The Forest

Thomas, Susanne (2004) The Forest. [Performance]

Item Type: Performance
Event Summary: The Forest/Newland's Corner, Guildford, Surrey, UK
Creators: Thomas, Susanne
Abstract / Summary:

Seven Sisters Group - Director, choreographer: Susanne Thomas. Collaborators: Sophie Jump (costume), Ed King (set), Quentin Thomas (sound), Charlotte McClelland (light). Performers: Sarah Boon, Andrew Coombs, Fred Gehrig, Emma Kerr, Heidi Rustgaard, Alice Sara. Project supported through an artist’s residency at the University of Surrey (2004-7), and funded by Arts Council England.

The Forest was a site-specific performance project for woodland setting in Newland’s Corner near Guildford, Surrey: the first ‘rural’ context for a company familiar with and experienced in making work in/for urban landscapes. The audience went on a trail visiting particular locations in the woodland, where they encountered installations and live performances. This project aimed to explore the associational field, projections and suppressed affect of a specific environment, i.e. woodland/forest. In contemporary contexts, particularly urban contexts, woodland is often associated with fears of solitude, vulnerability, violence, concealment, disorientation, becoming lost etc. The research addressed: the extent to which these fears of a ‘primeval’ nature are embedded instinctually and/or genetically in relation to what may have been ‘dangerous’ places historically; relations between these fears and recurrent representations in popular culture (from the archetypes of fairy stories and childhood tales to films); and a growing lack of familiarity with ‘wilderness’ areas in an increasingly urbanised culture. In addition, the company focused on possible forms of ritual ‘rites of passage’ that might take (a) place within contemporary woodlands. In such ‘unfamiliar’ terrain, the company sought to explore other kinds of buried or overlooked ‘familiarities’ beyond our cultural conditioning that might be accessed and activated. With reference to e.g. Angela Carter’s rewritings of classic fairy tales in ‘The Bloody Chamber’, the performance sought to explore and articulate this interface between conceptions and constructions of the ‘natural’ and the ‘cultural’.

Official URL:
Date: 10 September 2004
Depositing User: Ex Falmouth Staff
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2014 15:35
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2017 16:04


View Item View Item (login required)