Curiosity Inspired the Cat

Curiosity killed the cat, and yet creativity relies on it. And I recently came across two works that this is true of more than ever. Curious?

Recently I've been privileged to have a piece workshopped with Plus Minus Ensemble at Bath Spa University. I blogged about the process of writing that piece last month. But while there I was also able to see my colleagues on the Masters and PhD courses have their work performed as well. One of these pieces was Community of Objects by Caitlin Rowley. The piece involves the opening of beautifully crafted paper boxes, each with an instruction to be followed inside. This description, while accurate, doesn't do justice to the experience created. As performers open these boxes the audience is drawn into their curiosity. As they carefully examine and unwrap their objects, we were drawn to experience the event vicariously through them. The whole exerience was brilliant.

Then, this week I visited the Bath Spa Art Degree Show - where all final year art students are able to showcase their work. I was keen to see the work of the visual artists I'd recently worked with as part of the shortlist for the Bath Spa Porthleven Prize 2017. One of these artists was Summer Coleman, and when I found her name it directed me to a door. A torch hung on the handle, and a sign invited me to enter a small dark room. The torch illuminated a small space in the darkness, and I was surrounded by pebbles? Looking closer they weren't pebbles, they were sculptures. Each unique, some glazed, some coloured, all made by hand. Once again the work was one of curiosity - what does this next piece look like? I wonder how she made this one? Each piece bore it's makers prints, your fingers could rest in the marks left by the atrists. 

Reflecting on these two works now, I see the great level of intimacy involved. When the viewer is brought into the process of curiosity they share a unique experience with the performer/composer/artist - even if they are in completely separate locations.

My own work shows the end result of curiosity. I explore the world around me, and once I find something interesting I comment on it through my music. But these works invite the audience into that process. They still comment on the world, but in a way that equalises the positions of power. The artist is made vulnerable and the audience is invited to explore alongside them.

Can I explore this in my own work, or is it just a different style to mine? Who knows. But, I'm curious...