The best thing about summer is that it's warm enough to spend time outdoors observing the daylight. I have been fortunate enough to escape the city and have been spending days marvelling on the ever changing gradients of the vast sky around me. Blissful.
Been working with an interesting young dancer and mover Katherine Hall in the last couple of weeks on her new piece called You Sit There. She studies care in her work and how the everyday caring is undervalued, gendered and often happens unnoticed by creating interesting dynamics with the audience. Has been great to be part of a work with such important theme that should be discussed more widely.
Although the entire review isn't the best possible, I'm immensely proud of this production that was practically put together in two weeks. Working with the hugely talented Holly Blakey, the incredible dancers and Southbank's excellent team was fun and opening the refurbished Queen Elizabeth Hall such an honour. To have my lighting positively mentioned on the Guardian is more than I could hope for.
Big projects end and when there's nothing in your freelance calendar starting immediately you start to worry. The beginning of 2018 was a bit like that but with hindsight, it allowed me to reflect on past projects and also where I would like to be taking my work. And this idleness has paid off in that I've only taken on work that feels right, it has a purpose, it somehow resonates with me.
I did visuals for Meriheini Luoto's concert in Temppeliaukio Church earlier this year. Her mesmerising music suited the phenomenal architecture perfectly and the experience was very contemplative.
I worked on some video content for Domestic Techno Inspection's 10th anniversary gig which was great fun.
I'm developing new work with a group of musicians about environmentalism, working on a performance about climate change, doing residencies with dance pieces that study heroism, over-sensitivity and care... I am surrounded by people with vision and integrity who want to change the status quo and feeling hugely honoured by that.
Six months and 8 projects later 2017 has come to summer without me noticing!
This happens every year: I try to be really alert for the elusive spring, as it is my favourite time of the year, but it's always gone before I realise.
Need to tune straight into the light nights and the summer sky gradients... (ah!).
Last Saturday 25th Feb we VJ'ed in Kotimaan Teknokatsaus IX or Domestic Techno Inspection IX at Kuudes Linja in Helsinki. Our VJ duo, VJ Vixen, doesn't get to perform together a lot, so it was good to partner up for this. Our gig was one of many DJ+VJ combos which allowed a catch up with other VJs and their current work too.
We made the visuals for a new kid in town, Latmos, who's set was hard as diamonds. It was good to see a lot of new faces on the stage, the future of Finnish techno seems to be in safe hands. Inspection completed and passed.
Another week spent in Dance4 in Nottingham with Callaghan and Kenyon Projects. A lot of things discovered, even more questions raised. This process is new to me in that we've decided to take the time required to get the piece ready. It feels right but at the same time scary, like a bottomless well. Funnily, our biggest scenic element, a golden dance mat is reflecting in exactly that way.
We know it's going to be golden. Just not sure when.
Shot the press photos for a new dance piece Homage 1 (FKA Human Bling) and here are the first versions of the dancers' portraits. The piece investigates hypersensitivity, the future of humanity and the effects things we are exposed to will have on us; the unforeseen. It felt apt to create these aura portraits, visualising the energy of each of the performers.
Premiere end of March 2017 in Teatterikorkeakoulu.
We received a praising review of our latest production Tanhu:
Working in the public realm in Nordic countries in the winter equals freezing. Building of our dance installation project Tanhu is well underway to pemiere 5th Jan in Turku and it has meant days of working outside. I've become bit of an expert (I'd like to think) in preparation for these conditions and my top three advice would be:
several layers of clothes trap air between them and insulate, and you're able to remove some of them if you get too hot moving
2) Hand and toe warmth
the moment your extremities get cold everything becomes miserable. It's worth investing in good gloves and warm socks (or several, see: layers)
3) Warm headquarters
no matter how much you're wearing, if you're not moving enough you'll get cold. Make sure you've got access to somewhere indoors close by where you can thaw and have a cuppa
The winter is only half way and it feels like it's been here for ages. But today is the first day post solstice and the days are getting longer from now on! Bring on the sun, Vitamin D and 2017 which can only be better than this year; towards lighter things!
I had the pleasure of joining Neil Callaghan and Simone Kenyon in residency last week to do R&D for a new production. We had the fantastic, new facilities of Dance 4 in use in Nottingham and were able to investigate a mass of questions in intersection of light and movement.
So glad and excited to be working on with them, I have a feeling we'll be pushing boundaries with this production.
This is always my favourite point in the project, when everything's coming together and the opening day is coming closer. In to weeks time my lighting installation A - B, a minimalist tribute to astronomer F.G.W. Struve, will open in Tartu Valgus lighting festival in Estonia.
I'm very grateful for the opportunity to display my work there, if you're in that neck of the woods, come and join the fantastic festival!
Each summer seems to be shorter, the older you get. Been meaning to post about this for nearly two months but been too busy wondering in the wilderness before the winter comes.
I had the privilege to do lighting for an electronic music concerts in the Church of Kallio (translates as Rock) in Helsinki. The architecture not allowing for a complicated technical setup it felt better to work with the natural light. Using two different type of smoke machines I was able to create an atmosphere to the space that beautifully revealed the beams of late summer sun. To keep it simple I added only one follow-spot to bring out the performers.
Apparently the church hasn't been so busy for years.
We spent last week in Turku, on the western coast of Finland. Working with the local dancers from N0llapiste collective and the fantastic Janina Rajakangas, Kirsi Gum and Miki Brunou, a new project is under way. The working title "La Fin - Maiden of Finland is dead" refers to the female character that for decades has symbolized the country. Blond, serene, prudent and virtuous, the Maiden of Finland represented the desirable post-war qualities for the nation. The piece will be challenging the image of that maiden and questioning which characters are actually more true to the contemporary society.
The piece will premiere in a public space in the centre of Turku 5th January 2017. Below is a previz of the setup. Wear your woollies and come see the modern maidens!
May have brought out so many good things already: the buds on the trees, the return of the swifts and this new video! It's dope!
Back in April Helsinki, I am again reminded how fierce the spring sun is on this latitude. You're blinded the moment you step out, tears falling down your cheeks due to the sheer magnitude of our most beloved star. The experience is both humbling and exhilarating, and one I find a lot of inspiration from.
The returning of the light has a great social impact too, it lures the people out, fills the parks and terraces of cafes and encourages to interact with passers-by. Excitingly looking forward to the next two months towards the equinox.
This week I will be working in Stockholm on the latest choreography by Disa Krosness. She is one of the most exciting young, emerging choreographers at the moment and the piece, Try Human, is an interesting exploration in feelings and for a non-verbal bond between people – a bond from the inside out.
Try Human wants to relate through intuition and unravel a language that speaks directly to the viewer without having to be explained. It is the hope for communication through sensation, empathy and intimacy.
The starting points for the lighting design are isolation, play and glimmer of hope.
I spent last week in residency in Belgium, working on RRRRR, the latest work by Sonja Jokiniemi. It is a performance project looking into hallucinatory, delusional and derailed structures used as choreographic starting points.
The residency was in Stuk, Leuven, which is an amazing place to work. The freedom, trust and support that the team there bring makes your work a lot easier and you can focus on it fully. RRRRR progressed a long way there.
RRRRR is premiering in Bern Dampfzentrale 23 February 2016.
Aerial shoot with Constanza RuffRead More