Please tell us who you are and what you’ve been working on recently.
MG: I am a performance maker and spoken word poet and my work is usually about busting norms of gender and sexuality, exploring ethics in relations, and celebrating pleasure. I have been working regularly with the Screaming Alley cabaret in Ramsgate, Kent for 3 years and will soon premiere a ‘one-woman cabaret’ called Alpha Femme at the Vault Festival. I am also a youth arts facilitator and am currently working on an art for babies project called Playground.
HD: I am an Icelandic-British moving image artist. I make films that draw from my own disparate family histories, creating tender and often beguiling links between these and other narratives, both found and imagined. Working from an expanding collection of voice, performance and text material, my current film practice explores questions of performativity through playful stagecraft combined with visual illusions whilst exploring memory as a creative act of personal reinvention. I have just completed a Masters in Moving Image at the Royal College of Art.
What drew you to each other’s practice?
MG: Living in a small seaside town, you quickly find your artistic allies. Helga and I have supported each other’s projects before and gotten a lot of joy and stimulation from those processes, so it felt natural to embark on a more equal collaboration. I am drawn to the beauty and delight that Helga creates from everyday objects and settings. Helga has absolute integrity when it comes to her aesthetic, but not confined specifically to making films, so there is an openness to asking what happens when we step into installation, live experiences, or even community engaged practices.
HD: I was drawn to Meg’s willingness to throw herself into anything. I’m very visual with a strong sensitivity, Meg has the performative sides and a magical way with words and luckily a way to fully understand my confusing directions. Together I think we create quite a brilliant duo.
How will you use the 1:1 FUND?
We will spend a week together exploring immersive environments that combine film, performance and points of audience interaction.
Why did you choose the idea you will be working on?
Our idea is to use ‘Vanishing’ as a jumping off point for exploring particularly women’s experiences of caring – for others and for themselves. We were interested in how COVID disproportionately affected women in terms of increased domestic labour, but also in feminist thought that positions vanishing as an act of resistance. Ideas of spectacle, trickery and magic will be generative for developing performance and film, and material that relates to what it means to be a mother and an artist. We are interested in setting up an experience and a space that embodies some of the contradictions at play.
What is the one thing you most hope to gain from undertaking this work?
Mapping some possibilities of our disciplinary crossovers will provide the foundation of a new project ‘Acts of Vanishing’. Later on we will embark on a collaborative research process with additional contributors, however this initial development will inform how we direct this making towards an experience for audiences that allows film material to come alive through installation design, live video manipulation, and theatricality.