Felicity Barrow

Microsoft Word - ‘THE UNDERWATER OPERA’art language location

The Underwater Opera
Performance
ShowTime! Symposium
Saturday 15 October 2016

 

The sea levels are rising
The sea levels are rising
The sea levels are rising

Using semantic rhythms found within deconstructed scientific articles on climate change as the basis for a ‘score’, ‘The Underwater Opera’ is a new site-specific performance staged on a spiral staircase. Seeking to address rising sea levels through urgent movement of body and voice, performers gather behind the audience to carry them upwards throughout the building as an ever ascending wave.

Felicity Barrow
My practice seeks to explore what it means to be human, how the world works and the possibility that magical things are happening all around us. Communication and emotions such as love, longing, joy and loss play a central role in my investigations. I am also interested in the idea that we are in constant dialogue with everything that exists around us. Nothing is static, one thing endlessly becomes another in an ongoing state of flux. Idiosyncratic and universal experiences of time, sense of place and identity are examined here.

I try to approach these fundamental questions with childlike curiosity, gentle humour and a genuine sense of wonder. Working primarily in performance, installation and video, I create playfully constructed scenes, narratives and environments through which to open up a dialogue of hope between artist and audience. Writing also plays a role in my work, and I am interested in spoken word, storytelling and the theatrical, alongside more subtle gestures and interventions.

Long periods of in depth, very specific research become central to each work. Recent projects have stemmed from of a group of scientists working in the 1970s who believed they were ‘eavesdropping’ on the conversations between plants and stars; the writings of Henri Bergson and his theory of Duration; and the divination methods practiced by the Etruscans, a little documented ancient Italian civilization. The Etruscans believed in a constant stream of signs and symbols present in everyday, odd or mundane phenomena such as thunderclouds, chickens and the singing of frogs.

“He then quipped, regarding divination from the singing of frogs: Who could suppose that frogs had this foresight? And yet they do by nature have some faculty of premonition, clear enough of itself, but too dark for human comprehension” (Cicero)

www.felicitybarrow.com