​Arts & Culture

Published: June 15, 2022 | Updated: June 16, 2022

Dorset is coming to life creatively says Jason Ward in his monthly arts and culture column

By Andrew Diprose, editor

Our area is really coming to life creatively this month, writes Jason Ward.

Creativity is showing up in unusual spaces; PDSW presented dance pieces in a loading bay and BEAF will be bringing Julius Caesar to the Sovereign Centre car park in Boscombe.

We look forward to opera, crime writing, Shakespeare and Chris Ramsey this month – which I think is an eclectic enough selection for anyone!

And if you want to understand how creativity can benefit you then check out Artistic Director Lorna Rees’ Six Degrees of Inspiration.

In creating atmosphere we look at how creative thinking will help us to move past iteration into innovation.

What to keep an eye on this month.

2nd & 3rd July: Julius Caesar, Shakespeare’s epic tragedy, is presented by Globe Theatre and BEAF at The Sovereign Centre car park, Boscombe, in a startling new take. Tickets available here.

23rd – 25th June: Crime and thriller fiction fans will love Lyme Crime, a three day festival celebrating the best of the genres. Featuring the UK’s leading crime authors, lawyers and forensic scientists plus readings from new and established writers in Noir at the Bar. marinetheatre.com

25th June – Opera’s Heroines: A dramatic evening of opera at Dorchester Arts features some of opera’s greatest heroines plus the one act Puccini opera ‘Sister Angelica’. dorchesterarts.org.uk

22nd June: Comedy superstar Chris Ramsey, pictured, is at Lighthouse, Poole, with a few tickets still available for this 5 star rated show. lighthousepoole.co.uk

Review: Out Of This World – Pavilion Dance South West. 

Piocture: Camilla Greenwell.

This innovative event brought dance out into the middle of Bournemouth’s Friday night crowd. Gobbledegook Theatre’s Geophonic led us through various locations to a loading bay off Avenue Lane where PDSW’s own Co-Evo group offered a fascinating narrated dance piece. We then put on our headsets and were immersed into the world of Future Cargo by The Place. An intergalactic story of a lost delivery driver and aliens discovering the minutiae of human life – all performed in and on the back of an articulated lorry. This was a truly incredible experience with continual movement, a deep electronic score interspersed with descriptions of alien contact and the most perfectly judged physicality. It is also very positive to see a commercial landlord opening up a space for creativity.

Lorna Rees, Artistic Director, Gobbledegook Theatre.

Gobbledegook Theatre is a multidisciplinary arts practice. Gobbledegook’s live performance, sound and installation work is frequently inspired by earth sciences and heritage -almost always taking place outdoors. Gobbledegook are arts education specialists, and have a long track record of delivering original arts workshops and residencies.

What inspires your best creative ideas? 

Gobbledegook Theatre makes live performance work primarily about Earth Sciences. I’m hugely inspired by our incredible geology and landscape here in Dorset. Much of our county is incredibly beautiful and I’m lucky enough to collaborate with exceptional scientists, landscape partners and arts organisations to create work inspired by where I live. We make that work locally for the outdoors, and then take it out nationally and internationally.

Why are arts and culture important to everyone?

That’s a huge question! Culture is about who we are, what we do and how we live. It is in every aspect of our lives. Our culture forms our future and art is a huge part of visioning that for us – showing us how we can live brilliantly, or think differently or treat others with empathy. I also think art and culture has a huge role to play in getting people to think about the climate emergency and how we need to change our ways of living – especially our politics.

What advice would you give to a business to help them become more creative?

Don’t think of creativity as something you do once a week. You have to keep practising it. Creativity doesn’t need to be compartmentalised, but you can spend time thinking differently, letting your mind wander, and collaborating with others to find solutions to things together. We have a show all about cloud-gazing called Cloudscapes, and it encourages you to lay down and let your mind drift. It’s a really good exercise for creativity.

Who is your creative hero?

There are so, so many! I often consider friends, collaborators and colleagues to be my creative heroes – we inspire each other. I do however work really closely with the absolutely brilliant Earth Scientist Dr Anjana Khatwa, who is an exceptionally creative person as well as being a scientist. She has inspired SO much of my work, and so she’s also an absolute creative hero to me. In terms of people I don’t know, I particularly love the work of Joan Littlewood, who was radical and uncompromising and hugely creative. And then, of course, Lizzo.

What piece of creative work are you most proud of?

That’s such a hard question to answer. It’s like asking which one of my children is my favourite! The first big touring show I directed was Ear Trumpet, a piece which is inspired by The Bincombe Bumps which are a series of six Bronze Age burial mounds near Weymouth which are said to emit fairy music at midday. To hear the subterranean music, my character (Dr Stella Barrows) has created an entirely new branch of science called sonicgeology which requires you to use ear trumpets fashioned from old gramophone horns, tubas and other assorted brass instruments to literally listen to the earth. We’ve performed the piece from Morecambe Bay to Hadrian’s Wall to Seoul. We were performing in Coventry for the City of Culture last month and I worked out that we’ve been touring the piece for eight years now, but we change the work in each location. It’s really exciting to make something site specific for the history and heritage of each place we play. I also love performing in it with a wonderful team of collaborators (onstage and off) who make the piece happen.

 What are you working on right now?

We continue to tour our existing work (Ear Trumpet, Cloudscapes and Geophonic) and I’m developing a new piece called Canopy which is inspired by forests and tree bathing. I’m creating 20-24 four poster beds which are bespoke audio environments for woodland and forests. I think it’ll be beautiful.

We all want to deliver new, exciting experiences for our customers. It can be difficult to think past our current success which is why we end up with iteration rather than innovation.

Iteration is simply doing the same things better, whereas Innovation is doing new things that create new value.

For example, you could argue that the original iphone was the innovation that required new levels of creativity but every model since is an iteration.

But how do we get this creative innovation into our companies?

We need to actively establish creative innovation as our business mindset, we need to ask different questions and we need to work at seeing what others do not.

As Lorna Rees advises in this week’s column “Don’t think of creativity as something you do once a week. You have to keep practising at it” Innovation is like any other business success – the result of hard work and focus!

Looking forward to the next Arts and Culture Matters column – enjoy a creative month!

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Business Contact; jasonwardcreative@gmail.com

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@jasonwardcreative