I come to this exploration through crisis and the need to find new ways of creating, of thinking, of interacting with other people – of being.
From my earliest serious creative endeavours – writing, directing and designing theatre pieces while at university – I have maintained essentially the same approach to creating: I work it all out in my head, put it down on paper and then make it happen in performance. I remember the sleepless nights, planning everything down to the most minute detail, from theme, narrative and dialogue to construction methods for a prop or costume. I still have the handwritten script of my final performance piece at Loughborough University. It is not a first draft – it is the only draft. 95% of the lines typed up into the rehearsal script and subsequently performed are just as I conceived them in my head and scrawled them onto paper.
And this is the approach that I have applied to the majority of my creative attempts and work ever since. Most recently, the creation of video material for Parc Prison and for Pupil Referral Units was guided by the tyranny of ‘my vision’. Now, it is not that this approach produces bad results. On the contrary, many of my projects have been greeted with acclaim. But there is a price to pay:
- Such individual, intellectual hegemony relies only on what is already in my head, what I already know and that stock runs out leaving me bereft of starting points and creative drive.
- Isolated thinking develops fear of outside influence and I cut myself off from other people and ideas.
- It is ultimately very stressful as I assume and fiercely guard total responsibility for the process