Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Exchange Residency Day 6

The last day culminated in an informal presentation of the work from the week. This was a good opportunity to clear the space and review the various threads of the enquiry that had developed during the week. It also provided an opportunity to take a step back and dialogue with the public in more detail about our explorations, the project aims and its wider context.

The Exchange Residency Day 5

On day 5 we focussed on exploring movement and drawing: specifically the sensing of movement in our bodies and translating this into a visual analogue through drawing. The exploration was inspired by research (Juhan,D.,"Job's Body", Barrytown/Station Hill Press, New York 2003 pg 263-268) which indicates that our memory of the sensation of a movement is vital to both learning and repeating movements.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Exchange Residency Day 4

Does "being in the head" deny the body?

Or vice versa..

Today we were joined by 3 University College Falmouth (Dartington) students.The exploration for the day was to create life sized drawings based on the internal sense perceptions and images we have of our bodies.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Exchange Residency Day 3

Workshop with people from the John Daniel Centre. More from Caroline later....

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Exchange Residency Day 2

Stones, bones and seaweed

..and ironing


The Exchange Residency Day 1

The task for day one was to create a second skin with aim that this might prompt insights into the skin as a body boundary. The idea once the wrapping was complete was to cut the skin away to provide a tangible approximation of the skin as the largest sensing organ in the body.

"As the wrapping progressed I felt both a sense of comfort, like being swaddled and a discomfort in being contained. I was trying not to move and after a while became unaware of the paper except when I did move an arm or leg. Rather than accentuating the skin the paper became, not suprisingly in retrospect, a cocoon that cut me off from the world. Creating this second more rigid and less permeable additional layer revealed, particularly when it was removed, just how flexible, sensitive, elastic and permeable our skin is. As a physical layer the skin occupies and defines a limit in space but as a sensing organ it feeds and expands our perception (and experience) of the world far beyond our physical boundary." Noel

"Wrapping the body reminded me of the intricate contours of the body and the silence of skin. Noisy paper rustles, joints creak, stomachs gurgle but skin speaks through colour, texture, smell, temperature. Consider the skin spreading from the scalp to the folds between the toes. Think of its textures, soft cheeks, rough hands, wrinkly knees, translucent eyelids. Thick skinned or thin skinned, the porosity of the skin speaks of character and personality. When do wrinkles become laughter lines, crows feet the traces of a life well lived? Scars, scratches, stretch marks, our lives etched out, stories of the skin." Caroline

Sunday, March 21, 2010

History and Context

The Body in Residence as a project arose from our joint fascination with the relationship between mind and body. As the project evolved it was, more precisely, our individual and collective experience of the relationship between mind and body that became a central interest. The work has been shaped both by our original backgrounds, in dance movement therapy and fine art and our joint practice and training in movement/dance based improvisation and performance.

Whilst we are certainly interested in the critical discourse between holism and dualism it is the processes of sensing, tuning and training the physical body, intrinsic to movement practice, that have most strongly driven our curiosity. In our experience the simple yet multi-layered process of deepening sensory awareness produces an equal deepening in perception and insight about the world around us. This frequent observation has led us to explore and seek to understand more about the role of the body and sensation in forming our perception of the world – the phenomenological basis for lived experience.

In wanting to root our explorations in the body we have inevitably come to consider the notion of “embodiment”. Whilst this could suggest a kind of heightened state of mind-body unity it seems just as interesting, and as salient in lived existence, to consider experiences when mind and body feel dislocated. When the body feels like a carcass dragged around by an over stimulated mind or mental function is lost in a sea of pure sensation. What do these experiences tell us about how we know about ourselves and the world we inhabit? What is the relationship between objective knowledge of a body, say a medical perspective, and the subjective sensory experience that person has of their body? Do current environmental and social issues reflect prevailing attitudes towards the body and vice versa?

These are all questions which one way or another underpin our enquiry. The work produced through the Body in Residence is far more about opening the field of questioning than reaching conclusions and it seems right in prompting, provoking and interrogating these questions to reside in the body as the place where we inhabit life.

Friday, March 12, 2010


From 22th – 27nd March 2010 Noel and Caroline will be taking the Body in Residence to The Engine Room, The Exchange Gallery, Penzance, Cornwall. Over the 6 day period they will be undertaking bodywork, exercises and tasks exploring the projects themes and generating artwork, mappings and documentation reflecting their explorations.

The gallery is open to the public daily from 10am-5pm. see