Reflections – Week 2. 09.07.2011

I followed the light to the top of the stairs and the forbidden galleries. Wide open spaces to play in! And the light is fantastic. So what did I do? I headed straight for the safety of a corner. Lying on my back with my feet in the air felt like a good beginning this week. This vantage point meant that I could examine the lighting system in detail and gaze out of the vast windows in the roof. The clouds were endlessly entertaining and took my thoughts away from the space into the town and the sounds that filter in through the glass. Seagulls; empty bottles being poured into a skip; a band rehearsing; and the bell of the Cathedral clock. I now know that this chimes on the half hour, which is very useful for a durational performance.

After a half an hour, exactly, I realised that my feet were beginning to go numb. This position wasn’t going to last for 2 hours.Being in a gallery seemed to be setting up a totally different situation compared with the stairs last week. This felt less intense, less intimate. I moved to a new position – still in the corner, so that I could lower my legs and relieve the pins and needles, which were now getting critical. I hadn’t considered moving – or how to move -my performance experience so far only included lying still. How do you move?

During my 2 hours in the gallery I had one visitor, who spent quite a while looking at me. She took 3 photographs. The experience of being ‘art,’ and being looked at, is exhilerating. I realise I like it. It has an electric intensity. I began to imagine performing like this in other galleries – being one of the artworks in a group show.

H.Smith 2011

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