Thursday, 26 March 2020

An Almost Virus-Free Zone

How about this little French film from 1958 for some pleasant distraction - no dialogue and no unpleasant bugs, but just music and movement and a shy young man looking for a dance.
. . . 

CHWA annual conference It was a disappointment to us all that the Culture Health & Wellbeing Alliance annual conference was postponed, but given the circumstances, it was a very rational thing to do. I'll look forward to seeing those of you who can make it to the rearranged event in the fullness of time. You can keep abreast of the national arts and health scene by checking into the CHWA website HERE.

The Virtual Social Centre
Social Solidarity in the time of Social Distancing

A big thanks to Dr Frances Williams, (and huge congratulations to you on your PhD) for sending me this link to the extraordinary useful online resource: The Virtual Social Centre which there's a link to HERE and where which you'll find some wonderful free and imaginative resources. Superb and necessary work. 

. . . 

Here are some events and opportunities, but with a caveat that not all things will necessarily happen in a time of flux...

Arts Council Funding 
Emergency funding packageACE will offer individuals and organisations working in the cultural sector new financial support during this crisis, totalling £160 million. We’ve re-purposed all our investment strands to be able to offer this support. These emergency funding streams will be open to applications very soon. More details HERE. 

Moving With... 
...are events that promote health and wellbeing through movement. This particular event is aimed directly at arts and health practitioners, a time for us to move and explore our creativity, and take time away from our busy working lives. On April 29th, we will be exploring our voice in relation to our movement, and we will be outside at a forest school site, having time to connect with the earth, the trees, and to leave feeling rejuvenated and refreshed. In this workshop we will sink into the sounds of the landscape, discovering subtle relations between movement and voice. We will explore how the voice guides our path and connects us with our ancestors. Through this meditative and mindful journey, we will tune to nature's pulse, transforming sounds of songs and longing into a burst of spring joy. We will be moving outdoors at the Horsefield in Slaithwaite, a forest school site nestled in the Calder Valley in West Yorkshire at the edge of the Pennines. Full details are HERE.

The BBC is looking for scripts about self-isolation to be made into short films DEADLINE 30th MARCH
An exciting opportunity has come about to see your writing adapted into a short film for the BBC.

BBC Writersroom has announced Interconnected, a competition asking for original scripts about two to four characters in self-isolation, who connect via online video conferencing.

They can be related in any way the writer chooses—friends, lovers, colleagues, family or perhaps not at all—but they each find themselves self-isolating in this unique time in human history (or the near future). Full details HERE.

New NHS-funded intervention using mental health recovery storiesThe NEON intervention involves online access to recovery stories, and we are now starting trials for people with experience of psychosis, other kinds of mental health problems, and informal carers. People can find out more and sign up HERE.

OK - I've posted this twice before - but what the hell...

Mind over Matter
Discussing Mental Health Through Spoken Word, Hip-Hop & Song

A Recreational Space With Therapeutic Value

Mind Over Matter is an independent project which breaks down stigma and widens the conversation around mental health by discussing it through Spoken Word Poetry, Hip Hop, and Song. The heart and soul of Mind Over Matter is to provide people with a platform to express themselves in a safe environment. Our goal is to change the way Mental Health is understood and spoken about, while supporting the Poetry and live music scenes. Find out more HERE.

SICK Festival... 
...are offering some really very interesting new opportunities
Click HERE for details, but deadlines are tight.

Job Opportunity: Deputy Director (Maternity Cover)
Monday, February 24, 2020 - 16:45
Arts Catalyst is pleased to announce a new job opportunity of Deputy Director (Maternity Cover) which will be based in the city centre of Sheffield.
Application Deadline: 6pm, 6th April 2020
Full details HERE.  

Until the TATE closed its doors to the gallery going public, Vic McEwan's ongoing exploration of facial nerve paralysis was reaching huge numbers of people. It's frustrating that so many things have inevitably been cancelled including Sarah McEwan and Layla Bacayo's residency at the BlueRoom at Bluecoat. There were many more events planned, so it's with sadness that Vic are heading back to  Australia for a period of inevitable quarantine. A real treat for me was spending time with Vic and Sarah in the first weeks of the exhibition (luridly alluded too in previous footnotes) and spending slow time on the Biomedical Composing Machine. Much, much more on that very soon.
Bon Voyage Vic, Sarah and Holly.

. . .

And if you need eight and a half hours of sheer bliss to lull you into a state of deep relaxation, I can think of nothing better than Max Richter's Sleep. Just press play and let it wash over you. Be safe out there...Clive

. . .

(footnote #8)
On Ottergear Bridge 

Standing in splendid isolation the bladder offers up its steady arc of m√©thode traditionnelle to the gods, aimed squarely at the brook eighty feet below, catching early solar light already amplifying this new golden surreality. 

Last night, a call from London - C saying he’s been let go, his voice caught in his throat and I want to hold him. J is forced to leave a far-off country while another J fends off drowning in urban off-kilter anxiety. A planetary shift - my eyes sting.

All the while lapwings call and swoop, electrical and throaty in the air around my head. A buzzard glides effortlessly, unperturbed by the harrying and mad black flapping of the crows.

Only moments ago, fire tore through houses and blue gum trees and rain flooded hot asphalt streets, yet here, only foot and mouth and red-faced tweeds on the glorious twelfth have prohibited my footfall. 

Today crags of limestone shelter me from the breeze and in the cloughs, fat bellied sheep and cattle drink amiably under skeletal first-bud trees. Midges gather in small dense groups, gossiping as distant cathedrals of blue ice dissolve. 

Creeping ivy locks the throats of lichen-dense trees in a 
half nelson and the flying, buzzing, crawling things amass. Fledgling birds fall from the sky - seemingly lazy bees lay on their backs. Leaves turn black. Ants halt their march.

Before this doubt-blown-in-on-a-breeze swamps me, I walk further into the thicket to the brutally pollarded tree with its bare outstretched limbs. Triceratops. I stand in the mud at its base and embrace it, looking up along the warm bark that scratches my skin and into the pale blue sky. 

But the birds are singing and the bees don't sting.

Solid while the earth shifts again, grounded and alive for now, 

feeling our uncertain evolution. 

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