In November I did a talk for Redeye’s Hothouse event in Birmingham – part of their association with Grain – sharing my work Conversations with my mother. As I was given a slot that had a modest 10-minute length I wanted to experiment with doing my introduction as a semi-performance piece. My idea was to speak the words, which are very powerful for me, in time with a sequence.
I wasn’t sure if it was going to work, but I practised and took a risk.
I had spoken the words many times in preparation but found it very difficult in the actual speaking, pausing and letting silence happen as part of the work.
I was very moved by the event and had lovely messages afterwards. Someone in the audience tweeted “Feeling is what makes us human’ really admire your tears during
#hothouse16; there is power in vulnerability, thank you #RadicalSoftness”
I take this as a huge compliment. I have found it so hard to put this work together and in the beginning, when people said “….it’s a bit personal” it was almost like that was a negative thing. It made me really think about it for a long time…was anyone else going to care…What was the point of it… Would it make meaning for anyone else. Thank you @ for identifying this as “radical softness”, which probably summed up what I aim for more succinctly than ever.
A result of this talk led to me doing an interview with Photograd. You can read the whole piece here.
(I later did some research on the term Radical Softness. As far as I know it’s origin is Lora Mathis – I got in touch with her and asked to link up. You can read her blog post here: http://loramathis.com/post/140474165618/on-radical-softness).