Since the beginning of the year I have been busy with two major projects. The first has been writing and preparing a long poem for performance in a glittering subterranean grotto in central Bristol. The other has been fielding questions from puzzled Bristolians who had no idea there was a cave full of crystals under their feet. It’s a secret and I’m very excited to be sharing it.
This September, you can join me amongst Bristol’s dirt and second best diamonds. Over twelve short performances, I will be guiding six guests at a time into the extraordinary underworld of Goldney Grotto, an 18th-century, Grade-1 listed cave blistered with crystals taken from the Avon Gorge and coral collected from slavers’ ports. It is one of Bristol’s finest – and darkest – hidden treasures.
The grotto is only very rarely open to the public so come along for the crystals alone. But maybe stay to explore the underworld, play cards with the poet, trade voices and dig up a murder mystery, a disastrous meeting, a comedy, a spiralling inferno.
Commissioned by Bristol Biennial, MINE. has been written and developed with support the Jerwood Charitable Foundation and Arvon, and I am especially grateful to my very wise and very wonderful mentor Clare Pollard who has edited the manuscript and tackled the difficulties of performing both on the move and underground. And at twilight. With a bag of rocks. In a hole. With a lion.
I must also give thanks to the University of Bristol who have allowed me to perform in the space and undertake multiple site visits as I continue my hunt for the rare Oxheart clam that researchers with keener eyes have spotted amongst the raucous stucco of over two hundred species of shell.
Finally, in terrifyingly exciting news, MINE. will also be available as a limited edition pamphlet printed by City Edition Studio with support from Spike Island and Arts Council England in September 2014. More information on this very shortly.
In the meantime, let’s all dash wild-eyed at this Facebook page and if you think you’d like to journey into the grotto with me this September click here to book tickets!
September 16th, 17th and 18th 2014
Performances: 5pm, 6pm, 7pm, 8pm
Running time: 45 minutes
Tickets: £5 / £4 Early Birds at 5pm
Location: Goldney Hall, Lower Clifton Hill, Bristol, City of Bristol BS8 1BH
Suitable footwear recommended.
Bristol Biennial is an international artist-led festival that celebrates exciting and engaging projects by talented emerging artists. In 2014, the festival takes ‘Crossing the Line’ as its theme, exploring artistic boundaries and encouraging collaboration across the city. Bristol Biennial 2014 is supported by Arts Council England. See here for the full programme.