How did you find out about the opportunity to become an Associate Artist?
My partner grew up in the New Forest and we have some friends in Eastleigh. I was also aware of The Point through being a theatre-maker and finding connections. We made the decision to leave London a year ago – it was a harder place to be freelance – and move to Eastleigh to be nearer family and closer to the sea. When the applications came up I thought it felt like the right moment. Although I nearly missed the deadline! Thankfully it worked out. It felt like the right alignment of things at the right time. Suddenly there’s all this space - there’s such potential here. COVID has meant that you get to know a community in a different way; lockdown has been funny like that.
Can you tell us a little more about what you have been working on?
I want to look at quietness, especially in women. As someone who identifies as a quiet person, I want to look at why that can be quite difficult in life and why it’s undervalued, perhaps especially in performing arts. I think quietness is a really strong leadership quality and I’m widely thinking about who are the people whose voices aren’t heard. How can we explore that and how might that not tally with who you feel you are. Lots of girls are taught to be quiet and not to take up space or make a fool of themselves or get things wrong and that really has an impact.
The idea is to work with a movement director and a vocal coach because I think it’s quite a technical thing; learning to move your body in space in a different way, what would the impact of that be? I’ll be developing a performance and alongside it a participatory element with a diverse group of women learning skills and peer mentoring.
Beyond that I really feel that I want to work with and for the community, leaning on my background as a professional theatre-maker just so that it has a bit more strategy about it. I feel like I have lots of ideas and I am looking forward to building the relationships that will make those ideas happen.
What do you like about The Point?
At The Point, there is really strong artist development and I have been aware of the work produced and the companies who work here for a long time - the calibre of artists is brilliant. Eastleigh is a small town but The Point is a really outward-looking cultural venue.
I am not a dancer but since becoming an Associate Artist quite a lot of people with a dance background have said to me, “I’ve been touring there for years!” I have thought of it as a theatre but it’s a multi-arts venue and that’s what makes it so special in its community. It feels like a welcoming place where people come in and feel like it can be theirs. It’s like come in, this is your space – what cultural thing can we do for you? Such democratic work is programmed.