So I decided that it would be a good idea to write a rough outline of the work I’ve done in the past year. I initially intended to post this on New Year’s Eve or Day, but as is my fashion I’ve missed the boat. (Possibly because I love to write, but cringe at the thought of writing about my work). Nonetheless, it’s still worth doing, at least for my own benefit.
2015 began with the release of Hibernation Radio – a podcast I produced with Rosi Leonard as Bluebottle Collective. It was a podcast of varied artistic, imaginative and informative responses to the dark and subdued month of January. We received lots of fascinating work as well as producing original material for the show. We produced a walk through the Botanic Gardens with head botanist Matthew Jebb. Two of my own pieces were included in Hibernation Radio; ‘Deep Bath’ a reflection on water charges inspired by Alan Partridge and incorporating some elements of ASMR and my own poetry, and ‘Dream Date’ a comical collage of kitsch, insincere and unsatisfactory romantic fantasy.
The listener was led through the experience by our fictional curator ‘Linda’ – a character which was collaboratively written by Rosi, Justin and I. Hibernation Radio was reviewed in The Irish Times’ Culture Magazine. You can find the review here, and listen to the podcast here.
Later in the year Bluebottle were invited to exhibit an hour long sample of Hibernation Radio in IMMA’s More Than One Maker exhibition in the project spaces. More Than One Maker presented and examined work created collaboratively and by collectives. The audio sample played outside the project space in IMMA’s courtyard on speakers. It was interesting to see the work in such a radically different context to the initial one we imagined which was: solitary, interior, hiding under blankets.
Glitter Stump, a feminist art zine edited by Rosi Leonard and myself, released its second issue in March 2015. The second issue was launched in Tenterhooks as a campaign with (Re)al Productive Health to help form a network to provide wider access to the morning after pill with Women Help Women. The night featured spoken word performances and a boogie. I read my piece ‘The Immaculate Abortion’ and also DJed after the spoken word. I had a lot of fun DJing music I loved which was outside the genre limits of my usual darkwave/80’s scene.
As a performer 2015 provided we with some wonderful opportunities to expand my practice and to experiment. Concrete Cathedral, a sparsely attended avant-garde event which took place in a disused concrete factory, was one such opportunity. The event was artist-led and informal. The division between audience and performers allowed for osmosis, and artists collaborated freely influenced by the space.
The event allowed me to perform with improvised noise accompaniment by Stu Mollusc who created industrial instruments from found objects on site. This added an atmospheric element to my work which I feel I learned a lot from, reconsidering the possibilities for the delivery and dissemination of my written work. Gareth Stack has written a post about the event which you can read here.
Finally without any doubt my proudest moment of the year was performing at Hot On The Heels of Love, an event curated by Padraic E Moore as part of IMMA’s surrealist exhibition What We Call Love. It was an incredible line-up to be a part of.
My performance, titled ‘Tender Red Pearl’, was my most elaborate to date. I performed three poems while hula hooping continuously, with timed, projected images projected behind me. The photos were shot specifically for the piece by Gavin Ovoca, and also included in the slideshow were two of my own drawings. District Magazine reviewed the event with some kind words about my piece;
“ Caoimhe Lavelle continued with a selection of her poems, where the rhythm of the hula hoop she danced in and the turning of the pages on her little notepad set the metering of the words she spoke – funny, touching, and highly entertaining.”
Here’s District Magazine’s full review.
At the beginning of the year, I couldn’t have imagined how well-received my work would be and the opportunities which would come my way. This winter solstice just gone, I was considering the wishes I had made the previous year, burning sage and hopping over a wickerman at Words in The Warehouse in the now sadly shut down warehouse in Grangegorman. I had wished to have a creatively stimulating year and I feel so fortunate about the extent to which this came to be.
I’m hoping that this momentum continues into 2016. I have two resolutions: to finish my novel and to bring my lyrics to life.