Ideally a residency takes place in a dedicated spot, a spot where those involved, in this case, the two of us, can set up an atmosphere dedicated to the work we hope to do. This work is not yet imagined. If the work can be represented by a photo perhaps there is a corner of the photo that is developed and in focus while the rest of the photo is still being developed. So we try to set up an atmosphere that is conducive to a good working climate. It is alchemical, it is a kind of magic combination of protection, collection, deliberation, and discovery. It is a container for what might come. We don’t yet know what shape it will take so it helps if it is somewhat expansive. It needs to be open and without a sense of oppression. It needs to be without distraction and yet somehow open to contamination. It needs to be stimulating without being overwhelming. It needs to be quiet enough for listening but with something to listen for.
We’d like to have a combination of cloister and gathering. We’d like to be alone and to be visited. We’d like to work hard and have it feel like play. We like to focus so that ideas will come to distract us. We’d like to stay inside and travel very far away.
It is often when we are looking intently for one thing that we find another. The one thing we are looking for cannot be merely a shill for the eventual discovery. This original focus is very influential and governs the direction of our gaze and yet it is what appears out the corners of our eyes that is often what takes over to become the ultimate focus and the centre of our attention. A kind of virtual snooker match, a set of ricocheting foci, a series of new angles and knock-on effects. We need a set of surfaces to bounce off.
The residency places us in a context offset from our usual habit. This newness is engineered to unlock routine and find possibilities in a shape becoming ours while we attempt to inhabit it. It is a place to be a tourist and see with unaccustomed eyes. It is a brand new outfit that requires us to reconsider our parameters. It is a break and a hollow place, it is a cradle and a bridge, it is a state of mind and a solid shape.
There are two residencies planned to take place at University of Roehampton, Department of Drama, Theatre and Performance. Practically this means work in the studio for 5 to 6 days followed by a public-facing presentation for the DTP community.
The two residencies in January and February at Roehampton will involve Chris Goode and Lucy Cash respectively:
January (week commencing 19 Jan) with Chris Goode
February (week commencing 16 Feb) with Lucy Cash
A description of the project with Lucy Cash appears in Performances.
Image, Lucy Cash & Karen Christopher, open studio residency. Photo: Lucy Cash & Karen Christopher.