The Dove, the Ghost, the Handkerchief Tree was a three-part workshop which took place over three years involving students from Dartington College of Arts focused on generating performance material through collaborative devising processes. Each of the three parts involved participation in workshop activities culminating in the presentation of performance material.
We all have a place in our hearts that provides sanctuary. It may be a house we knew as children or a tree or a corner of a street in a particular town. The garden at Dartington is such a place for many people who have been there over the years and especially to those who have studied there and then moved on. As part of a 3-year project various activities were undertaken in workshops with students directing attention toward how the history of a place influences the present and how we in the present can make a lasting imprint, as well as how we find a way to memorialize it to protect it as a site of personal solace or inspiration.
Workshops in May 2010 and in March 2009 focussed on generating performance material with an eye on lasting, ending, absence, residue, leaving, and surviving change. The performances created also looked to the idea of leaving the garden, leaving a part of the self behind in the garden, and keeping the garden with us when we go. The third part of the project took place in March and May 2011 at the new location of the college at Falmouth (incorporated by University College Falmouth) and focused on how to begin, as well as collaboration, community, idea development, and facing the generative force of change. Students brought to the work their experience of the last days of Dartington College of Arts in Dartington and their ideas about leaving, making a mark, and the look that seals a memory as well as what it means to survive change.