Performing DNA; social prescription and mental health is a new project that has been commissioned by the Yard Theatre, London, as part of NOW 2020.
The project stems from my most recent performance with clay, ‘Uro’, a 6-hour performance commissioned by SPILL Festival of Performance Art and based on the ideas of dying, rebirth, depression and clay as a material representation of degeneration and regeneration. Working with the ideas derived from the performance ‘Uro’, I have been exploring the boundaries of health and nutrition, dealing with depression, I used the process of juicing vegetables and fruits, to create rituals that enabled me to work through the difficulties I was experiencing. Through this, exploring notions of social prescription and health; the proposition of self-care as a socially performed medication
My research questions are:
- How does the food we eat influence our everyday living and our wellbeing?
- What function does food have on our care system (the inner body)?
- How do we view our bodies in relation to wider issues surrounding health and wellbeing in the UK today?
- What types of documentation can be derived from engaging the art and science?
I ran a workshop at The Market Gallery in Glasgow in October this year. The workshop was an opportunity to explore what social prescription would look like as performance provocations:
Social prescription, prescribing an understanding developed through shared experience. Prescribing a moment for stillness, for breathing and being with one’s self. Taking a break to reevaluate…… I am overwhelmed with emotion.
I stopped to realise where I am in my own body and mind. I stood in a space with a community of bodies, searching for my own meaning.
I am emotional…. The Market, the space that held our voices, our desires.
We fasted together, came together, moved together, juiced together and ate together. The frameworks of the space became the frameworks for our experience; though and I’m sure, different and diverse in their own way, experiences shared together is the foundation for building connectivity.
I set out with an understanding that I am an artist working with others to figure something out, but I came away with courage that it is ok to ask people to rest, to take it easy and drink fresh juices and still be creative.
My application for grants to run this project was rejected, I came with a baggage of pain and I found out that my participation requires no permission.