"Dionysic stirrings arise either through the influence of those narcotic potions of which all primitive races speak in their hymns, or through the powerful approach of spring, which penetrates with joy the whole frame of nature. So stirred the individual forgets themself completely....... For a brief moment we become ourselves, the primal Being, and we experience its insatiable hunger for existence. Now we see the struggle, the pain, the destruction of appearances, as necessary, because of the constant proliferation of forms pushing into life, because of the extravagant fecundity of the world will. We feel the furious prodding of this travail in the very moment in which we become one with the immense lust for life and are made aware of the eternity and indestructibility of that lust"
Community arts is the practice of empowering people with a 'voice', using the many facets of arts practice available, to have that voice acknowledged and heard. Often the people who are involved may not necessarily have had much / any previous experience within the arts. The aims of these projects vary from simply celebrating the health and unity of a community, dealing with the destruction left behind in the wake of youth suicide to beautifying local parkland area.
And so it has been that a large part of my career has been dedicated to community arts projects. My first professional project was the Dance Sport project, where I was engaged as a musician and instrument maker, to look at the different aspects of the 'sporting parents relationship with their children'. I collaborated with contemporary dancer Jean Tally, writer Ingle Knight and physical skills instructor Reg Bolton.
This was the first of many projects, spanning over fifteen years as a community musician and more recently a director of community projects.
The possibility to collaborate with artists and community members of differing disciplines, careers and from diverse cultural backgrounds, has been an enriching and rewarding parallel to my pursuits as a professional multi arts practitioner.
Some examples of the projects I have been involved in are:-
We created a mix of music that transcended different ethnic backgrounds, cultures, gender and generation gaps. This included classical Indian voice, African drumming and singing, English rapping, New Guinean vocals, French tap dancing, Australian turntable scratching, drum kit and bass guitar, Indian tablas, Mauritian percussion, Macedonian vocals and Bulgarian classical piano. This was some of the most uplifting music I had been a part of.
The event was a direct result of concerned community members, forming the committee, applying for funding, meeting to plan aims, logistics, etc., then the employing of some excellent community artists (some with a lot of previous and some entering their first community arts experience).... Annette Eassie, Richie Glasgow, Dani McAlister, Elly Hope, Bindi Weir, Ken Allen, Alex Roper.