sing from the right place I’m out of my body anyway, but I can’t always remember that. So far so good.
Saturday, 18 July 2015
Last night I watched people looking closely at my heart and my legs and my feather, the wing fallen, all without knowing I was there standing behind them. They had to get close to the images to make their own story. I had to get closer to the truth to make mine. I'm having to learn to remain still and be seen, both on the walls of e gallery and next to the people I love. Would anybody believe me if I told them there was tangible exchange as my photographs were being observed by new eyes at kissing distance. This process of allowing seemed to initiate me, as though some force of good was glad of my having done my part and rewarded me with a new sense of presence. Rachel was in the room. It was fun too.