Live Art Desk Scheme
In October 2017, at LADA’s new facility at The Garret Centre (Bethnal Green, London), we launched a subsidised ‘desk space’ scheme for six Live Art Producers, curators, researchers and artists. This scheme expands on LADA’s current Producer-In-Residence scheme.
Dedicated desk spaces have been made available on an annual basis, with the following benefits: free wifi provision; access to photocopier, printer, kitchen; use of LADA’s mailing address; access to LADA staff for advice and other support; networking with other producers, curators, researchers and artists; a 10% discount on Unbound purchases; access to LADA’s Study Room. Subject to availability and timing space can also be made available for meetings and gatherings.
The Desk Scheme group are:
Flora Wellesley Wesley
Susannah Hewlett is a UK artist, performer and writer whose work crossbreeds live art, comedy, theatre, sound and film. She is an associate artist of award winning company Duckie.
Fixated on popular culture, her work challenges the comfort of audiences by using comedy as a strategy to disarm - scratching through the shiny Saturday night TV dazzle or looking past the kindly smile to reveal unpalatable truths about the human condition.
She will focus her time realising new short film The Obligation which explores death and telemarketing in suburbia as well as concentrating on new writing and touring interactive soap opera Latherland. She also hopes to prep for the first ever University de Nowhere - a summer school for artists not currently in any form of education or without the opportunity to study. This would bring together key Live Art practitioners through talks, tutorials and mentoring for a number of ‘students’.
From leopard-skin dresses in Liverpool to queer liberal London, the artist's identity is liminal and precarious; it is this complexity of identity alongside the misrepresentations of the underclass and ‘benefits culture’ by the mainstream media that is the core of their practice. The focus at LADA will be a period of discursive self-improvement, in which the artist will wrestle with their ambivalence towards their present identity as ‘artist’ and how it intersects with their own working-class roots.
Fox Irving is an artist & activist based in London, who was awarded a scholarship to complete an MA in Visual Arts at Camberwell, University of the Arts London, in which they gained a distinction in 2015. Fox's work takes a variety of forms, from installations and performances to collective actions. Recent projects include the subvertising of London’s free newspapers, developing workshops and performances with The Baltic, Gateshead and a commission by Counter Plymouth Art Book Fair.
Sarah Wishart is a writer, researcher and artist living and working in London for the last 23 years. Most recently she has been working on a collective residency about small arts Undertow, been the guest editor for the Spring edition of Sluice magazine Perform, Subvert, Transform about art’s fictions with a central article on LADA and the DIY programme. She has a PhD in how the documentation of live art might include the memories of audiences.
In this first year after her PhD, Sarah will be using the LADA desk space to get working on a number of writing projects, a collaborative film project about London and EU migrants with artist Nicholas Middleton, a photography project about geographies of fear. She is also a member of the writers collective and the Executive Producer for the Forest Fringe film project.
Deborah Pearson is a writer, curator and live artist. She frequently tours internationally, having had her work performed in 17 countries, 4 continents, and translated into five languages. She makes work for a variety of contexts - including cinemas, art galleries and theatres. She is also founder and co-director of Forest Fringe and curated the inaugural Summerworks Performance Festival’s Live Art Series and Cameo Live Series. She has a PhD in narrative in performance from Royal Holloway, where she was a Reid Scholar. She has won awards as both an artist and a curator.
Deborah will be using her desk space at LADA to work on tours of her projects History History History, Post-National and The Filibuster, and a book using her PhD research about narrative in contemporary performance.
Jen Smethurst is a burned-out Independent Producer, Stage Manager and body piercing enthusiast. They are Jeneral Manager/mum of Sh!t Theatre, SM for Tom Cassani (Someone Loves You Dive With Care/I Promise You That Tonight), ASM for Scottee (Fat Blokes), part of Transmissions and have previously worked with a whole bunch of amazing artists including: Annie Siddons, Lousie Orwin, la John Joseph, vFd & Femmetopia Festival.
They also work with artists/producers to translate Arts Council Applications into accessible formats & as a support worker/consultant producer/mentor, with emerging artists/producers, including: Vijay Patel & Tilly Bungard, I Need to Cher, Krishna Istha, Jo Marius Hague, Jade Montseratt, Fox Irving, Ray Filar, Dex Grodner, Umama Hamido & Ema Boswood. Jen is interested in dismantling & rebuilding the absolute clusterfuck of independent producing in the UK. They are developing a Producer Consultancy practice, focusing on: Working with Trans & Queer people to support their specific needs, creating resources to help artists feel more confident around self-producing, having a space to have no idea what you are doing. They will use their time at LADA to meet with artists & producers to develop ways of working that don’t end up with people losing their shit for the sake of art.
Flora Wellesley Wesley
Flora Wellesley Wesley is a performer who lives in London. Alongside making her own work she collaborates with a variety of choreographers, directors and visual artists on projects for screen, stage, and gallery and site-specific spaces.
As an independent artist she works intuitively and often whimsically, producing bold, exuberant and intimate multimodal work. Since 2017 she has been working on the umbrella project The Weather Inside, creating a body of work - live performances, photographs, films and writing - out of her interest in the subject of seasonality and mood/iness.
Working freelance Flora has danced for choreographers Simonetta Alessandri, Seke Chimutengwende, Florence Peake, Robbie Synge, Fernanda Muñoz-Newsome and Eva Recacha, worked with visual artists Evy Jokhova, Ed Fornieles, William Hunt and Eddie Peake, appeared in films by Grace Schwindt and live art works by Richard DeDomenici, acted in Lost Text/Found Space productions, and done collaborative research with artists Kira O’Reilly and Guy Dartnell.
Flora co-directs Nora with dancers Eleanor Sikorski and Stephanie McMann. Together they invite choreographers to create new work for them to perform and tour. Hitherto they have curated and commissioned new work by Deborah Hay, Liz Aggiss, Simon Tanguy, and Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion. Between 2019 and 2021 they will work with Eleanor Bauer and Last Yearz Interesting Negro. Nora is an ongoing dancer-led project which, aside from making performances, also consists of teaching, research, writing and advocacy. These are all means by which to question power structures, reshuffle hierarchies and forefront the agency of dancers in the working environment. Nora is in the process of making Nora Reels, a film series documenting conversations between dancers, amplifying their voices as they recount experiences and engage with subjects of agency, power and employment ethics.
Flora is currently one of the 32 Equity Councillors who make up the union's democratically elected governing body.