Jess Allen is an aerial dancer and walking artist from Aberystwyth. She uses walking to create unexpected performance encounters in rural landscapes. Originally a biologist, she gained a PhD from Aberystwyth University before re-training in contemporary dance latterly at Coventry University with an MA in Dance Making and Performance. She has worked as landscape officer for local government, dance lecturer (experiential anatomy/improvisation), arts facilitator (AHRC Multi-Story Water) and as an aerial performer for Full Tilt and integrated dance companies Blue Eyed Soul and EVERYBODY Dance.
A number of artists, craftspeople and activists have inspired or collaborated in the making of this work:
Bronwyn Preece is collaborator on the trans-national performance film/project Dropped in the Ocean, which will be screened alongside an accompanying exhibition of performance documentation in the upstairs space of the Gas Gallery Drop installation (Aberystwyth 2015).
Bronwyn lives completely off-the-grid on Lasqueti Island off the west coast of Canada. An improvisational eARThist and author, she is currently doing a PhD with the University of Huddersfield, examining through performance the embodiment of ecology and disability. She is the pioneer of earthBODYment, the author of Gulf Islands Alphabet (2012) the forthcoming In the Spirit of Homebirth (2015). She served in local politics, being the youngest woman ever elected to her post…and can otherwise be found wildcrafting nettles, fermenting kombucha and raw sauerkraut, communing with kale or shovelling the manure dropped by her daughter’s horses! Bronwyn and Jess began their transnational collaboration with Dropped in the Ocean and have continued to work together prolifically since. Bronwyn is travelling to the UK to perform in and invigilate the installation of Drop at Gas Gallery, Aberystwyth 29 April – 5 May 2015. The Dropped in the Ocean film and documentation of the performance process will be installed in the upstairs gallery space.
Jane Lloyd Francis
Jane Lloyd Francis is collaborating on a new installation of her ongoing series Ffynhonnell: Source, this version specially made for the stairwell space of the Gas Gallery Drop installation (Aberystwyth 2015)
Jane manages an organic farm in Mid-Wales where she produced, directed and rode in Equilibre Horse Theatre for 15 years. Deeply influenced by her locality, Jane continues to make immersive site-specific performance, drawing on mythology, ecology and the natural landscape for inspiration. Ffynhonnell: Source explores what is left of lost well sites; the project is a contemplation on our increasingly tenuous relationship with water. So far the investigation has resulted in performances at the Green Man Festival and Aberystwyth Arts Centre and installations at TIONAL on Skye and Penrallt Bookshop, Machynlleth. It was in the hugely inspiring environment that was Equilibre that Jess had her first taste of aerial performance in late teenage, not knowing then that she would much later go on to train and work in this field. In the intervening years, their shared interests in horses, landscape, water and performance have flowed (back) together, and so it is particularly exciting to have this opportunity to collaborate again, in a new context. National Theatre Wales Profile | PiP Aberystwyth
Mads Floor Andersen
Mads Floor Andersen was collaborator on the original installation of Drop in 2013 (Hereford).
Mads is an artist using collaborative approaches to generate material for theatre, public and gallery spaces. At the heart of his work lies the desire for constant awareness of oneself in the space of others. He is interested in the meetings of people and the space generated between them, as a creative and unique forum of relation, collision, recognition and physical presence. He is currently completing an MPhil at Aberystwyth University. Mads helped to devise – and supervise – the original installation of Drop in the Ocean at All Saints, Hereford, October 2013.
All the installation woodwork has been brilliantly and beautifully constructed from reclaimed wood by Paul Richardson of Canvas Craft. Paul is also technical advisor/manager of the installation process, working ingeniously to make the piece adaptable to different places/spaces.