Back in 2015, I took 30+ students to Barcelona. Student field trips are exhausting and stressful for all the reasons you might well predict, but they’re also a huge amount of fun and invaluable experiences. This photograph of Girona – which we visited for a few hours after our visit to the Salvador Dali museum – reminds me of the gentle sunshine of that day, of the sneaky lagers we quaffed together before getting back on the bus, and of the very real privilege of working with young creative people.
A last few soundsuit-inspired scraps, courtesy of the artist Nick Cave and The Kick-About No.64.
Inspired by the soundsuits of the artist Nick Cave, and produced for The Kick-About No.64, a few more photographs with a dancing ‘glove puppet’ as their subject.
Really not sure from when or where these photographs date, but likely from mid-2000 or thereabouts. Who doesn’t love physalis, with those perfect paper lanterns and pop of orange. I was obviously drawn to taking these images on a day when the sun was lighting them very pleasingly.
Produced in response to the dancing soundsuits of the artist Nick Cave – our inspiration for The Kick-About No.64 – another set of images, the subject of which is, perhaps improbably, an ad-hoc dancing glove puppet…
When it comes to meeting the fortnightly creative challenge of The Kick-About, needs must, and so it was I fabricated my own much down-sized ‘soundsuit’ from a single yellow glove, wooden buttons, glass eye pieces and strands of colourful wool. I was drawn to some of the goofier, ‘Jim Henson-esque’ elements of some of Nick Cave’s soundsuits (the prompt for our latest Kick-About) – hence the Muppet-y character of my resulting hand-puppet. Turns out, however, even the goofiest glove puppet can throw some shapes on the dancefloor!
If our last Kick-About together was characterised by muted tones and pensive atmospheres, this latest showcase of new works made in a short time is a celebration of colour, movement, costume and dynamism – and how could it not be, inspired as we have been by the artist Nick Cave and his sumptuous soundsuits? In other news, a warm welcome to artist and animator, Claire-Beth Gibson, who joins us this week for her inaugural run-about.
“The sound suit with the spinning tops made me think of the clackety-clackety noise of the whirly spinner I had as a kid. It smelled of old metal and played a strange song. Starting out with so much enthusiasm, it would spin gloriously for a short while and then gradually teeter more and more as it slowed down, before a final wobble into its death fall, spinning on its side and rolling away. Of course, I wanted it to spin the first high energy part longer than it did. Sometimes I would just keep it in my hands, continuously whirring it, keeping that bit alive for as long as I could. This little animation is some of that moment.”
“I knew that I wanted to make a film, I wanted it to be loud, aggressive and primal and I wanted to use some sort of fabric or elements that could make up the intricate soundsuits of Nick Cave’s creations. I decided to chuck a bag of shiny sequins of various shapes into a large wok and film it! Bringing down the shutter speed of my camera and aperture while defocusing so that the tacky butterflies, hearts and stars become nothing but dancing spherical orbs lit ablaze with a tiny but powerful led light. It was one of those moments where everything fell into place so nicely. The edit was a dream and thoroughly enjoyable.”
“There is something really satisfying about Autumn after such a great summer, so much so I’ve been reluctant to cut back the fading twisting Crocosmia (Lucifer) and towering Buddleja – until now that is!! Flamboyant Soundsuits triggered celebrating the summer die-back so, headfirst into weaving I went with sock yarn, a cardboard frame, secateurs and the garden table in glorious sunshine, and two pleasurable days passed.”
“I watched a lot on Youtube of the videos made of Nick Cave’s work and was totally drawn into them. His whirling Dervishes of colourful movement reminded me of my view that is a constant in my life. Beyond my windows, I look out onto the city of Bristol masked by this sea of greenery. This last few days those trees and plants have been whisked into whirling dervishes by the wind. I became intrigued by the differences of each tree or plant. They are all rooted to the spot yet the rhythms of their movement are changed by their shape and weight. Here are three small videos with their own unique surrounding music due to wind or traffic. More study needed to grasp another way of learning from them to use in my work.”
“I intended this to be a “Barbie/Cindy-lolly” but the felt tip doesn’t show enough on the lolly bit so I’ve given her the chance to be the first girl to enter space single handed!.. Enjoyed playing with all the £1 shop had to offer and go wild with colour… what more could I ask?”
“Costumes, dancing, drums – what’s not to love about Nick Cave’s sound suits? The freedom of self-expression that comes with anonymity is powerful and liberating. and I had great fun with this Kick-About. As you may have guessed, the costume is mostly crochet and mostly formed by recycling elements of earlier KAs. I hope these images will bring a smile to your lips, even as you shake your head in bewilderment!”
“I hope we will dream together”
“In 2014, at the very beginning of blogging, I did a post with a dancer in my interpretation of one of Nick Cave’s soundsuits. I always wanted to do more of them, so I was glad to see this prompt. The original one is the star dancer. I hoped to do three new ones, but only managed two. The flower dancer was the first one I did: it’s small, about the same size as the star dancer. Then I decided to work on a large one – a cosmic dancer. It was a challenge to get the look I wanted. I tried a lot of different papers for the circles, but finally found origami paper came closest to what I was imagining. The background of stars was always a given. Perhaps I’ll get to one of those toy dancers in the future…”
who am I?
who can I become?
side and in–
full, entire, complete
“I am not sure when I am likely to use or wear a soundsuit so I decided to make something which is more on the decorative side. Nick Cave uses recycled objects to make his suits – well, my stylised flowers are made from a bag of old ties given to me by a friend, some twisty wire and an old glass bottle. The flowers tend to sway gently when there is a slight breeze and I was intending to add some old buttons strung together to make a jangling noise. However, they were just too heavy and didn’t look right, so I decided to go for plan B, and used some old dangly earrings instead.”
“Needs must and all that, so I fabricated my own much down-sized ‘soundsuit’ from a single yellow glove, wooden buttons, glass eye pieces and strands of colourful wool. I was drawn to some of the goofier, ‘Jim Henson-esque’ elements of some of Cave’s soundsuits – hence the Muppet-y character of my resulting hand-puppet. Turns out, however, even the goofiest glove puppet can throw some shapes on the dancefloor!”
“You have to love Nick Cave’s vibrant animated costumes that make you want to join in. Dance, along with singing and art tends to be a lost activity as you get older. I remember wonderful all-nighters at Sydney Mardi Gras parties vividly. This is my attempt to put down some of the movement. I should have made an animation or danced around – avoiding the computer and put down marks by hand, but the attached, with variation, came out from the computer.”
With a small nod to the current season, a mildly spooksome prompt for our next creative run-about: the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, which, with more than 3.5 million visitors annually, is the most visited necropolis in the world…
It’s all true; a photograph taken back in the late Autumn of 2019, when the pomegranate tree in our garden flowered profusely and fruited too, and while the resulting ‘gemstones’ weren’t super-sweet, we did sprinkle them on a salad or two!
This photograph was taken just minutes before we opened our garden to the public as part of last year’s National Garden Scheme shindig; the view here is of our little patch of seating space outside the kitchen, not usually as packed out with plants as this, but not far off.