Nic Green’s round up

Nic Green gives us a round up of her year as the first recipient of the FE Award (in memory of Huw Chadbourn) - What a year it's been!

A few days before receiving this award (or at least its announcement), I gave birth to my first child. The alignment of these two events created a unique context to understand the dynamic and inseparable interrelation between my artistic practice, and my changing, ‘everything-else-life’ patterns.

In all honesty looking back my ballooning belly had been paralleled with an expanding concern as to how being a mother and a freelance artist could/would co-exist. My life as an artist has been (for better or worse) one of extreme availability in and around the presentation of performance. Questions about sustainability, collaboration, energy and balance have since come more brightly to light.

Through the award, I chose to address these in four ways:

Firstly, I wanted to understand more about working practices and methodologies of Forced Entertainment, both artistic and administrative. I travelled to PACT Zollverien to observe some of the creation/rehearsal/production processes for Out Of Order.

Glimpsing the level of detail spoke energetically to me with regards my own preoccupation with complex process of learning, rhythm, patterning etc. Their constant referral to past iterations of material captured on video from improvisation, rehearsal or past performances and the patience and investment needed was for me, inspiring, leaving so much to reflect on.

I have loved being in the company of a group of practitioners whose lives have been so intertwined for so long through the making of artwork. I somehow feel I miss what I haven’t had.

Second, I wanted to see some work I might not normally access so baby, partner and myself travelled to Kunsten Festival Des Arts, Brussels so I could see eight pieces of performance.  It was brilliant and challenging to keep engaging with the art form I love, whilst breastfeeding a three month old.

Thirdly, I wanted to address how I interact with online platforms for representing my work. I feel some awkwardness in this area, and have struggled to understand useful boundaries that feel authentically representative. I spent time with Julia and Eileen at FE, discussing some of these questions and locating strategies to help.  I am in the process of testing ideas and practicalities and am hoping to have a new website up in spring.

Lastly, I wanted to discuss the journey of my work to date with Tim, to help see potential future possibilities and pathways.

For some time now I have quietly questioned the frenetic, freelance lifestyle I have engaged in by default and necessity rather than design, and in place of this have wanted to address how I might work against some of the economic/socio/psychological paradigms ‘austerity’ and neoliberalism might force artists (and potentially art), into. Very much connected to this award, is a desire to think more widely and radically about integrating and expanding ideas of family and creativity. I have since decided, alongside regular collaborators Laura Bradshaw and Rosana Cade, to create an alternative long-term collaborative methodology. We are in beginnings of exploring what that might mean practically, artistically and economically, and how the art and rest-of-life might effect each other differently. I plan to use the £10,000 given through this award to go towards securing a space in Glasgow where we can house this process. We hope ‘moving in together,’ will create previously ‘unseeable’ possibilities, we might realise together.

As I mentioned, I have been thinking about lots of this stuff for a while, but for many reasons have not explicitly acted on it until now.  I genuinely feel this context of this award has given a sense of support and confidence needed to take steps towards changing some stuff. Technically the term of this award will end in April, due to a later, maternity-related start, but what I really feel is that it has opened up a sense of longevity.

All kinds of birthings going on around here.