“How can you move others if you can’t move yourself?”
This sentence came from a teacher of a class I took at drama school, over 20 years ago. Although the class was ostensibly about physically moving your body around the room, I consider the sentiment extending to a more encompassing idea of performance. As I continue my path these words continue to live with me and informs my practice now as a visual artist.
It surfaced in my mind when I really embraced making personal work. I had / have been thinking long and hard about the purpose of making such work – was / is anyone else interested in it? Will it connect to others? What is the point of it? These thoughts originally had coincided with my growing reluctance to photograph other people. I felt inherently uncomfortable about these power relationships, how someone else was fixed in the image by me, wielding the camera. I felt very uneasy about being the recorder of such things, and more at home with the ambiguities I could explore within my own story and how these could radiate out instead.
But this sentence kept reappearing in my mind…the one from the movement class.
I became aware that I was only really comfortable with stories originating from me…so if I could explore that with openness it would hopefully make meaning to someone else.