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Angela Kennedy

Gateshead
Artist Activist, Facilitator whose embodied feminist somatic practice includes performance installation, writing, drawing and painting.

I am an interdisciplinary disabled artist, feminist, and trade union activist (a founding member of AUE - Artists Union England), with a multi-disciplinary practice.  

A degree in Performance Art and ten years working as a Choreographer and Contemporary Dancer; followed by a degree in Creative Practice - major Fine Art and an MA in Fine Art in 2017.  My work is about embodied processes and the body rooted in the experiential training of Body-Mind Centering in the USA and Germany and many years as a practitioner of Contact Improvisation and Release.

I am interested in how my inherently embodied practice of responding to site and mark making manifests into performance installation, drawing, text, poetry, movement, walking, spoken word, sound and video, with a physical disability which is now acute. 

I am currently exploring listening to my body and seeing how adapting my practice to recent circumstances, regarding mobility issues and periods of intense pain over the last year, using improvised movement and mark making scores arising from embodied experiences, with drawing and painting as walking; my current PhD research with the University of Sunderland investigates how I can integrate these powerful new experiences through feminist responses to rural spaces. Then finding ways to translate those responses into installations, performances, and exhibitions, often with a live audience. 

Through my Walking Practice and Drawing as Text, I have combined my practice-based research on feminist theory of embodiment and the reclaiming of rural territory, through artist led workshops on the different body systems.  This includes walking in woodland environments, where writing, drawing and authentic movement responses focus on the senses and principles of Body -Mind Centering.  

In my MA in Fine Art I examined Feminist Art Theories, Feminist Geography and Drawing - through art walking in urban environments, through scaled text, automatic and stream of consciousness writing, performance, video and audio works. Culminating in a body of work called 'Vein'.

I am one of the founding member of the first Artists Trade Union in England for Visual and Socially Engaged Artists: AUE- Artists Union England, Excutive member 2012-18

My socially engaged practice overlaps my own art practice, both areas of my practice reflect a lifelong focus on issues concerning social justice, identity and gender. This might include, for example, walking with others in participatory projects in rural settings as well as within urban communities, so as to discover and engage with people in small but powerful ways, through gentle conversations about their communities and lives, with responses through mark making, drawing, text, poetry and acts of collective performance poetry.

In a site specific residency for '25sg' I used Authentic Movement processes to develop improvised movement scores. This work explored my relationship to the spaces and developed material which resonated with me physically and emotionally. Out of that process, themes of the elemental, injury and nurturing emerged, resulting in three installations, part of which was video and live performance. Please see the 25sg link on my CV. My work has investigated the different body systems through the experiential training of Body-Mind Centring in the USA and Germany; particularly the Skeleton, Organ and Nervous systems. These explorations manifested into text and poetry, were embroidered onto clothes, embossed on copper sculptures, and then developed into soft white multiples of felt sculpture. In two solo exhibitions of paintings I focused on the use of improvisation through colour, gesture and mark making, using oils, acrylics and mixed media.

As a dance performance artist I have made over twenty five pieces of performance and dance theatre. My movement and dance work is influenced by the experimental movement forms of Contact Improvisation, Release and artists such as Rosemary Butcher and Pina Bausch. I have made performances for theatres, galleries, cabaret evenings, parks, poetry and women's events; often using text as part of the performance.

 

 

A beginning or Waiting for the Wind on my Face

Grace

Dancing with yourself

Here I am.

Writing/Being Kind to Myself.

Listening to the thoughts between.

Together with silence.

Alone and Together

Beginning to rain.

Poetry of the woodland.

Women coming together.

Dancing around the yellow.

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