Welcome Town invites you on a personal walk with Natasha Davis, joined by local artists and migrants – mixing facts, performative episodes, recollections and fantasy into a conversation about resilient towns and their migrant identities. How do distinct local histories merge with multiple characters of newcomers to Dublin? Where do their memories meet? How can we sustain ourselves as individuals and a community in our current post-migrant realities?
Following on Internal Terrains, the performance Natasha created with local participants for LCIF in 2013, the artist returns to Dublin with an alternative walking tour, starting and finishing at Project Arts Centre. Conversations will blend intimate stories of comings and goings with anything that you, our audience and fellow walkers, bring with you.
Participatory and playful, Welcome Town is eager to exchange, debate, provoke and share stories of crossing borders, re-imagining how cities can care for displaced individuals. Perhaps we can decide together what a true welcome town is?
Future Arts Centres UK commission, developed in collaboration with Live Collision, Dublin; ARC Stockton and Lincoln Drill Hall.
‘In every image presented, live or screened, we seem to be asked to reflect on the binary divides: of life and death, black and white, movement and stillness, sound and silence. There are many moments infused with grace and purpose in a piece that is visually beautiful, and brave enough to be quiet and slow when it needs to.’ Max Dorothy Prior, Total Theatre Magazine, on ‘Asphyxia’ [break]
‘What about the things left unsaid? What about the words in a foreign language (you never did tell us if you were Serbian or Croatian)? What about the dresses you packaged up – where are they going to? What about Damascus? Why were you there? What about the embroideries & do you still embroider daisies & do they still make you lonely? What about the candle? Was it a person, your child, your body? Or was it me, watching, burning with anticipation, a vigil for your fragmented story?’ Mary Paterson, on ‘Rupture’ [break]
This is a literal uprooting for Davis, who emigrated from her native Croatia before arriving in the UK in 2000, but it involves leaving pieces of herself behind. It is a gorgeous, pensive and clear image, swamped in its own space and time.’ Matt Trueman (theatre critic with The Guardian) on ‘Suspended’ [break]
‘If memories subsist through our bodies as much as through our conscious minds, what do extreme experiences teach us about how we dis-engage with what we have lost? The limits of remembering are challenged during a prolonged and precarious encounter with the remains of trauma. This cannot be an ordinary encounter, and it is certainly not a confrontation. It happens in time, and is in fact itself a movement into time from the “perpetually present (no-time) and absent (non-space) dimension” of trauma. It is a movement and a presence, and it is strongly and inevitably embodied by Natasha Davis in “Internal Terrains”.’ Dr Branislava Kuburović, academic and author, on ‘Internal Terrains’
Natasha Davis is a performance and visual artist with over 40 solo and collaborative projects in a range of media including live performance, installation, film and publication. Her work has been shown in the UK (National Theatre Studio, Tate Modern, Birmingham Rep, Rich Mix London, Barbican Plymouth, Playhouse Derry, Capstone Liverpool, Colchester Arts Centre and many others) and internationally in Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Serbia, USA, Canada, Australia, India, China, and South Africa (at venues such as Power Station of Arts Shanghai, Project Arts Centre Dublin, Point Centre for Contemporary Art Nicosia, Theatre Works Melbourne etc).
Her performance Internal Terrains heads the British Library’s online digital performance collection and is used as its banner and twitter icon. She collaborates with artists, scientists, academics and people from all walks of life, most recently with the University of Ottawa, VCA Melbourne, DDL Toronto and Science Gallery London.
Her work is featured in Traces, a public project about migrant artists significantly contributing to UK arts, alongside luminaries such as Lucien Freud, Mona Hatoum and Frank Auerbach.
Natasha’s work has been funded by Arts Council England, British Council, Tower Hamlets, Humanities Research Fund, Hosking Houses Trust, Transatlantic Fellowship and numerous commissions and residencies.
She holds a doctorate from Warwick University and delivers lectures, talks and workshops across the world, from Buffalo to Tokyo to Grenoble to New Delhi. A monograph about her work, including texts by Natasha and other artists and scholars, is available via Live Art Development Agency’s Unbound. www.natashaproductions.com