Images: Ian Hinchliffe. Sweet. Live Performance at Leeds Arts University. 2017.
Sweet (2017), is a collaborative piece with cyr wheel artist, Micky Bimble. It takes place on a black surface with a central white square composed of sugar. The performer rotates around the square on the cyr wheel, before going straight through it, picking up sugar on the underside of the wheel, then depositing it in curvature shapes. This continues until a huge drawing is created, organically formed by the performer and cyr wheels movement in space. This piece has evolved over a period of two years, starting out with the cyr wheel as mark maker. Initially explored using paint, this approach was soon discovered to be next to impossible. We had to rethink, a material with a less slippery surface was required for the wheel to maintain grip. Sugar, dry yet with a sticky texture proved perfect for all the elements needed. I researched the history of sugar and learned about its connection to the slave trade, which gave me a point of focus for the narrative. Using the slave trade as an undercurrent for the choreography, direction and physical forms, use of restraints, ideas of creation and deconstruction, closing in to a circle, were depicted via symbolism.
This piece has been displayed to a live audience, seated in the round on handmade benches, taking inspiration from traditional circus seating, providing an homage to the roots of circus.
Sweet as a live performance set with musical accompaniment clearly incorporates visual art and circus and as such can be performed in a variety of arenas, both indoor and outdoor, circuses, theatres and gallery spaces. The audience are seated within close proximity to the happening, experiencing the performance in an intimate, immersive setting.