Breathe In, Breathe Out

 3rd day, Georgia  Comments Off on Breathe In, Breathe Out
Mar 142017

When you reach out to touch me, I recoil. Do I know you? Do you know me?

Breathe in. Breathe out.

My skin and self are distorted and disjointed. My body, my skin contains what I am, not who I am. Who I am is caught between our physical exteriors.

Our flesh fools us into thinking we are different, into thinking we are alone, but we are not alone.

I can’t quite find the words or comprehend the depth of the imprint the three days in Fremantle left on my soul. This, I guess, is somewhat appropriate, since my literal and metaphorical speechlessness is something that coloured both my creative practice and personal experience while there. A week later, when subsequently attempting to describe the residency to people, I still find myself leaning on overzealous and annoyingly vague adjectives – it was “amazing”, “brilliant” and “wonderful”.

The brief and concise nature of this particular residency, was juxtaposed with the multilayered subject matter of 4:48 Psychosis, a play by the British playwright, Sarah Kane. Because the piece profoundly pulls apart the human condition, leaving the raw, real and gut-wrenching stuff of isolation and despair exposed. In the medical context, the protagonist desperately seeks, not so much relief, but a rational way to frame the emotional state, so it will be less likely to destroy them. The work is then punctuated by the added frustration of these feelings being diminished and simplified by their doctor.

My genuine attempts to candidly connect and collaborate during the residency, felt relentlessly fragmented and incomplete, as my mind struggled to understand the intricate inner workings of my heart. I found myself battling to cope with it, and felt myself unable to communicate anything of value. That said, I recognised a sort of forced staccato of my typed/signed words that coincidentally mirrored the inherent and fraught struggle to adamantly express the inexpressible parts of the self in Sarah Kane’s play. Continue reading »

Just Looking

 1st day, Maddie  Comments Off on Just Looking
Mar 032017


Our sign name introductions at the very beginning of the residency acted as more than just a ‘getting to know you’ exercise. They allowed us to create a common language and to peek inside the hearts and minds of those around us, forming a bond or sense of trust among us.

We then looked at one another. In partners. Just looking. Silence. Looking. Really seeing.


From there, we created portraits of ourselves without looking, and gave them a title based on what we saw in the person we drew right there on the page. We then drew portraits of our partners, again without looking, and presented them to our partners. We gave titles to the portraits our partners created, and it was so powerful to feel how someone else sees you – or what they see inside you. I was paired up with Gaele and found that though we were uncomfortable at first, once the giggles subsided, I saw Gaele’s heart by simply looking at her face and all the beautiful details that make it up. It was no surprise to me that the kindness, imagination, and creativity I saw in her face were all uncovered through the remainder of the residency as I saw her contributions to the group. Continue reading »

Accessibility for Everyone

 1st day, Rachael  Comments Off on Accessibility for Everyone
Mar 032017

Today I sat in a room with a whole heap of different abilities and disabilities. Together we were forced to be accessible. We couldn’t slip into talking, nor into watching. Thank you to everyone who sat in that room.

A room with white walls and 20 people sitting in a circle. Day one of Jenny's Sealey's residency for PIAF Connect DADAA 2017

I will be honest I was scared at how I was going to communicate to people today, I didn’t know any sign language I am not the best at articulating myself anyway. But geez it was easy. I found myself speaking with my hands for the rest of the day. I had to leave the workshop early which was a real bugs to go teach a drama class. And I could feel myself as I was teaching using my hands to communicate what I was saying, I could articulate myself better and be better understood. Accessibly is not just helpful for those who need it but also helpful for everyone else.

I am because you are . . .

 3rd day, Gaele  Comments Off on I am because you are . . .
Apr 202017


Jenny Sealey spoke about why she places great importance on us as artists creating and controlling the description of our own physicality.

 While the residency focused on Sarah Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis, it was this concept of creating and controlling our descriptions that threaded through, and informed all our actions, processes, outcomes.

 We took time out to study ourselves, to think, to feel, to articulate. We worked individually and we worked together, exploring various tools of description, drawing portraits of each other, making body maps, writing, devising and performing work.

 We listened, we spoke, bounced ideas off each other, improvised. There was no time to polish. No place for self-conscious dithering. We were drawing on a huge range of impressive experience and talent. We were figuring out how to respect each other’s descriptions, carry them, translate and interpret them to ensure we were interconnecting.

 It was raw and emotional, vulnerable, powerful.  It was human. There is a saying from Botswana which applies to how this wonderful residency has made me feel –  Motho ke motho ka batho meaning a person is a person because of people –  I am because you are.


 3rd day, Pony  Comments Off on Post
Mar 052017

I’m 7 years old, I’m looking out a window, into a yard, staring at trees, I have no idea who I am, parts of me were forgotten, lost, shamed out of me. My body doesn’t feel real, life does not feel real. I forget where I am supposed to be, who I belong to, where everyone has gone. I don’t feel real, I don’t know how I got here.

How do I know it’s real, that I’m not going to just float away?

I’m 25 years old, I stare at the walls of a room, I’m not sure who I am really. I respond to stimulus around me occasionally. Everything around me keeps shifting and changing, I’m waiting for something. I have always been waiting. I don’t know what it’s is, or where it is. I don’t feel attached to my body. I don’t know how to become attached to it. I have been trying this whole time.