I’ve been at home for over a month and thinking about what it would be like to make more work here. I’ve started to think about being Artist in Residence in Waltham Forest, by which I mean, I’ve been starting to look at the Borough in which I live and see the stories and ideas that its people and places convey. Part of the reason for thinking about Waltham Forest in this way is to decrease the necessity for me to travel so much. And it’s a good time to reflect on the possibilities here as the borough has the focus of Olympic development turned on it.
Meanwhile, the Council is developing a new arts strategy that should give some focus and may provide some resources for the arts in the borough. I’ve been trying to identify potential rehearsal spaces in Walthamstow (keeping wealth in the borough is how the council could think about it) but so far unsuccessfully. So Hackney’s economy will profit from my work.
Out of this thinking about what could be done in Waltham Forest, an idea emerged. Some people mentioned the empty Woolworth’s sites in the borough and I thought what fun it would be to programme an evening of performance events from Waltham Forest under the title of Pick’n’Mix. With choreographers like Kim Brandstrup and Tom Dale in the borough it could be an eclectic mix – and Matthew Bourne grew up here (and appropriately, I was a Liquorice Allsort in his version of the Nutcracker).
I’m chasing permission to use the Woolworths and wondering how to make it work, but I’m excited that we could make it happen and that the empty space could be full of unexpected dance and performance.