Hellebou book launch

Eleanor Clare Dillan Marsh Hellebou
On November 6th I was lucky enough to be in Bergen for the launch night of Hellebou Vol II.  It was great to see Norway again just a couple of months after the Hellebou Residency, this time in the snow! 

The launch took place in a building formerly known as Bergen Kampsportsenter (Bergen Martial Arts Centre).  It has now become a home for the fine arts - encompassing artist studios and exhibition space.  The event was held in an area that previously hosted a boxing ring - a fascinating space for performance.  The building still retains many clues to it's previous existence, from the 1920's style ceiling fan to the mirrored walls and wooden barriers that articulated the space for it's original purpose. 

The night featured spoken word performance and music.  As I entered the party, Dig Deeper were just about to entertain us, and just before I left, the seven piece country orchestra, Empty Bottles & Broken Hearts played us out...although I'm sure the revellry continued way into the night.  A recording that Empty Bottles and Broken Hearts made during their stay in the Cabin for the residency can be seen here 

This year the book was produced as a sleek black volume, which included two 7" vinyl records inserted into the front and back cover.  The recordings included an ethereal piece by Tim Tygg that slightly reminded me of traditional Japanese music, and a 6.22 minute sound piece entitled 'digging a hole OST" by Skrekker, whose mysterious image is on the cover of the book.   It seems fitting to choose vinyl as the means of recording the sound pieces when considering Ellen and Johanne's initial drive to start the residency programme.  As they say in the introduction,

'Hellebou had lost it's original function and was mainly used for storage space.  With a desire to revive and reuse the cabin, we turned it into an artist residence.'

It is, I think, the element of nostalgia which infuses the cabin, that makes the choice to produce the sound in vinyl relevant.  During my stay with Dillan Marsh, the vinyl collection left there, which spanned from the late 60's to the early 80's was what kept us company late at night, the warm fuzzy sound of the old record player filling the cabin with the music of previous generations. 

Much of the visual work produced for Hellebou, photography, performance documentation, drawing & text, reflects upon the environment of the cabin in the woods.  Each book contains a pressed plant, the work of Inger Wold Lund which verifies each publication as one out of an edition of 300.

The work Dillan and I chose for the book were two dyptichs, represented in the book as two double page spreads.  We decided that the figure within the photos should only ever be partially revealed. The aim was to indicate physical human presence and action, but not to be specific about identity or character (as in a portrait). We included an image of the tree tops in the sky, as it suggested to us the vastness of the world outside the cabin – what it was to be open to the elements. The images remain experimental, as we had not made a concrete plan of how we wanted them to look, and of course we both had our separate way of seeing things. It was a process of discovering how our individual ways of working could come together. The final stages of editing were a time to make sense of what we had done, and what we had drawn from our time in the cabin.

Hellebou Vol II is currently available through mail order by contacting hellebou@gmail.com or in Norway at Robot, Apollon, Norli Galleriet (Bergen) and in Tiger (Oslo).  The price is 120 NOK // 15 € // 12 GBP.

More about Hellebou

Hellebou - residency and collaboration

It's been just over a week since I returned from the residency with fellow artist Dillan Marsh. I'm filled with memories of a fairy tale landscape...forests of Christmas trees, a mossy carpet on the ground and hundreds of weird and wonderful toadstools.Eleanor Clare Dillan Marsh HellebouEleanor Clare Dillan Marsh Hellebou

During our time in the log cabin, we aimed to produce collaborative work that in some way reflected our experience of Hellebou.  We had been talking about working together for some time, and this seemed to be the right opportunity.  The theme that brings our work together is the notion of staging, in Dillan's case through the creation of 'a set', and in mine through 'the performer', both in some readiness for 'the show'.

FFI    dillanmarsh.com     discoco.net     hellebou.wordpress.com/

As soon as we stepped foot in the cabin, we could see the enormous potential it held for still life and staged visual set ups, using what was there.  We were already feeling inspired by the stories that the owner had been telling us while she drove us up to the woods.  These tales were the true history of the cabin, her childhood, and how her father had built it for himself many years before, interspersed with stories about nearby dwellers and of course the folklore that surrounds the area.  We were touched by the sense of nostalgia that the space evoked. 

Eleanor Clare Dillan Marsh Hellebou

From the still lives we realised that we needed to work more specifically in our individual ways.  Dillan became the documenter, and I became a part of the picture.  Three different areas became the site: the porch, the inside and the deck.  We thought about building, DIY, survival, homemaking, keeping warm and comfortable. 

So...feeling inspired by the CD of haunting music that came with 2009's Hellebou artist's book, we set about our work.  Here are a few photos that didn't make it to the final cut...those that we liked, but didn't quite work with the format of the book.  The final piece can be seen in the book, and more photos will be available on the Hellebou blog later in the year.  We are also hoping to produce work for the launch exhibition in Bergen.

Eleanor Clare Dillan Marsh Hellebou

Oh! Andy (Take Care of the Little Ones) at Rolling Stage

Eleanor Clare
Yesterday I picked up copies of photos taken at the Rolling Stage event 'Broken.'  I was interested to see them, as I had produced new work in record speed for the night, and didn't find the time to document it before-hand.

I was pleased to see that some of the images from the projection looked quite monumental - like a billboard - behind me (see the one of Marylin). 
Eleanor Clare
I have to thank the ladies who organised the night -Jude, Tilly and Annelise for this, as their stage set up was faultless.  The 'curtain' style screen allowed for acts like mine or Katapulto's to have a full scale projection behind them, and when pulled back provided a cosy proscenium for acts such as Eyes for Gertrude and Soup du Jour.  For attention to detail such as this, the entire Rolling Stage crew were a joy to work with.

Eleanor ClareOverall I felt happier with the projections, opposed to the props I had used at The Closet and the Plank.  I was able to use images of the things that were referenced within the song.  Hopefully this contributes to a clearer reading of the performance, considering how difficult it is to pick the words out of a song on first listen!                                                 
Eleanor ClareAs always, a costume change between songs involved the transformation from sunglasses, black roll neck and trousers (in the style of Andy Warhol), to a sparkly bunny mask and a white jersey tube dress hand painted with Abstract Expressionist style cherry bakewells over the bosom and a black cartoon bunny stencil in the 'lower bikini' area. You can see in the last photo that I am handing out Cherry Bakewells to the audience.  I love to phyisically give something in return for the audience's attention to me while I perform!

The video was cut to the two tracks I wrote for the performance (instrumental in collaboration with Wayne Powell): Oh! Andy and Take Care of the Little Ones'.  For the first track, I used a selection of found images, and my own photos.  I included images from the shoot with Tilly May, which were used to advertise the event.  We had great fun covering the studio in tin foil for this, in the style of 'The Factory'.  In my choice of found images, I wanted to make reference to the Scum Manifesto written by Valerie Solanas.  I felt it was relevant to include this, as the lyrics run:

I love Marilyn Monroe, I love Kylie Minogue, Andy Warhol's in control

I was thinking primarily of the links to consumerism in Warhol's work, but the coincidence with these lyrics and Solanas' quoted reason for shooting Warhol was one I could not ignore.  It is of great concern to me that feminists are often portrayed as mad, man hating, irrational women - and of course Solanas played into the hands of those that choose to believe this.  Infact Solanas was the victim of sexual abuse, and suffered mental illness.  Although shooting is  deplorable and I do not agree with it in any way, I have to ask the question: what kind of a society allows a woman who has suffered sexual abuse and mental illness to go unnoticed? And what is the potential cost of this for all?

You can watch the full video of the background projections and listen to the tracks by following this link:

Upcoming Show: Rolling Stage

Eleanor Clare Tilly May
Rolling Stage 21st May 2010.

I will be experimenting with an alternative presentation of 'Oh! Andy (Take Care of the Little Ones) at this event.


I also had great fun posing for the poster image for this event. The results, photographed and designed by Tilly May, can be seen here!

Upcoming Show: Mayfest

Ausform at Mayfest

I will be performing 'Fabulous and Monstrous' for the first time in Bristol on the 13th May 2010. Check here for tickets and details: http://www.ausform.co.uk/platform.html

More about the performance including music and video can be seen on my website: http://www.discoco.net/

It should be a magical event, overseen by a giant puppet Blue Moon.

The Closet and the Plank Launch April 6th 2010

The launch night of 'The Closet and the Plank' live art platform (http://www.kangarookourtart.com/) was a great success. The night was bustling, and we had special guests The Ladies of the Press presenting 'Exquisite Roadkill' (http://www.ladiesofthepress.org/).

I co-hosted the night with Hal Camplin, aka Barry the Badger (http://www.badgertrap.com/). I even presented a new work myself:

Oh! Andy (Take Care of the Little Ones) is an experimental performance shown for the first time at The Closet and the Plank. Referencing Andy Warhol and female icons of pop-culture, the piece reflects upon consumerism and kitsch in relation to the creation of the individual. Expect raucous electro music, cartoon costumes and cherry pie.

The images below were taken by Begonia Chamorro-Ramos.

Eleanor Clare

Eleanor Clare

Eleanor Clare

Eleanor Clare

Eleanor Clare

Visus Tactus Gustus documentation