Exhibit of the week: Performance, art and keeping creative

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It is an understatement to say that local artist Claire Ward turn her hand to lots of different types of work.

“Drawing, usually just pencil then mounting them straight onto wood,” she said.

“I’ve been making the articulated figures for the last years or so and selling them at the Goth weekend markets as portraits.

“I mainly write poetry and I’ve done a couple of spoken word/performance poetry events, and I just did a talk at the Art Society last week about my work.

“Knitting, all the usual hats/scarves etc but also I’ve been making ‘tool bags’ using spanners and old brace drills - which is quite a range, along with performance art.

“And I’m trying to get back into Durational Live art again, so the fourth photo is of a performance I did three times a few years again where I slammed four doors for four hours continuously.

“I haven’t done any for about eight years, but that’s what this project is all about up in Robin Hood’s Bay.

“So the last photo is one that is the start of a costume I’m making for the performance there.”

When asked what started her creative journey, she has a very vivid memory.

“I remember standing in front of the TV (when we lived at Golden Grove) when I was only 7ish maybe, and seeing Salvador Dali, ie this old man with long straggerly hair in a floor length fur coat, and enormous ‘tash and a record-breaking sized bread loaf on his shoulder, and I just remember thinking ‘yep that’s it’.”

“Life and absolutely everything in it I think [inspires me].

“But I do also love watching really good physical theatre and dance shows.”

Claire describes her performance art that she will be showcasing tonight at The Station Art Gallery in Robin Hood’s Bay, which is inspired by her own coping mechanisms from what life has recently thrown at her.

“The performance at Station Art Workshop will be the first time I’ll have shown a performance piece not in an already organised Live Art event with lots of other artist’s also doing performance works,” she said.

“It’s just keep my eyes and ears open for opportunities, though usually they come through word of mouth via contacts in the Live art/performance arena.

“The piece at Station Art Workshop, which will be performed again at Coastival (in the old parcels office, Scarborough, Saturday February 13, noon to 3pm) is called Safecracker.

“It will be myself and Ben Maidment performing. It’s a Durational Live Art piece (6pm-9pm on February 5).

“And I guess it’s my response to the depression and grief I’ve experienced in the last few years.”

All art is personal, but it is how viewers or spectators relate to interactive art.

“The audience will only ever take away what they read into it which may be something completely different as we all see things differently.

“But I try to make my performances a whole atmosphere for the audience to walk into so that (hopefully) they get a sense of a metaphor of what it’s all about.”

“There isn’t one example that can be given of what performance art is as it’s so varied. So all that can be explained is that the work will have the artist themselves involved in it in some way.

“I do a very specific kind of performance which is called Durational, and which just simply means it will involve an action being done repeatatively for a set length of time.

“And no, the audience isn’t expected to come in sit down and watch the whole thing!

“They can come and go as they please.”

One of Claire’s favourite places to perform was at the National Review of Live Art.

It doesn’t exist now. Based in Glasgow, it had been running for 30-odd years and was the biggest Live Art event in this country.

“I still would love to eventually have my own traveling Live Art company to travel the world to whoever will have us. I have a vague notion of getting a big top tent so that we’d always have our own venue with us!”

Visit stationartworkshop.co.uk, call 07596 127581 or email lynne@wixon.co.uk