Saturday, March 26, 2016


Cilla Vee Life Arts
APRIL 2016
Plus GoFundMe campaign - Art Skool in Berlin!

Dear friends,

Yes – it’s that time of year again! … April is my birthday month, so I have chosen it for fundraiser time.
For those not familiar, this is how the $1 goes …

As there are hundreds of lovely people from all over the world on the Cilla Vee Life Arts mailing list, the theory is that if everyone donates just ONE DOLLAR, then it’s nothing from each individual’s pocket – yet a fantastic fundraiser for CVLA!

All you need to do is …
1. Put a $1 bill in an envelope (a little personal note to sat “hi” would also be so nice!)
2. Mail it to:
Cilla Vee Life Arts one-dollar fundraiser
Claire Elizabeth Barratt
65 Coleman Ave,
Asheville NC 28801

For any wonderful, kind, generous souls who wish to donate $5 or more, it would be safer to mail a cheque – please make it out to Claire E Barratt.
You can also go to the CVLA website and click on the donate button there.
Click on this link for CVLA homepage:

I am also running a GoFundMe campaign - “Art Skool in Berlin!” to raise travel and accommodation expenses for my MFA GRADUATION with the Transart Institute in Berlin this summer.
Click on this link for more information:


I am currently finding a way to incorporate all Cilla Vee Life Arts projects into my MFA thesis project! This is achieved through the RAW-(Material) project.
The RAW-(Material) project explores how the raw materials of the self & of nature & the environment can be used as mediums with which to create art.
Click here for a fun example of this with Hay Bales in the Nottinghamshire countryside:

April 23rd – CVLA presents RAW-(Material): Earthday at Interlude Asheville.

Interlude is a whole series of events & happenings taking place around downtown Asheville NC during the month of April. It is produced by Black Mountain College Museum + Art Center, in collaboration with MAP (Media Arts Project)
Click here for the Interlude website:

RAW-(Material): Earthday is a durational performance installation from 12 noon til 12 midnight. Nature’s springtime will be gathered from the Western North Carolina mountains & arranged to create a living environment at Henco Gallery – where performers will respond & interact with movement, sound & word.
Click here for more information about this event:

May 14th & 15thRAW-(Material) (Final MFA Project) at Weaverville Yoga.

Weaverville Yoga studio (where I teach Ballet) will generously be hosting my final MFA project presentation in May. The weekend will include a dance & music performance, a movement workshop, a video screening and a multi-media art installation.
Click on this link or the Weaverville Yoga website:

Circle Modern Dance    

CMD in Knoxville TN is a company I was part of founding & directing when I first moved to the USA in the early 90s. It is still going strong & currently celebrating its 25th Anniversary year! As part of the anniversary celebrations, the founders are being invited back as guest artists. In December I performed in their annual winter production Modern Dance Primitive Light & earlier in March this year I spent a weekend with the company teaching “Living Art” workshops and creating a structure on which they will develop a performance piece.
The core company members will present the final piece for their big fundraiser on May 19th.
Click here for the CMD website:
Click here to see one of the solo RAW-(Material) pieces from the MDPL show:

workshop with Circle Modern Dance

Deal Island – John Cage Memorial Park residency

This February was spent in blissful solitude on Deal Island – Maryland’s Eastern Shore. I had a month-long residency at the John Cage Memorial Park in Chance MD – which is owned by the fabulous Gladdens – Tara & David, who both work at Salisbury University and are greatly instrumental in creating a contemporary avant garde art & performance scene in their community.
There, I continued to work on the RAW-(Material) project in response to the Chesapeake Bay environment in mid-winter.


I also had the opportunity to collaborate with Tara & David in a multi-media performance at their album (yes vinyl!) release party “Transmissions”.

For this performance, I was able to use some studio studies I had been exploring on the subject of Hands.
Click on this link to see these studio Hand meditations:

And click on this link for an example of how they were used via live-feed video in performance:


me (up on stage) with Audrey Chen, I'd m Theftable, Christos Koulendros, Michael Peters

Oh what would we do without XFEST?
This creative chaos of a festival has been going for eight years now! Walter Wright of Gallery 119 started the festival in Lowell MA in rebellion against the local annual folk festival. For the past three years, Holyoke MA has hosted XFEST.
Every year in the brutal New England winter, a multitude (2016 saw 80) of musicians, dancers and video projection artists invade the place and perform a series of improvised collaborations – you just never know what’s going to happen … especially with the crazy characters involved! FUN!

Happy Appalachian Spring from Asheville!


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Mid-Winter Catch-Up

HAPPY 2016!

This Newsletter serves as a personal catch-up session with my friends & family - rather than my more formal Cilla Vee Life Arts letter to my whole mailing list ......

I am about to begin my final semester as an MFA candidate with the TRANSART INSTITUTE.
During this time, I must not only complete & present my artistic project to the public - but also to write a project thesis defending its validity in the world!

My project addresses the concept of the Self as a "raw material" with which to create.
The performer uses the Self as medium / Self as instrument for the art of performance.
Therefore - my project is appropriately entitled "RAW-(Material)".

I have been creating it in the form of a journal - with text, video, image & sound pieces documenting my artistic practice-as-research into explorations of the raw materials of the Self .... as well as interactions with the raw materials in the environment around me.

This involves various forays into nature ... falling around in wheatfields, picking apples in ancient orchards, perching precariously on the sides of mountains etc ... ! 

As well as creating a video piece with my nature material interactions, I then take the gestures that evolve from those interactions back into the studio & develop them as choreographic motifs that can be used in live performance.

Here are some examples:



In the wheatfield, my instinct was to fall into it ... it seemed to be inviting me!
Once in the studio, I took these same falling actions & then developed them further - until it became an almost violent act of throwing myself onto the floor!
With the autumn leaves, I saw them spinning as they fell off the trees & onto the ground. I wanted to imitate this action with the camera & it became a dance - spinning & swirling with the camera to capture the dance of the leaves.
On taking this into the studio I applied these motions to my whole body.

Here's another pair ... 



I am spending time in different places during each season.
Summer in Berlin, Nottinghamshire UK at harvest time, Southern Appalachia USA in the autumn ....
Next I go to the Chesapeake's Deal Island for the dead of winter!
Here I have a month-long residency/retreat at the John Cage Memorial Park in Chance MD ... it's quiet & remote. I'm looking forward to wintery sunsets overlooking the bay.

I am currently running a fundraising campaign entitled "BOOKS GEAR & TRAVEL" - which is quite self-explanatory! 
THANK YOU so much to those who have already contributed ..... this letter serves to inform you a bit as to what your donations are going towards. 
If you would like to know more - HERE IS THE LINK: 

Thank you for spending the time to read this & catch up with me.
Please do get in touch & keep me posted on YOU!

Look forward to hearing from you.
Warmest wishes for cold winter days (unless you're near the equator or "down under"- in which case - Happy sunshine!)



Friday, September 4, 2015


Dear friends,

"What's this?" I hear you say ... "Am I in the right place?" ... "I thought I was opening a Cilla Vee Life Arts Newsletter - you know, the one with all the crazy performance-art stuff with the costumes & the installations & the dancing & the music .... But all I see here is a bunch of nature specimens!"


Yes ... you are in the right place - this is the Cilla Vee Life Arts AUTUMN Newsletter.


 "And a pastorale landscape?"

Yes - from the Nottinghamshire countryside in England ... home of Robin Hood, you know!



"Well ... I'm not sure about all this ..... where's the glitz & the glamour? the drama? the smell of the grease-paint - the roar of the crowd ... etc ?"

Um ... I can show you pictures of my hand picking apples & blackberries ...

Some pretty wild flowers ... 

Okay, okay ... I will attempt to explain ........

 To re-cap ... I am currently an MFA candidate with the wonderful organization the Transart Institute 
- an international arts program who award  MFA & PhD certificates accredited by Plymouth Uni in the UK.

Students design their own individual course of study & are assigned a Studio Advisor & a Research Advisor to guide them through their process. 
It's a low-residency program - so throughout the semester students are based all over the world, then come together for intensive residencies - WINTER in NYC & SUMMER in BERLIN .... 
The Berlin residency is at Uferstudios ... an old bus repair depot that has been converted into huge, spacious studios ... 

Soooo ... 
My MFA project is entitled "The Process and Praxis of Constructing the Self As Medium" - it is based on the concept of approaching & understanding the "Self" as the medium for performance, in the same way as the sculptor who uses clay learns the properties & qualities & varieties inherent in that medium & then develops the skills to utilize those qualities to achieve their unique artistic vision.

Last year, my practice & research took the form of developing a pedagogical method for preparing the "Self" (body & psyche) as a medium for performance.
This took the form of a series of workshops & culminated in a website "The Performance Anxiety Workshop Experiment" :

THIS YEAR my process will be very different ...
Last year was all about working with lots of wonderful people who volunteered to be my "guinea-pig" students - it was all about wildly experimenting together in synergy, throwing ideas out there, receiving feedback etc - a very social, collaborative, outwardly focused process.
This year, I feel the need to be more "selfish" with the work ... to internalize & explore in solitude. Taking all the amazing results of last years workshops, I want to now "become my own student" as it were - study my own method, go deeper.

My Enquiry is: What constitutes the Self-As-Medium for art and how does the Self transform for and via the process and praxis of performance?

I have two wonderful & amazing advisors:
My Studio Advisor is LINDA MONTANO:
My Research Advisor is LAURA GONZALEZ:
I couldn't be happier than to have these two incredible women to guide me through.

"But you still haven't explained what's with all the nature stuff!"

Ah yes ...

... you see, my whole strategy here is to strip down to the RAW MATERIAL - in fact, that is the title I'm giving to the series of studies evolving from this process ... 
"RAW - (Material)"

These studies are taking the form of a journal ... a daily journal that consists of text, images, videos, sketches & collected objects ... the raw material of the self - where the practices of art & life fuse into one. The art is in the representation of the discoveries made by the self - the communication of the self in communion with environment, with philosophies, with material, with spirit, with self.

So far ...

0 Raw - (Material) #0: Ground Zero
A performance at Somos Gallery, Berlin - in which I (with help from some charming assistants) really stripped down to nothing ... literally - including my hair.
A symbolic gesture of my intentions going forward. 
Camera (video documentation) by Margaret Hart
(Video piece - as yet unedited)

Images: removed hair & result to head!


1 Raw - (Material) #1: Sand
A video piece shot on a sandy beach in Berlin (yes - they do have sandy beaches in Berlin!)
Skin interacting with warm sand.
Camera by Stephanie Reid
(Video piece - as yet unedited)

Images: hand in sand & proof of sandy beach in Berlin (the Muggelsee)

2 Raw - (Material) #2: Wheat
A video piece shot in a wheat field in Nottinghamshire.
Repeated falling into ripe golden wheat.
Camera by Ana MacArthur
(Video piece - as yet unedited)

Image: wheat 


"Hmmmmm ... aaah ... I seeee - very very interesting. I am extremely curious to see how this all transpires"

... at least, that's what I hope you are saying by now!

BUT ... before you go

I am running a new GO FUND ME fundraising campaign for all the various books, gear & travel expenses that the project will incur.
You can click on this link to view the campaign at no obligation to donate ... if you decide to do so, just follow the directions on the site:

 Many many thanks for reading ..... & I promise there will be more crazy Cilla Vee Life Arts performance activity again in the future!

Very best wishes,


All photos by CEB

Saturday, December 20, 2014


Dear Friends,

Greetings & seasonal salutations to all!

This letter serves to update you on all the happenings of the past year & announce new endeavors.

Transart Institute – MFA 

You may recall that I am a student again!
I have just completed my first semester with the Transart Institute low-residency MFA program.
During the summer I attended the TI Summer Residency at Uferstudios in Berlin. This intensive three-week program consisted of morning til night lectures, workshops, presentations, gallery exhibitions & other special events – quite a whirlwind!
Highlights of the residency for me were to study with performance art legend Linda Montano & also to present a solo movement installation “Creeper” as part of a TI student exhibition at Somos Gallery in the up-and-coming neighborhood of Neukolin.

My MFA project is to create a method for teaching Performance Art – the thesis title is: “The Process and Praxis of Constructing the Self as Medium” (a practical pedagogy for the practice of performance art) 
So I have been trying out my methods on some willing “guinea-pig” students here in Asheville – heartfelt “thank-yous” to Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre & to the Asheville Butoh collective.

Next on the horizon is the TI Winter Residency at The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts in New York City this January.
For more information about the Transart Institute, visit:

"Creeper" at Somos Gallery
"Creeper" at Somos Gallery

The MTA 

A lot has been happening this year at The Mission For Temporal Art in lil’ ole Marshall NC.
The most significant exhibition this year was the Luminous Surface show – an installation of over twenty audio-visual works by artists from up & down the continental North American East coast. This opened on the Summer Solstice weekend with an all night Ambient Solstice music event followed the next day by an eclectic Acoustic Solstice mix of music, poetry & dance.

an odd panorama at the MTA

This season we have hosted many regional artists: an Autumn Equinox installation & performance ritual by Lynn Nesseth, sound installations by Richard Brewster & Mary Zogzas, a recording session with Tashi Dorji, a recording residency & concert with Meg Mulhearn & Elisa Faires, an all-night Halloween film festival curated by Mark Hosler &  interactive maze drawings by Morgan Santander.
Please see our blog for all events:

HawkEye the kitty
The Mission For Temporal Art

And … 

Other noteworthy events since the summer include:

Salisbury MD
My partner, David Linton, & I were invited to Salisbury MD on the Delmarva Peninsula in September. Our good friends & fellow artists David & Tara Gladden are both faculty at Salisbury University, which runs two galleries in the downtown arts district. Through a community grant, we were recruited as guest artists – I taught a Motion Sculpture movement workshop that culminated in a public intervention performance for the Third Friday downtown art walk - “Attack of the Killer Stripey Tubes!”  David & I also performed an audio-visual collaboration later that evening.
The Gladdens are greatly instrumental in creating a very cool & interesting art scene there.
For more information on our Salisbury events:

"Attack of the Killer Stripey Tubes!"

Stripey Tubes on the loose!
in the streets of Salisbury

This Japanese word summarizing the concept “things are not what they seem” was the title for Legacy Butoh / Anemone Dance Theater’s Art In The Park event in October. Sponsored by the Asheville Area Arts Council & the Black Mountain College Museum + Art Center, the event utilized one of Asheville’s historic neighborhood parks, Grove Park, by presenting three Butoh Dance pieces, each in a different area of the park.
My role was that of the MC. To lead the audience through the event, I embodied the playful character of Uwabe.


with musical assistant wabi-sabi

Two performances in New York during the first week of December. 

Opaque Body 
David & I performed our audio-visual performance collaboration at The Outpost Artist Resources as part of his “distENDed cinema” series. This event was entitled “The Opaque Body” & included seven audio-visual artists who were invited to present work on this theme.
For more information, here is the Facebook link: 
& here is the video link for our performance:

from "Opaque Body"

I was also part of a multi-media collaboration presented at Phil Niblock’s Experimental Intermedia. The piece was entitled “Nocrem” & originated as a music score by Al Margolis. Last February at X-Fest in MA, Al - together with video artist Katherine Liberovskaya, movement artist Joe Burgio & myself – performed an improvisation together using some of this score. The result was successful enough to cause us to want to develop the collaboration into a piece, so this event was a great opportunity for us to do that.
Here is a segment of the piece: 

Coming Up 

This winter I will continue in my academic endeavors.
The Transart Institute Winter Residency is January 12 – 16 in NYC.
I will also be spending January & February beginning my research paper in an artist retreat at Chance House / John Cage Memorial Park, Deal Island, MD. This is an artist residency founded by David & Tara Gladden.
I’m very much looking forward to being able to work in peace & quiet with no distractions! I also plan to use this valuable opportunity to reconnect with my vocal & cello practice.
For more information about the John Cage Memorial Park, visit: 
And Chance House:

John Cage Memorial Park
Chance House


Deal Island


I am currently fundraising to cover expenses associated with the three up-coming 2015 residencies:
Transart Institute Winter Residency, NYC
Chance House / John Cage Memorial Park retreat/residency, MD
Transart Institute Summer Residency, Berlin 

Please visit my fundraiser at GoFundMe:

Thank you so much & warm wishes to you through the cold winter.