Category Archives: Research

Sex and the Studio

Couldn’t resist that title as it flowed off my finger tips onto the screen… no delete button for that instant outpouring.

I’ve been in the studio re-membering Underwear as part of my current research which I’m calling ‘Make again. Make new.’ Its been an interesting few hours and it was good to get started, starting is hard and looking back feels hard to do as well…. but as I noted in my journal, process is messy and hard and difficult, these are the signs that it is a process and so it’s necessary otherwise something may well be wrong.. best not worry and just accept mistakes will be made.

Thinking of archive and archaeology, wondering what a museum exhibition of Underwear would look like, can I dig back past the layers of time and re-present for us to explore then, now.

Live Art Therapy

Live Art Therapy | An Exploration of Fear | An Exploration of Exclusion

Live Art Therapy is a durational, interactive installation which asks if we can find an answer to the question, ‘what is live art?’.

Participants are invited to view materials, contribute to discussion and to create for camera their own stills and write description for work they might make and call ‘live art’.
Live Art Therapy becomes a show all of its own in which it becomes less clear who is artist; an effort to make Live Art the sort of work anyone can feel part of.

‘The Meloncholy of Van Gogh in the Shadow of Gauguin’s Nosferatu’

Performance created and documented by audience participants

A performance work looking at the little known episode of how Van Gogh lost his ear whilst working under the vampiric Gauguin.
A meditation on the fall out between two well known impressionist painters.

where to now?

It’s August.

I promised myself July off, which I did to some extent. I performed in a children’s theatre piece at a festival near Birmingham. Does that count as working?

I keep thinking about trains. About trains and suicide. About the ripple effect of the attempt to end a life that results in delayed trains. The end of one life, ‘the incident’, results in a thousand others missing connections, returning home late, not reaching that interview.

I keep thinking about what happens when you leave the luggage on a platform and get on a train. Where do you go when you’re ready to move on?

I keep thinking that I’d like to blow the dust off ‘underwear’ and re-discover what it meant and might mean now – would you like to watch?

Out of Character: Episodes

Directed by Gemma Alldred
Various ongoing educational performances including –
March 2010: Mental Health in Higher Education Conference, Lancaster
October 2010: World Mental Health Day, The Carriage Works, Leeds
episodes_front_oct2010_jpegEpisodes was our specifically made mental health show.

It came as a response to an increasing number of requests for the company to perform as part of the education of health professionals, students and those interested in the link between arts and health. We undertook a period of development to create and focus work with these audiences in mind.

Episodes is a series of fragmented works, developed to be performed by any number of the company in a variety of locations and differing audiences.

Two distinct themes instigated this work: an interrogation of the stories within, and the performative aspects of mental ill health experiences through the investigation of blurred boundaries between audience and performer in an attempt to break, rather than reinforce, stigma and assumption.

A Nice Cup of Tea


Let Me Solve Your Problems,

Let Me Make You a Cup of Tea.

Tea the great soother. Tea the great problem solver.

A Nice Cup of Tea was written, devised and performed in 2008.

Installation and performance
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In response to needing to make it better, without really knowing what is wrong the smiling host will make tea and tell you lots of things you never knew before about tea, of course she’s really telling you lots of things about oppression and about wanting to break free… once she’s sorted all the mess out, all your mess out, that is.

“I’m quite sure India never asked to be colonised. In fact I’m sure she didn’t even realise it was happening until it was too late, bit by bit she made concession after concession until she had no strength left with which to fight back and then she became part of it, colluding with her oppressors until she was almost convinced that it was the best thing.
Then one day she realised that life couldn’t carry on this way, that her people couldn’t keep living under rule and that India wanted its self back.

And so it is that some things can make me really angry. IMG_0145Really really angry and maybe even really really upset. I don’t know for sure you see because the question how do I feel?  is more like How, do, I feel? Its a difficult one because I don’t really have time for emotions, no they get in the way you see I’m far too busy sorting everything else out and trying to make other people happy and well if I sat down and thought about it, about how I feel then I’m not sure when the feeling might ever stop.
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But I am angry, I am so angry, so very angry that I’m afraid what might happen if I let it all out. And I’d like to throw something and break things and just exhaust myself with destruction but I wouldn’t gain anything, no in fact all I’d have to do is tidy it all back up again. I’d have to fix it all. And there’s so much mess and there’s only me who can sort it out. I have to clean up all this mess and once I’ve sorted out everyone else, once I’ve solved everyone else’s problems then maybe I’ll be okay. If I just make everything better, maybe then I’ll be better.” – performance text

A Nice Cup of Tea, Gemma Alldred, 2008

underwear

I am a woman. I am a girl. I am whatever you want me to be. I am submissive. I am a dominatrix. I am a nymphomaniac. I am frigid. I am a lover. I am a friend. I am a fuck. I am the girl you lost your virginity to. I am dirty. I am pure. I am a shaven haven. I am yours. I am everyone’s to touch. I am sex. I am sexy. I am the girl you hate. I am beautiful. I am fucking gorgeous. I am the person I hate. I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am a potential mother. I am stupid. I am a bitch. I am femme fatale. I am Mrs Robinson. I am just a wet cunt. I am a lesbian. I am bi-sexual. I am try-sexual. I am weak. I am the lesser sex. I am the one who gets fucked. I am the one who gets raped. I am one who just lies there. I am the one without the power. I am intelligent. I am funny. I am serious. I am a child. I am passionate. I am angry. I am the one who’s given you the best sex you’ve ever had. I am ‘amazing’. I am ‘brilliant’. I am a ‘fucking diamond’. I am a slag. I am a whore. I am ‘the one that Jamie fucked’, when really it was the other way around. I am silenced. I am insignificant. I am a flirt. I am a prick tease. I am loved. I am in love. I am out of love. I am merely a reproductive function. I am my womb. I am frustrated. I am ignored. I am my mother. I am a woman. I am a girl.

Underwear, Gemma Alldred, 2006