Sunday, March 9, 2008

Cilla Vee – Life Arts / Claire Elizabeth Barratt NEWSLETTER: WINTER 2008

Dear friends,
I'm a little late to bring you greetings for the new year, so I'm afraid “Happy Valentines Day” will have to suffice.

I have been based in Asheville, North Carolina for about a year now.
Originally, my goal was to bury my head in administrative duties. These ARE being accomplished steadily. However, I have become more active in the local arts scene than I had anticipated. There really is quite a thriving arts community here and it would just be silly not to be involved in it!

New Cilla Vee project:
The biggest and most recent Cilla Vee – Life Arts project is entitled “Modus Operandi”
This is in collaboration with Asheville based composer Elisa Faires (an old student of the late, great Robert Moog and a visionary of experimental arts in the Western North Carolina region)
This project is in the guise of a spoof scientific experiment. A “professor” takes specific types of words from audience members as they enter the venue. These words are then built into sentence structures from which we create in-the-moment compositions. For example, we have received such inspiring titles as:
“A Greedy, Invisible Boomerang in a Hair Salon”
“A Dusty, Dried-Blood Maroon Fruit-bat in a Jackson Pollock” and the unforgettable;
“A Slithering, Granny- Smith -Apple Green Alarm Clock on the Inside of Keith Richard's Nose”!!!
We even received a grant for such insanity – from Meet The Composer's Creative Connections award.
We performed Modus Operandi in December as part of Circle Modern Dance company's Modern Dance / Primitive Light concert in Knoxville, TN.
And also at one of Asheville's most quality arts organizations – The Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center.
This establishment is for the purpose of presenting the work of those legendary artists of the renowned Black Mountain College and also of those contemporary artists who are keeping the spirit of it alive.
Modus Operandi was part of an evening entitled “A Night Out with Bob & John”, presenting performative work reminiscent of Rauschenberg and Cage.
We shared the evening with a project by Dr. Wayne Kirby, an accomplished composer who is presently chair of the UNCA Music department. (And just happens to have a history with a certain Debbie Harry – back in the day!)
To fulfill the grant requirement, we also taught a workshop hosted by the UNCA Music department at the on-campus Lipinsky auditorium. This was attended by a refreshing mix of folks who wholeheartedly entered into creating experimental sound and movement scores. It was quite fun!

Other Performance work:
Besides my own work, I am also performing in a piece created by “Butoh Legacy” director Julie Becton-Gillum. This will be presented at the North Carolina Dance Festival at the end of February.
In this piece, I tie myself up in knots with white bandages and there is a video of hip-replacement surgery!

Steady Employment:
I have somehow found myself in the position of being an (unqualified) Art Therapist!
I'm working through an organization called Easter Seals, who pair staff members up with disabled clients. I have been paired with a very sweet, middle-aged, mentally retarded woman, whose home I go to every weekday afternoon and do art projects with her. I am frequently inspired by her ideas.

“Red Headed Stepchild” is an article I wrote about my experience of existing in the world as a performance artist! The magazine is The Improvisor, produced out of Birmingham AL by the wonderful LaDonna Smith – musician and instigator of creative occurances. click onto Articles or What's New – you'll find me in either.

Meet The Composer – Creative Connections grant awards.
You'll find a listing for the Modus Operandi project with composer Elisa Faires.
If you don't get to the link, go to the home page, click on METlife Creative Connections event calendar then click on Jan 2008 events.

And ....... drum roll.... TA DAA..... Cilla Vee – Life Arts NEW WEBSITE!!!
This website is still under construction – so nothing's set in stone yet (strange analogy to use for a digital image!) It is designed by Philip Lampe and I love the overall look of the site.