This is my first solo working residency. The importance of this residency at this season of my life, coupled with the specific work I have been focusing on for many years, is monumental.
Retreating into existence
Arteles is a creative center in Finland that hosts a special residency program every winter. The theme of this program is S.A.E (Silence. Awareness. Existence).
S.A.E offers an extreme retreat into existence through art, silence and nature during December and January—the darkest months of the Finnish winter. The program brings together creative minds who are interested and working around the theme in various fields.
On December 25th, I will turn 50 years old. This is a significant time for both celebration and contemplation as the depth and need for my work continues to increase. The opportunity to dive deeper into my work in this context will offer new information and provide a container for the further evolution of both my teaching and performance work.
I have developed Studies in Stillness over the past 20 years as a training program devoted to the investigation into the still point of the body. Utilizing space, stillness and silence as tools for reflection, we excavate dormant energy from the inner landscapes of the mind and body and transmute this energy to awaken heightened awareness of our external worlds.
Of course, I have all kinds of ideas about what I want to do and accomplish before I get there, and also realize and am preparing for everything to change, develop and become clear throughout the process.
These are the ideas I am currently working with:
--- Silence as a research tool for heightening awareness of the internal and subtle bodies, and using it to create new solo choreography
---Working with specific themes offered to me by supporters of this campaign (see rewards for details), as these will become jumping points for the work being created and shared
--- Investigating and deepening the development of a choreographic language that is taught and performed through breath rather than diction
--- Probing personal boundaries by engaging the extreme nature of the northern experience as a pathway to points of catharsis that are integral to my practice (this is a deep challenge for me—I am always cold and do not like the cold at all—it will be pushing all my buttons!)
--- Filming work in the snow, in silence, using breath as a dancer—a physical embodiment of form
--- Exploring hibernation by creating new movement meditations for Stillness Studies training
The northern experience
The northern winter promises to be an experience like no other. The sun stays lower on the horizon, leaving the days short with long blue moments and dark nights. Snow is likely to cover the ground and the landscape is very monotonous. These raw and rural surroundings create an ideal setting for personal journeys and research. I may even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights!
The extreme environment will also provide natural materials for outdoor installations. I will perform within these installations, with elements of nature woven and sewn into my costuming.
Helsinki performance + workshop
I am researching options to offer a post-residency integrative performance and workshop in a Helsinki art/design gallery, as a means of uniting inner and outer landscapes in a culturally rich urban environment.
Arteles funds half the $2,400 residency fee, but I am responsible for the other half (below). There are also other expenses:
Artist portion of residency fee = $1,200
Flights to/from Finland = $1,200
Equipment and textiles = $500
Winter clothing and supplies = $500
Post-residency Helsinki integration = $400
Groceries = $400
Travel insurance = $300
- - - - - -
Total = $4,500
Visit our website for more information regarding my work with Bad Unkl Sista.
Visit the Arteles website for more information regarding Arteles and the S.A.E program.
Thank you so much for funding this exciting project!
Sending you appreciation, warmth and inspiration,
- Sophia Emigh
- Swan Palermo
- Emily Gree
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