ARTIST STATEMENT/CV

ARTIST STATEMENT //

Over the past four years I have forged a freelance career as a socially engaged artist and theatre
facilitator, specialising in devised performance and creating theatre for social change with diverse
community groups. I have honed my practice through professional experience with companies such as Collective Encounters and The Royal Exchange Theatre; alongside training at Liverpool John Moores University and Hope Street Limited. Past experiences have enabled me to work in a wide range of contexts including adult learning centres, refugee groups and the education system.


I have a passion for theatre as a tool which can be utilised to empower participants and audiences. I believe that to bring performance into everyday spaces and away from the traditional stages of theatres, enhances accessibility for both audience and performer, whilst enabling a re-assessment of the norm. 'The Centre' for Collective Encounters Youth Theatre embodied this idea; the participant led process exploring city council funding cuts, leading to a high quality outcome of promenade performance in a community centre, transformed by their satirical performances into a surreal dystopia. Local councillors attended, the performance providing a real platform for the young people's voices to be heard.


I have a multidisciplinary approach to all projects, questioning the lines between art forms constantly. In the past I have utilised live music, film, movement and poetry; however the limitless possibilities to blur lines of genre motivate me as a theatre artist. Transforming a warehouse space into a 'performance gallery' featuring film, projection, monologues and 'performance installations' for Apply Camouflage: Disappear On the Verge festival) is one example.


This multidisciplinary approach has led to the strong influence of poetry and spoken word on recent artistic developments, which I am exploring further through the creation of a one woman spoken word performance. A collaboration with musicians and a movement director, this work in progress explores the impact of grief on identity, relationships and a sense of home, informed by academic research and personal experience. Interest in the discipline rose from hosting and curating the Liverpool Everyman Theatre Poetry and Spoken Word night A Lovely Word, through which I shared the stage with and participated in workshops led by Mike Gary, Kate Fox and Rommi Smith, all of whom continue to inspire my work. I am also interested in the ability of the spoken
word to democratise space, the potential to transform anywhere into a performance opportunity.


In short, I aim for the theatre I create to; imagine alternative worlds where ordinary spaces are transformed; empower participants to engage in and share opinions about their realities; be brave and passionate whilst forming striking imagery which imprints on the memory.

© 2017 by TAMSIN COOK