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  • Barbara and Henry - The Musical/Springtime for Henry (and Barbara)

Brimfield, Mel and Herbert, Gwyneth, 2014, Show, Exhibition or Event, Barbara and Henry - The Musical/Springtime for Henry (and Barbara)

Abstract or Description:

‘Springtime for Henry (and Barbara)’ is an ongoing research project, co-authored with composer Gwyneth Herbert. Through a series of performances and satellite exhibitions produced at intervals, we are developing an ambitious theatrically devised multi-screen film installation that seeks notionally to reconstruct a fictional lost musical themed around the relationship of Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore. Outcomes so far include 3 performances at Wiltons Music Hall funded by an award from the Jerwood Charitable Foundation, and an exhibition and performance as part of the Platform residency series at Site Gallery, Sheffield.

At the centre of the narrative, two archivists sift through a bafflingly inconclusive collection of dusty ephemera and performance documentation in an attempt to re-construct the disjointed whole, all the while squabbling, disagreeing and wilfully misapprehending the evidence laid before them. As isolated elements of costume, prop and backdrop emerge from packing crates, a fluctuating makeshift set is formed against which the fictional musical slowly takes shape around the pair. Partial script and score fragments are repeatedly animated by musicians, vocalists and actors, to be interpreted, re-interpreted and interpreted again in wildly divergent styles in light of an unending stream of freshly uncovered interviews with cast and audience members, critical reviews, rehearsal notes, production stills and publicity materials describing the musical. The audience are continually reminded of their role as viewers and critics of the artwork in progress before them; the piece is a self-reflexive absurdist drama that insists on its own artifice from the outset whilst at the same delivering an engrossing exploration and animation of multiple archival holdings. The result will be a sprawling exhibition with multiple simultaneous film projections and monitors, partial sets and props; the experience will be a fragmentary unfixed theatrical production performed for camera as a fluctuating non-linear epic.

Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art > W190 Fine Art not elsewhere classified
School or Centre: School of Fine Art
Copyright Holders: Mel Brimfield, Gwyneth Herbert
Funders: Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Site Gallery, Sheffield
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2017 14:15
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2017 14:15
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/2756

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