Tea Time Conversations Write-Up

As part of our 30th anniversary celebrations, on 6 March 2019 Corali gathered together artists and arts professionals to join us for our Tea Time Conversations event.  This informal, forward-thinking discussion asked “what does the practice of artists with a learning disability look like today, and what is needed for the next 30 years?”

Hosted by The Place, and jointly chaired by Liz Ellis, Policy Advisor at Heritage Lottery Fund, and Corali dancer, Housni Hassan (DJ), we were delighted to invite Intoart and Thick & Tight to share their working practices, alongside our own. Each company presented a provocation, which was then put to our tables of guests to discuss, and to share their own practice, ideas and hopes for the future.  

The event started with Corali, who danced their provocation, showcasing our creative processes, and sharing the depth of our research and artistic references. Ella Ritchie from Intoart delivered a presentation that gave insight into the extensive body of work that their artists have developed, and Daniel Hay-Gordon and Eleanor Perry from Thick & Tight shared how their practice is offering new and exciting relationships to the mainstream.  

We are happy to share the comments that were noted by our guests on the day, which we hope provide food for thought for us all to continue the conversation.

Please do get in touch with further thoughts about where you would like to see this go next - admin@corali.org.uk

Thoughts and Notes 

  • Prolific Artistry, Vibrant Life, Emotional Openness, Integrity 

  • Artificial divide can be created by all of us  

  • Going inwards and outwards (towards people) 

  • Individual responses 

  • Funding structure can put people in a box 

  • Non verbal interpretation  

  • Flexibility, poise, collaboration, ease, brave, trust, immersive, expressing what is inside very fluently, active watching  

  • Difference resolved, presence, teamwork, making choice, inspiring, levels  

  • Confidence to respond in movement 

  • Dancers finding edges, curves and different points of pause 

  • Fluent movement, expression of self, more than verbal  

  • Style of dance makes you actively watch  

  • Control, self direction, visual language, artistic peers 

  • Quality of line and movements, bold and expressive  

  • Layers 

  • Different physical energies  

  • The process can be reflective  

  • A sense of freedom from the dancers  

  • The importance of peer work  

  • The importance of time to grow a voice 

  • Giving the right time, space and support to projects / creative process  

  • The importance of positioning the work in the wider arts world  

  • Visuals as a launchpad for creativity  

  • Corali carves a path to follow  

  • Looking at the shapes in-between the lines  

  • Individual ideas but working and interacting together  

  • In the moment 

  • Natural, un-boundaried, structure allows for freedom  

  • Power of visual imagery  

  • Not overthinking - just doing! 

  • Invites us as audience to also respond to the movement 

  • Collaborative process but get sense of individuality  

  • Corali gives me room to breathe  

  • Exposure, vulnerability, part of an equal platform  

  • Fearless improvisation  

  • Cross-over  

  • Breaking Hierarchy  

  • Within last 5 years, other organisations are wanting to work with Heat n Soul - artists as individuals  

  • Stripping it back to basics  

  • Messy, complex, difference rocks!  

  • The benefits of collaboration  

  • Exciting  

  • It is all work / art  

  • Shining Colour  

  • Audience performer proximity & immediacy  

  • The artists are given a huge sense of confidence  

  • Craft, prolonged focus, community, self belief, perseverance, patience, collective working 

  • Their design studio has identified a dynamic area of visual arts that has proved very porous to and supportive of non mainstream artists - is there a similar area of the live / performance arts world that might provide an entry point to mainstream platforms to Corali’s distinctive practice?  

  • The ideas and patterns work across lots of mediums  

  • Non verbal communication  

  • Articulating experience through drawing  

  • Responding without using words 

  • Shared deepening of experience  

  • Co-Creation  

  • ‘Fearless Improvisation’ - Heart & Soul 

  • Instinctive  

  • No ego, quiet pride 

  • Happy to have created something so beautiful  

  • Makes me aware of different kinds of support we offer people (artists) in reflection to their needs - The Place  

  • Having a shared history is important  

  • So happy I am still being surprised - ‘we need to be surprised’  

  • Glorious to see the art front and centre  

  • Interesting to see artistic process 

  • Environment was important  

  • Interesting, spontaneous, uninhibited 

  • Drawings allow for different interpretation  

  • Very natural - all in the moment  

  • Showcased individual skill of the dancers 

  • Shared deep thinking experience  

  • Decoding experience without use of words 

  • Likes use of alternative methods of communication  

  • Attention to detail  

  • Prolonged period of making  

  • OPPORTUNITY 

  • Not stereotyping  

  • How to gently involve and introduce people to taking part and improvising, making people feel comfortable and included  

  • When do you become an artist?  

  • What is professional?  

  • Strong sense of identity  

  • Different languages 

  • Mawuena Kattah is inspirational to me and make me want to draw  

  • Such boldness and ambition, very creative, joyful and beautiful  

  • No ego - only the artists consciousness - Pam Tait  

  • Performer owns the movement   

  • Strong line and sense of movement  

  • Confidence to respond naturally to how you are feeling  

  • Finding edges of movement  

  • Saw team work and people being present  

  • Mixing cross arts  

  • Research, time taken to develop work, allowing a process to unfold  

  • Idents - are a useful way of recording movement which isn’t visual  

  • Respond spontaneously  

  • Using art for the purpose that inspired it - eg. The table setting at Tea Time Conversations and inviting people to eat and chat around the table  

  • Artists at the top of their game  

 

Future Wishes  

  • Future proof it 

  • Make it easy to access 

  • Embrace the change 

  • Being taken seriously 

  • Appropriate time, expertise and top quality resources 

  • Not participants but artists  

  • Planning, rehearsal, clarity, supporting each other  

  • Communication, equality  

  • Keep breaking barriers, keep breaking down hierarchies, keep being your wonderful selves  

  • The more we work together the more powerful we are  

  • Sharing experiences of and information about how collaborations can work  

  • Not having to fit into how other people do things 

  • What are we aiming for - do we want arts organisations to focus on specific groups or not?  

  • Simplicity is good, difficult subjects are good - pom poms are good!  

  • The patience of process and artist development needs to be truly inclusive  

  • Not being afraid to tackle difficult subjects  

  • Artists working with artists - no institutional barriers  

  • Starting an R&D process that allows time for technique, collaboration and for all voices to be heard  

  • Allowing time to explore the creative process with a way to listen to all voices  

  • More collaboration  

  • Cross fertilisation between artists is good, fruitful and essential  

  • Power of collaboration  

  • Time and space for the process with no fixed outcome  

  • Inspiration from other art forms  

  • Able to express yourself freely and change your view on things  

  • Listen  

  • Start from common ground  

  • The use of new technology 

  • Freedom to explore outside of the need to create product  

  • More collaborative work with NYDC 

  • Artist to Artist  

  • Exploring something dynamically  

  • A world where we don’t need to use words like diversity and inclusion  

  • Having time to learn and find new ways of working together  

  • Respectful exchange  

  • Move the perceptions of practice forward which has an educating effect on the audience  

  • Working together without having to work towards a performance  

  • Investing in artists over time opens up opportunities for more artists in the future  

  • Diversity and Inclusion are words which don’t always mean anything to the people they are being applied to  

  • Organisations acting as examples to show others how to be?  

  • Integration, collaboration, we need to break the glass - I think we are starting to crack the ceiling  

  • Not to be scared of reality  

  • Abolish (art-world) hierarchies  

  • How do you sustain the practice of an artist in dance? 

  • Having constancy of sharing is important  

  • Not about numbers  

  • Need to give artists time and allow the process to evolve  

  • Work being taken seriously  

  • Could there be more unrestricted funding to allow proper artist development?  

  • Funding details  

  • Collaboration helps develop new audiences 

  • Freedom to evolve process without constraints and restrictions  

  • Provide an environment for creativity to flourish  

  • Prolonged process does not dampen the intense liveliness of the work  

  • Being part of a collective and support network  

  • Be seen as an artist in your own right  

  • Resources and support are needed by all artists  

 



Jennifer Dyer