In 2011, Artlink worked with individuals with hearing loss to write about their experiences of Edinburgh’s Festivals in Postcard Reviews. This project was an opportunity to share experiences and learn new skills. Postcard Reviews was firstly a writing project but in sharing personal experiences the reviews raised awareness of access issues with venues. The project also raised questions from participants around responsibility for access and the level of involvement of artists.
A second writing project started to explore these questions by focusing on one artform, meeting artists and experiencing works in progress. Working with Dancebase, participants created personal accounts and reflections on dance while trying different writing styles. The amount of spoken word in contemporary dance was a surprise and has suggested a focus for development on text within performance
What we’re exploring
Text is often used to make theatre accessible for individuals with hearing loss by placing captions at the side of the stage. Let Loose will explore the use of text within a creative process and as central to an arts experience. Collaborative projects will involve individuals working with artists to shape new work and create art works to share with a wider audience. Through documentation and evaluation, Let Loose will explore what this brings to the experience for participants, audiences and artists’ practice.
In researching the project, the work of particular artists resonated with the themes and approach of Let Loose. Before developing longer term projects, a series of Creative Labs will introduce the work of these artists to project participants. Artists will be asked to share and discuss their work and lead a practical activity that engages participants in a particular aspect of their practice.
This phase of Let Loose has been clearly informed by the ideas and interests of participants, the input of artists through Creative Labs will enable ideas to be tested and continually developed with the group. The intention is to inject fresh ideas and spark conversation which in turn will develop longer term projects. Initial Creative Labs will explore instruction based work and collaborative projects between dancers and non dancers.