Regional Artist Support – Dance North

Dance North (formerly Bodysurf) recently had an open call for Regional Artist Support (RAS). I applied to further develop the work I had previously done taken inspiration from the Inchindown Tanks. I could not believe my luck when I was successful. It means so much to me to be creating work and to be supported doing so. Dance North will help support me and my work, provide some funding for the project and help with the behind the scenes making it happen.

Which takes me to my proposal. Behind my partner’s family farm (where I’ve been based on and off for a few years) there are tanks in a hill which were used to hold oil during World War 2, which was then pumped down to Invergordon dock. They were bombproof and secret. And with limited access, however much publication, they are still relatively secret today. There is community interest in these tanks, and part of the inspiration of creating work inspired by themes surrounding them is to share some of the narrative, and media recorded from inside the tanks. Which is why recording media is so important – to open it up to wider communities and not just those interested in contemporary dance. 

Tunnel image

Photo I took in the tanks a couple of years ago

I proposed to develop further a piece that I previously began creating, ‘What We Choose to See’, inspired by the tanks at Inchindown Farm.

Last year I was fortunate enough to have 3 residencies developing this piece: 2 at Dance Base and 1 at Citymoves. These culminated in a 25 minute long piece, which then toured Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen and Shetland. The soundscore was raw recordings of myself in the tanks, which were then later modified into a piece of music. I wish to develop this, working with a sound artist to capture better recordings from inside the Tanks, as well as allowing for progression in a new modified piece of music. This is one of the first things I wish to do as a RAS. I am on the lookout for Sound musicians to work with, preferably local to the highlands. My budget is not massive therefore saving on travel and accommodation would help greatly. Other than that, this is a paid opportunity. Please do get in touch if recording sounds from the tanks to create soundscape for dance sounds like something you would be interested in. The tanks hold the world’s longest echo. It would be incredible to be able to work with a sound artist to have music that also responded to the movement – I am not sure if this is possible, however definitely worth a discussion. 

I  question whether I should be in the piece this time, however will begin developing the work on myself and then open up to others, once I am sure of my true choreographic voice of the project. A year away from the work has allowed reflection, and I now wish to put these reflections into actions.

Dance North image

Dance North image

I aspire to develop this work into a full length piece that would possibly be able to tour.   This proposal only allows the start of this process, however the start of this is incredibly important, and will allow me to know how to progress it further. It would also allow me to begin working with multiple art forms (sound and media) which I believe will help to make the piece visible to people out with the Dance Community.

Getting new recordings from within the tanks allows the piece to progress, and to have sound for dancers to move to, that comes from the very inspiration of the piece itself.

Development time in such a way will really allow me to begin further plans for extension of the piece, which will further develop myself as an artist. 

I wish to have local sharing opportunities throughout the process, inviting locals in to the process to discuss not only the development of work, but also the tanks themselves. There is a real interest in them, and I believe opening this up could allow an accessible approach to contemporary dance. I believe that having appropriate images and films from the tanks will encourage community discussion. I have explored using projection in the piece before, and would not be opposed to this again. Therefore, if you are a media artists (photography / videography) and preferably local (due to budget), please do get in touch. I would love to hear from you!! 

I take the themes of borders and boundaries from the tanks; what they symbolise to me is hidden secrets, war and land boundaries. I believe that these are topical themes relevant to the political landscape of today. I am also intrigued by the outside of the tanks, looking at the hill and the secrets it is hiding! I am toying with the idea of making Dance films from here. 

inchindown 4

I definitely want to collaborate, and I also want to use media to aid the process. The tanks are so monumental and so massive that dance itself doesn’t capture all it needs to. Who knows if other artforms will help this, or if sharing experiences from them will only partly uncover their mystery, however it is exciting to be experimenting. Please do pass on to anyone who may be interested, or get in touch if you would like to know more. Email: kathrynannespence@gmail.com

More information about the tanks here:

https://scotland.forestry.gov.uk/activities/heritage/world-war-two/world-war-two-sites/inchindown-oil-storage-tanks

https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/inchindown-oil-tanks

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s