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

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