Over the last two weeks, PUSH+ Lead Artist Luke Pell has been facilitating an online offering for participating artists from all three PUSH+ Labs to come together and see what they can - and want to - sit with, together, through contemplation and careful conversation as a source of support for their practice.
Photo by Jassy Earl - taken during the HOME Artist Lab in Scotland as part of PUSH+ in 2019.
PUSH+ is a Creative Europe-funded project led by Imaginate (Scotland) alongside Krokusfestival (Belgium), The Ark (Ireland), Aaben Dans (Denmark), Scenekunstbruket (Norway) and associate partner Bangkok International Children’s Festival (Thailand). PUSH+ stimulates European dialogue and initiates new artistic ideas and performances around three important topics in performance for young audiences – Home, Failure and Different Bodies. Over the past three years, three Irish artists have been selected to participate in labs on each of these topics alongside artists from each of the participating European countries. Now, we are delighted that eight of the nine Irish PUSH+ artists have also been participating in a new PUSH+ online initiative, Sit With Me, which took place from 18-29 May with Home Lab lead artist Luke Pell.
Drawing on Luke’s work as a dramaturg and advisor, specifically supporting artists and organisations to navigate distinct periods of change, these sessions were designed to help to try to hold things lightly, gently reflect, refresh and replenish in what are challenging times for all of us personally and professionally.
The experience was a combination of group conversation and independent exploratory tasks. This included a soft space to talk together in cross-lab theme groups about where artists find themselves now, what these circumstances might mean creatively in their practice, in relation to the artistic questions they are concerned with, the themes of the labs, and what they might want or need to imagine next.
The Ark is delighted to be part of the PUSH+ project that is providing essential active support for artists through this difficult time, and to see this kind of deep artistic exploration of what this current moment means for artists' work, lives and livelihoods.