UK artist Lizzie Sykes arts practice defies easy definition so it’s a great relief she has agreed to come and talk about it at Screen.dance Lizzie Sykes has been working collaboratively on a range of somatic digital approaches that have thrown up a series of questions around the impact of site on her work and the materiality of the ‘screen’ itself. How do these concrete, solid things equate with her work that focusses on far less tangible ideas of time and reception? This presentation will unwrap some of these concepts present within her film, Are You There and it’s subsequent iterations.
In Are You There Lizzie Sykes looked at how bodies appropriate and move within the spaces of Mottisfont – a National Trust property that has a 900 year old abbey encased within it’s walls. Together with dancer Louise Tanoto, they interpreted the atmosphere of the interior of the house at times of the day when an otherwise busy building was closed to the public. In a National Trust property – as in film – time is distorted. Narratives are formed and reformed, reimagined and repackaged, slices of history come to the fore and, at other times, recede. Visitors become part of this ever-shifting presence and interpretation. Using the time based art forms of film and dance to respond to the feeling of how time passes and how time is managed in this location, Sykes explored capturing the essence of being stuck, on repeat, exhibited and moved around in time, through the dancer’s own movements.
Lizzie Sykes is a Senior Lecturer working with students on BA Film and BA Media Production.