Over the past week I have been working on the puppet protagonist of The Keeper. She is a wee tabletop specimen made of plastic tubing, foam and clay. I’ve especially enjoyed making her tiny tiny clothes. Elspeth Chapman
There be dragons!
We have been working with staff and P1 pupils at Castleview and Karin Chipulina of Carr Gomm, on growing vegetables, planting apple trees, recycling and meeting and talking with puppets.
Tomorrow we will be bringing Burlap, our baby dragon along to meet the children. Burlap hopes that they will make more baby dragon puppets for him to play with, we will have to see!
We had a very enjoyable evening at Edinburgh Hacklab with Rikki Guy wrangling our raspberry pi, pi camera and an adafruit TFT screen into to submission. The task was to get the screen to display and the the pi camera to capture an image. Success meant that a pizza was in order so we left feeling a bit smug and a little less hungry.
So there we were, Emma, Ella and I, waiting to go on for Snapshots 4 at Manipulate 2018. We had spent the day together, more or less, doing tech and run throughs and cheering each other on. Pete Searle and Euan Jackson were standing by to weave their magic for Rendition, Traverse staff were being glorious and ‘holding our hands’ as we set up each show and helped each other on and off. Rendition was last to go and would never have made it on without help from Sarah Celeghin, Emma and Ella helping me to set up. Finally it was my turn.
This week I’m feeling a little more settled at St Margaret’s House. We’ve painted the studio floor in preparation for Doors Open Day, and got everything we should have PAT tested. Next up is a supply of coffee and biscuits in the hopes a pal or two will drop by. Thanks due to ScotPat (organised via St M’s) and the very generous time given by Euan Jackson.
We have been looking for a home for some time and suddenly, last week, we got the keys to studio 2.34 at Edinburgh Palette, St Margaret’s House. Gradually various items and pieces of furniture are making their way up in the lift and along the corridor to our new door. Pretty exciting!
What is Hidden Door? A festival? Well yes, but a lot more. Visiting Leith Theatre today, I saw imagination, creativity, skills, insight, tradeskills, technical skills, digital skills, administration skills, people skills, so many different talents brought to bear to bring a sleeping theatre to life. Continue reading “What is Hidden Door?”
I was surprised recently to find that one of the toughest things about the material I am making for Rendition is the letting go of it. The getting it out of my head once it has installed itself. Sometimes it just has to go – in the bin or the ‘later’ folder – it just doesn’t work, it is clunky, it says something already said, it is from a completely different palette… – ‘yes but lets just keep it for now’ my heart says. ‘Bin’ my head states, and there it goes, falling down, down until it hits the bottom with a tinny clink. Well that’s confirmed – insubstantial.
Today I was working on teasing out a way of capturing the story of Fatima Bouchar who was arrested by the CIA with her husband Abdul Hakim Belhaj and rendered to Libya. She was four months pregnant at the time.I couldn’t get the idea out of my head that that tiny foetus, held within its terrified mother, had spent several months within such a brutal system. So I wrote a poem to try and capture that idea… Continue reading “What is it about chairs?”
This week we were hosted by NEA for the research and development week. Monday saw me packing the van with all the stuff I thought might be needed and setting off to Pilton.
Work began with untangling the events in America that resulted in the SERE torture resistance training programme becoming reverse engineered and tried out on Abu Zubaydah – the first person to undergo CIA rendition. Continue reading “Designing a Torture Programme”
Today we set up our DMX lights and played around with colours. (They are actually owned by ScatterboxFilms and Livedrama but we share!) The dmx lights have their limitations but, in a small space, they work quite well. Some favourites blends on the day were Wimbledon Purple 102:0:102, Pink Aberrations 160:0:160 and Emerald Lime 68:182:7 We got very excited by the chromatic aberrations resulting from a simple R, G, B set up. Continue reading “Shadow – the meeting of light and darkness”
Today I met with Carolyne from Edinburgh Creative Salon at the Festival Theatre for a coffee (very nice!) and a chat about the Critical Response Process on offer as part of the support that Hidden Door offers its contributors. Continue reading “Critical Response Process”
Yesterday we visited Leith Theatre and, more importantly, the Male Instrumentalists Room. For it is there that Rendition will be performed during the Hidden Door Festival on the 30th May 2017. Our space is perfect, evocative, and lit with a gentle glow of daylight from the time dusted windows. Our wee fella came along, too, and was in a reflective mood… Continue reading “A Time For Thinking”
The Tragic Carpet team dropped by the fabulous Leith Theatre today for a site visit in preparation for Hidden Door Festival 2017. The space, as you enter, is breathtaking. I never tire of looking at the graceful lines of the balcony as it arches out from the wall, seemingly unsupported. The soft light from the rooflights streams down into the auditorium, creating a gentle focus in the centre that recedes invitingly into the shadows under the balcony. Continue reading “Leith Theatre Today”
The numbers were the first thing that struck me: 19 individuals known to have been held as CIA prisoners in one of the black sites, 12 other prisoners known to have been rendered by the CIA to US military bases or foreign governments for detention and torture. Continue reading “The Numbers”