Caroline Meaden is our LGI Artist-in-Residence at WXYZ Studios from 5 November until 23 November.
Image Credit: Bryony Jackson – Let’s Go Up Here – FOLA, Arts House (2018)
About Caroline’s LGI Residency
This LGI residency is an initial development period for a new work.
The project is a collaboration with sound designer/composer/singer, Emah Fox, and trumpeter/sound designer, Jeremy Meaden.
Here’s what Caroline said of the work on the eve of beginning her residency:
“Thematic and conceptual references often accompany my studio making process as associative references, rather than guiding motifs. In saying this, my project is partially informed by experiences of voicelessness and inability to vocalise in childhood.
For this first development I will be gathering experiential accounts, sensations and images and bringing these into dialogue with my movement practice – drawing links and examining the web of relationships between particular, insistent rhythmical characteristics and more sub-conscious compulsions.
This dimension to my project sits in conversation with my ongoing performance practice – which always interrogates the act of performance in its relation to theatricality and modes of ‘presenting’.
I’m curious to develop both a specific and detailed movement vocabulary for this piece, and, as a non-actor/singer, to contrast this by engaging, in a more raw sense, with voice and vocalisation.”
Read what Caroline said of the work following her three-week residency, below.
My dance projects always vary in their alleged focus and I resist working explicitly with theme – it’s never a singular idea that I’m working with. Although I did explore vocal techniques and sounding with Emah Fox, I found this was a lesser concern than I’d anticipated, and actually I was more interested in the social and character-based manifestations of this work – like, trying out accents and particular words, or waving to people, than with abstracted, song-like or primal sounds.
In regards to the dancing, I set myself the task to craft a layered, rhythmically intricate movement-based phrase language, which was developed over two weeks, and then I added a frame of two other dancers (Alice Dixon and Will McBride, both enduring trusted collaborators) who joined me at short notice in the third week. This was because I realised I needed another register in the space – a steady, clear, still duo that provided something like a surface calm to my subconscious ramble. I set very specific movements on them, intuitively and quickly plotting their paths through space, and then laboriously filled out with detailed, though barely perceptible mental scores. The result was melancholy, austere, suspended, watery and hazy.
Working with my trumpeter brother, Jeremy, added another dimension to the piece which I intend to pursue in future developments.
In looking at the work (as it stands after this recent showing) I’m identifying images and tones in it which somehow seem born of my initial thematic premise (of not being able to talk or being ‘frozen’) even though I did not push for it – and the material evokes a childhood space. Not of play, but more the kind of space – like doing sums or playing cricket on auto – where your time is delineated by some other force, and then completely warped as you’re overcome by something. This landscape is marked by the sense that you’re floating, liminal, and that the moment goes on for a long, uncomfortable, stretched time (or it feels like a long time when you’re small and the sensation is bigger than you) and you’re looking at yourself from elsewhere, inhabiting your body in a limited way. Will, in particular, was given the task of holding two objects in stillness for a long time, which gave me the impression he was grasping for tangibility in a space where he was barely real.
The whispered text which happened towards the end of the piece is something to be developed and integrated further, as I spent less time on this exploration. I did some preliminary accent work – pretending to be some kind of rural older man from an unidentified British place.
The future of the project, now, is another development or two, which would ideally happen next year, and then a presentation, although currently I don’t have anything confirmed, I’m just on the lookout for an opportunity. It feels important that this project can take its time.
About Caroline Meaden
Caroline Meaden works as a dancer/choreographer across performance and live art contexts.
Originally from Geelong, she studied at Adelaide Centre for the Arts and the VCA. Her solo choreographies include; Blowin’ Up: Sneaky Bastard for The Substation’s curated Melbourne Fringe Season (Winner: Arts House Evolution Award), and as part of her Postgraduate Diploma in Choreography (Too Much Sun and Untitled).
As one third of Slown, Smallened and Son, she has created and performed in This is What’s Happening (Winner: Best Dance Melbourne Fringe, nom. Green Room and Australian Dance Award), Fallen O’er (nom. Australian Dance Award), Lady Example for Next Wave Festival and Let’s Go Up Here for FOLA at Arts House. She recently presented the participatory score based event, Trilogy of the Desert:Mirage as part of FLUX-KIT-MEL (curated by Dan Koop and Jamie Lewis) for the MEL&NYC Festival at NGV.
She was a collaborative artist on the three-time Green Room Award-nominated work, Blizzard (directed by Nat Cursio) and has been an artist in residence at Artshouse, Tasdance, Mosaico Danza (Italy), Dancehouse, Lucy Guerin Inc, Vitalstatistix and Chunky Move Maximised.
As a performer she has worked for: Shelley Lasica (Behaviour Part 7), Michelle Heaven (In Plan), Monica Bill Barnes & Company (NY-The Gallery Workout), Natalie Cursio (Blizzard, Tiny Slopes), Phillip Adams Balletlab (Metamorphosen, Melbourne Art Fair), Alice Dixon (Lucy Guerin Inc. Pieces for Small Spaces) and Reckless Sleepers (BEL/UK – A String Section) among others.
Caroline recently performed as a Merce Cunningham Residency dancer for the American Masters Season at the NGA, and later this year she will undertake a solo choreographic residency at Lucy Guerin Inc. and facilitate Playing Up by Sibylle Peters at The Substation. Caroline’s work has been supported by Besen Foundation, Creative Victoria, The Australia Council and City of Melbourne through Boyd Studio 1 Residency.
About LGI Residencies
LGI Residencies offer artists the freedom to explore new ideas, develop new works and cultivate their choreographic practice. Studio space and administrative support are offered by LGI, as well as the opportunity to share outcomes of the residency in a way that best supports the artist in residence.
For more information on LGI’s residency program and the other 2018 Artists-in-Residence, please visit our Residency page.