Dancing differently - moving Research
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Paula's Leverhulme residency at Newcastle University has opened us to new experiences and new contexts for thinking about moving in time and moving through time.
We resist and oppose the negative images of age that are so prevalent in the media and have found both a welcome and an invitation to share and explore what research might mean at Newcastle Uni. It is all about the quality of the listening and the quality of the conversation. It has little to do with how old anyone is apart from the clay samples!!
We spent a fabulously enriching afternoon exploring the meaning and metaphor of clay.
Via the expertise of Dr Maarten Van Hardenbroek we have found fascinating new ways and contexts to imagine and to contemplate a relationship to time. To have your imagination fired , to feel connected, included and involved in research is enlivening and endorsing. Moving together is part of our outlook and collective philosophy on living life well, it is not constrained to stereotypical views of dance and movement, We are thinkers, researchers ,connectors and movers . Age is movement through time and we are all part of this process.
So after moving in the land we spent time in the sieving lab examining the core samples from Whitrig Bog, noting the importance of thresholds , which have been so much a part of Paula's residency .The thresholds of the clay speak to us of marks in time , a certain malleability /adaptability to circumstance ,evidencing how much energy the earth has received from the sun. It is a beautiful humbling thing to consider this relationship, to sense the geological dialogue and the great expanse of time
In the lab we gently sieved clay samples, massaging the clay with a lightness of touch and a zen like focus, time passing through our hands revealing traces of pollen and insects. These tiny deposits linking us to the ancestry of the land, the memory of the land and to our deeper connected selves
the fall of windless rain,
pupil of amber.
digestion of mollusc and seed pod,
Earth pantry, bone vault,
sun bank embalmer..
Extract from Kinship - Seamus Heaney
And in the spirit of only connect we were fortunate enough to come across this wonderful meditation on clay by poet Fiona Hamilton . We are hopeful of more clay connections, conversations and clayographies