Ferment Fortnight kicks off its biannual explosion of work-in-progress and scratch performances from 24 Jan. Here, Bristol based artist Hannah Sullivan discusses her upcoming one-on-one performance In the Dark. Catch it in our theatre, Wed 24 Jan.
Tell us a bit about yourself…
I am a Bristol based artist, I moved here after graduating from Dartington College of Arts in 2009. I have been making work in the city every since, included previous pieces shown with Ferment ‘Echo Beach’ and ‘With Force and Noise’. I am a member of Interval, an artist-led network of performance makers in Bristol based above St Nicholas Market.
What are you presenting at Ferment Fortnight?
I am presenting a small one-on-one performance I created for a dark basement whilst on residency in Taiwan in 2017. The performance was generated out of time spent exploring the dark hours, reading a brilliant dark text ‘in praise of shadows’ by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki, and the experience of living with a very generous family who welcomed me into an unknown place without much shared language.
What inspired/influenced your piece?
I began thinking about the dark when I read an article by Jeanette Winterson called ‘Why I adore the night’ – read it here.
This text changed my perception of the dark months of the year, and instigated the beginning of wanted to make some performance work that presented the positive qualities of darkness.
What does the work that Ferment do mean to you?
I am sharing this piece at Ferment to find out whether it has a life outside of the context of the residency in which it was made. I am very keen to continue making work on the subject of darkness, and looking forward to learning whether this piece should be developed or whether it is the beginning of a series of small explorations. Ferment allows me to experiment with this very early stage work, this is something that Ferment has offered to several of my pieces. Being given the space to explore in this way is completely essential to discovering the potential of what the work I make can be.
What would you say the audience can expect in three words?
Dark, slow, sweet
Ferment Fortnight takes place at Bristol Old Vic 24-25 Jan before moving across the city to Watershed and Loco Klu from 26 Jan-3 Feb. For more info and to book tickets, click here.