Saturday, December 31, 2011

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Vitruvian lady: Trixie Rose Photography

Looking extremely sinewy in these interesting shots by Trixie Rose Photography taken at Bella's Dia De Los Meurtos show in October.

Trixie recently started a performance related blog and gave PaperDolls a fantastic review. More photos she's taken will soon be featured alongside articles of Trixie's performative adventures.
Definitely worth the read.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Parameters of the Gothic

(photo: Lisa-Marie Johnson)

All the way back in 2009 I was invited to perform alongside artist Lisa-Marie Johnson in a piece called 'The Parameters of the Gothic'. This was my first jaunt into the realm of performance art and apart from a few experiments, I haven't had much of an opportunity to explore the discipline further as a practitioner. I've certainly read a lot about and been inspired by the ideas and visions generated by women performance artists - Amanda Coogan has been a huge inspiration to me in particular. I came across these images recently - above, the National College of Art and Design end of year show in March 2009 which took place in the since closed Light House cinema in Smithfield and below, performing in the vast Shunt Gallery, London, June 2009 as part of a MART ensemble exhibition. During the performance I got to randomly shave my head! It was art, clearly! After the performance in London, a woman approached me and said she was a scout for Eastenders and was very impressed by my performance. That was almost as bizarre as the performance itself.

Lisa-Marie says of her work at the time:

My work considers the notion of public space how we as inhabitants of our dwellings consider consumerism,it carries conditions like a human condition, a very real facilitation of a new island or state belonging, space and site has the ability to be transformed into an urban natural, in that, it can be looked at, it can be thought about and understood, it can even be traded as cultural capital, it can be experienced in all these ways and yet also realised it is residues of a homeland , my home my land .This work is to do with social change and how we evolve in an urbanised context .While also questioning a form of public art, what public are we affecting and how much and how does live art deal with this direct public response /relationship.

PaperDolls in the Sunday World, Dec 4th 2011

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Eccentric Ladies: Kill the Poor/ Spectacle of Defiance and Hope/ Leon Farrell

This was SO AWESOME! PaperDolls gals, Me, Karen and Elaine had an amazing day today, appearing as 'The Marie Antoinettes' as part of the Spectacle of Defiance and Hope protests which took place in Dublin city today:

The event was so fun, so creative, so engaging, we had so much fun. We hung out in Queen of Tarts, appropriately, taking over the place with costume and make up and talcum powder and wigs and cups of tea, before heading down to the nightclub of Arlington Hotel to put the finishing touches on our costumes. Then we made our grand appearance on the streets of Dublin to a litter of photos, photo requests and delighted stares. The music was already pouring from the floats as we prepared ourselves on Bui Bolg's Giant Scales of Injustice. I bagsied the high scale, while Karen took position opposite me and Elaine held the bow as a sinister Marie, cursing the poor and peasants who we demanded move out of our way and go have a bath cause they smelled appalling! Two great clowns John and Marie did a brilliant job of being the French pre-revolution peasantry, begging us for bits of food. We had lots of brioche and cake to tease them with and throw at the crowds, crying "Disgusting, horrible, awful, horrendous" and stuffing our faces (except for Karen who is vegan!). The kids really did not like us at all, getting all frustrated with our arrogant characters - I had moments of empathy for Marie as some people in the crowd drew fingers across their throats and made mock gestures of guillotine blades dropping.
Let them eat cake...

The first motion of the float leaving Castle Street was exhilarating - the plate swung as the float turned and made it's steady way onto Dame Street, the first punk notes of the Dead Kennedy's spilling from the speakers as I roared, face askew: "KILL THE POOR!"

On the other side, children were taking to poking Karen with sticks, but she efficiently batted them away with her lace fan. Some anonymous aggressors threw unfriendly things at us; one woman got a half-full bottle of pop hard in her face as she crossed Elaine's path. One man shouted at me: "You bitch!" Kind of racy eh? I flicked him some cake.

The best bit was swinging along the top level of double-decker buses and making eyes at the passengers. Millions of camera phones, camera eyes, cameras on sticks, sound recording devices and boom mics were thrust in our direction; more cake, more shouting, more grimacing. The camera people point into their lens repetitively, eyes going straight to screen before lifting again to shoot. Karen said one man followed her the whole way, dedicating an entire memory card of her photographic data alone, "A whole card!" He exclaimed at her, amused. We are bloody beautiful though.

More amazing here.
Photos by Leon Farrel.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

PaperDolls aerial classes, November 12th.

(photo: Malcolm McGettigan)

PaperDolls gals Emily and Elaine are teaching three more aerial classes on Saturday November 12th in the Complex, Smithfield. Concentrating on aerial hoop and silks, these classes cater for beginners and improvers.

Suitable for dancers, performers or fitness fans wishing to apply their training in a new, fun and challenging way. No previous aerial experience required although upper body strength is beneficial. Students are required to bring their own yoga mat for warm-up.

Also highly recommended is Deirdre Murphy's acrobatic yoga class. Deirdre performed her skillful adagio (acrobalance) with Aga (the Acrobandits) as part of the PaperDolls/ Dr. Sketchy's fundraiser party.

Her class is not to be missed!

Two wonderful images of Deirdre and her acro-partner Aga being amazing at the PaperDolls/ Dr. Sketchy's event previously blogged about here and here:

Photo by Ross Waldron

Photo by Susan Walsh

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

When I was a drummer...

And a brief herstory of hairstyles...

Janey Mac practice, Loop Studios, Dublin

Party Weirdo, The Hub, Dublin

Noisy Rooms, Berlin

The Joy Gallery, Dublin

Dance House, Dublin

"Back stage" of the Lower Deck, Dublin

Catalyst Arts, Belfast

Party Weirdo with XBXRX at the Hub, Dublin

Rozbrat squat, Poznan, Poland

Chapter, Cardiff, Wales

With dancer Deirdre Murphy, Dance House, Dublin

Then there was this lot: United Bible Studies

Rehearsal Studios, Berlin

One-night-girl-band 'Generic Muff'' at The Lower Deck, Dublin

Janey Mac, The Boom Boom Room, Dublin

Janey Mac, The Lower Deck, Dublin

The George, Dublin

I've posted this video before, but I do enjoy it so here it is again:

Monday, October 17, 2011

These photos are wild, like the lady: Rick Taylor's astute machine-eye and my frantic production.

I dug out my robes (hand washed by Mother) for Saturday evening's performance at Foam Café on Strand Street. This photographer is insane. I have done a whole load of work with him before, if you count him turning up to shows with the machine, plus a ton of play-modeling and spontaneous photoshoots (here, here, here).

The passion of St. Blackbird

These recent photos (all taken in the last two weeks) are wild.


And to be honest, I'm pretty proud of my work as represented by these images.
It's kind of incredible.


Material Girl

I've been loving a new act which I've performed twice in it's completed form.
I've picked up a neat trick from circus school...
Captured at Bella's Mexican Day of the Dead show.

My solo silks routine from Paperdolls which I performed at Bella's show in the Sugar Club on Friday.

Rick Taylor can be and should be contacted via his website:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Emily: A digest (and our aerial class success)

(Photo: Malcolm Mc Gettigan)

It has been a long while since I have had time enough to sit down and put together a new blog. So busy has it been, I've uploaded one photo per each brief computer opportunity until this day came and I could actually write a few words to go with them. It will be short, but better than naught.

News in brief:

I am officially a student of circus and cleft resident of UK and ROI.
After the gigantic whirlwind tornado that was Paperdolls the ABSOLUT Fringe show (overview of which will be written eventually), life raged onwards at high octane speeds, on the motorway to Belfast and straight into a new old life of being a pupil once again. The routine suits me well. I'm working my muscles to new states of tension and length; my belly is a wash board. My brain is dried up and yearning for the descent into winterly hibernation, studiousness, reflection and replenishment. Failing to resist the temptation of working myself to the point of frenzy, myself and Karen Doll jumped at the chance to be part of Broken Talkers the Blue Boy which ran as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival. My first durational performance opportunity, the role involved standing almost perfectly still on a 3 meter plinth clasping a torch behind a paper mask depicting a young boy. Karen took the majority of the performances, while I stood for two shows. The experience was something perfectly meditative. In position while the audience entered and again left, I enjoyed the secret surveillance and enclosed, static sensations of having to remain perfectly inanimate, sweating and monitoring discomforts and comforts for the hour and a half duration. We had some moments of movement to let people know we weren't dummies, and we moved our toes in the over-sized boots and slowly bent our knees in and out and our hips and dished and deep breathed so as to not go completely numb. It was cool. I emerged each night refreshed but thankful I only had two shows plus one rehearsal. The commute from Belfast to Dublin and back midweek was a durational challenge in itself. Running from training to catch bus to standing on the plinth to catch bus to arrive at 2am to get up at 8am for training at 9 to catch bus to stand on plinth and so forth. Or stopping for brief sleep in Dublin to rise at 4 or 5 to get taxi to catch bus for training in Belfast at 9. It's been intense! I love it though, of course. Heart attacks are on the rise - have you heard?

That's not the only thing that's been happening. I've had a very productive, creative time of it these past weeks. Myself and Elaine from PaperDolls hosted our first ever Dublin based aerial workshops as part of Don't Stop the Dance day of dance last weekend which were an absolute success. There were 30 students altogether. We got some great feedback and are plotting our next workshops with great excitement and glee. We ran it as a pilot class, and have been scheming all sorts of fun for future classes. Although, we expect it will be slow at first. Without a proper space (The Complex is beautiful and functional but it lacks the multiple rigging points required for classes) we will have to make do until we get our own aerial specific home. We are really bursting at the seams with ideas... the energy of success following our sell out show is flowing still. We are grasping it with both hands.

Some students relax after their aerial workout:
Participant Claire Marie sent some nice live action shots from the class. Here is me directing her in the hoop. Good job Claire!

I received some exciting packages in the post this week.
I've gone aerial mad, I really have!
My own white and black silks:
Beauteous maximus!
And a box of hefty goodness - brand new rigging gear!
"She is a lumber jack and she's OK, she works all night and she sleeps all day!"
Or... ? Huh?
One day I'll have diamond encrusted Karabineers that will double up as ghetto fabulous knuckle duster jewelery. Yes and yes.

In other news:

So I turn up on the wall of a Tattoo studio in Chicago.
Rachel Garrison, a tattoo artist in Devotion Ink Tattoo (somewhere in America... I think Chicago... I don't understand American addresses...) ordered this print from other personal favourite photographer Ross Waldron of my pose during the PaperDolls'/ Dr. Sketchy's party fundraiser which I posted about here.

Brilliant, I get beautifully framed beside a gorgeous well polished gramophone and some bats in flight. Best ever! I'm thrilled! I often wonder where my images turn up... I'd love to see more photos of me in photos on walls.

So I've been busy busy with performing too. I've had a very popular run of it to be honest - it's been FANTASTIC! I shall be glad of a little break now to concentrate on the classes and training and new ideas and music and writing and winter. I appeared two weeks in a row in my favourite new cabaret hot spot Foam Café on Strand Street in Dublin. I was happy happy happy to reconnect with photographer Rick Taylor who created a vibrant burst of photos from of my recent performances, including Bella A Go Go's Dia De Los Meurtos show. He has this new mad colourful aesthetic that I'm adoring. Especially in the Foam café environment... I would continue here but in the conservative future of my nightmares I could be persecuted for these documents. And anyway, they deserve their own blog post.