Sara Ahmed – An Affinity of Hammers

I loved this essay by Sara Ahmed about theĀ  trans “debate” that is currently raging in the media. This part really struck me as so important

An existence can be nullified by the requirement than an existence be evidenced. The very requirement to testify to your existence can end up being the very point of your existence […] When you are asked to provide evidence for your existence, or when you are treated as evidence, your existence is negated. Transphobia and anti-trans statements should not be treated as just another viewpoint that we should be free to express at the happy table of diversity. There cannotĀ  be dialogue when some at the table are in effect (or intent on) arguing for the elimination of others at the table.”

In the course of the essay she discusses the way that part of questioning trans people’s existence is doubting their very experiences. So people do not take seriously our demands that people gender us correctly or use our correct pronouns. Ash she says “some forms of violence are so often understoood as trivial, or not as violence at all. Violence is so often reproduced by not being understood as violence.”

Being trans gives me a different perspective from the world, I want to capture this in my final project and show at least a glimpse of this world to my peers:

“We learn about worlds when they do not accommodate us. Not being accommodated can be pedagogy. We generate ideas through the struggles we have to be in the world; we come to questions worlds when we are in question.”

 

 

Aldeburgh and the Britten-Pears Foundation

Our first project of the new term is a pitch for the English National Opera. I’ve chosen to work on Noye’s Fludde, an opera written for children by Benjamin Britten.

I immediately loved the idea of a medium that seems so inaccessible being opened up to primary school children and decided in my animation to focus on this aspect of the production.

To this end I went to the Benjamin Britten archive in Aldeburgh to see what I could dig up. I’d never been to an archive before and was nervous about how it all worked, but they were extremely friendly when I told them about my project and ended up bringing me all sorts of things that I didn’t even know I was looking for!

Original Ceri Richards designs for animal costumes:

 

Costumes from the original production, below a sheep headdress with my sketches of other costumes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Woodcut from the Benjamin Britten copy of the Chester Mystery Plays
Benjamin Britten’s original score of the storm

Patrick Heron

I was in St Ives on holiday and decided to pop in to see the Patrick Heron exhibition at the Tate. I didn’t know much about him but the moment I walked in and saw the huge brightly coloured canvases, I knew it would be a hit.

 

I loved the way he talks about shape and colour being the same thing in his paintings, the colour suggests the shape, the boundaries between shapes are made of colour. It made me feel quite giddy. I also love the way Patrick Heron explains his process:

“My fifteen foot canvases, involving sixty or more square feet of a signle colour, were painted [in oil paint] from end to end with small Japanese water-colour brushes. But one doesn’t hand-paint for the sake of the “hand-done”; one merely knows that the surfaces worked in this way can – in fact they must – register a different nuance of spatial evocation and movement in every single square millimetre” Patrick Heron 1970

My favourite painting in the exhibition was this one:

I love his wobbly line work and the way the colour doesn’t go quite up to the lines and it made me think I’d love to try making animation that looks like this….