Chisato arranged for two BSL interpreters to come and interpret during the practice and filming sessions. This is Sophie who was interpreting when Rachel Manns took the photographs. Natasha interpreted at the beginning and end of the week. It was great to be able to communicate properly with Chisato and she with me – on previous occasions when she had modelled for me we had communicated slowly by writing on a pad.
I’m not someone who attends exercise classes, neither do I know how to sign in BSL and so it was quite tough learning the sequence of signs and movements that comprised the sign dance. At the beginning of the week I doubted whether I would ever get the hang of it! Fortunately Chisato was very patient and broke it all down into very small parts. She simplified sections that I struggled with to make it easier for me. Everyday we had a warm up session, essential for loosening up so that the dance was more fluid and graceful.
Margaret has been commissioned by the Arts Council to make a series of self portrait photo etchings, as part of a wider project, Shifting Subjects, led by Linda Ingham of the Abbey Walk Gallery. The photo etchings, based on photographs taken by Rachel Manns and the film made in collaboration with Chisato Minamimura and Emil Kunda will be shown in an exhibition at the Abbey Walk Gallery in autumn 2015. The exhibition will include self portraits by Wenda Elia and Linda Ingham.
Invited to create a cross disciplinary self portrait, I decided to team up with choreographer Chisato Minamimura, photographer Rachel Manns, film maker Emil Kunda and composer Hannah Ashman. The idea was that I would come up with a written diary ‘self portrait’, which Chisato would use as a basis for choreographing a ‘Sign Dance’. Chisato would teach me the dance and Emil would film it. Rachel would come along to take still photographs during rehearsals. I would have permission to use her photographs as the basis for a series of photo etchings later on.
I hired the Antenna dance Studio for a week back in July………..