Trans Atlantic arts collaboration takes off

Trans Atlantic arts collaboration takes off

A unique collaboration between an American artist and the University of Cumbria’s Institute of the Arts has resulted in the creation of a new piece of choreography based around the theme of exhaustion.

Sculpture and film artist Sandy Williams is a graduate of the University of Virginia at Charlottesville and spent several weeks working with the University of Cumbria’s fine art programme based at Brampton Road, Carlisle.

Sandy worked with Beth Loughran, a lecturer in dance and movement at the Brampton Road campus of the university, on a film which brought together their interests.

“As a professional dancer and emerging dance researcher, the opportunity to collaborate with visiting artists is invaluable both academically and professionally,” Beth said. “The collaboration meant I could explore my focus on identity and roots through dance and a lens of time and place, whilst being the subject of Sandy’s fifth exhaustion film.”

The film the pair produced of repeated choreography features an essence of jazz dance as well as a sense of expressionism.

“Naturally these interests and influences occur during the module work I teach here on the BA Hons dance programme, such as the jazz and contemporary technique training as well as a closer, practical examination of styles and genres,” Beth said.

And the trans-Atlantic collaboration is set to continue.

"This is an excellent example of live research taking place at the Institute of the Arts and this initiative underscores the value and the contribution to the research environment and to the atmosphere of creativity at Brampton Road,” Robert Williams, professor in fine art, said. ”Sandy is now at home in Virginia and will be participating in the workshops at the famous Mildred’s Lane Project in Pennsylvania over the summer period. He and myself will meet again for the 20th anniversary event for my project at Mildred’s Lane, commonly known is the Alchemist’s Shack, or Opus Magnum: Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum.”