Talitha Maslin

My Ausdance WA DAIR residency was a unique experience. The glorious K2 Dance studio’s provided a stunning backdrop by the sea for me to allow my thoughts to wander and creative energy to flow. I planned to use the space to further explore the work I created in Hong Kong titled Redwood. The work considers the impact of deforestation on global ecology and the existence of species in relation to the human ability (or lack there of) to co-inhabit the world with other species as our need for resources grows. However due unforeseen circumstances I postponed this development and shifted my focus to continuing my dance/sound collaboration research with Dane Yates.

Dane and I made mammoth discoveries about our work in practice. As if using the same brain, we seamlessly moved through experimental improvisation sessions, researching the sound of a live dancer and the choreographic intent of live sound mixing. These sessions have sparked the seed for further research in how we create performance based improvisation practice as sound and dance artists, how our relationship can drive the work conceptually and discoveries of new rhythmic understanding. We presented the research at Outcome Unknown’s York Festival experimental music showcase to an enthusiastic audience and plan to take the research further in 2019.

During the second week of my residency my dear Nonna passed away. Her passing lead me to consider the choices I’ve made in my career and how they balance with other aspects of my life. It is daunting to consider that currently the sector is struggling to provide independents with the financial support they need to create, produce and perform works. The pressure I feel as an artist to be constantly seeking opportunities, writing applications, attending workshops and at the same time keeping a job to pay the bills often means I have very little down time. I can heavily doubt my ability as an artist when I look at social media and see my colleagues’ seemingly constant success and if I’m not involved in some spectacular project right at that second, I can be left feeling inadequate and irrelevant. In this moment of mortality I was reminded to think about the long game, of life as a process, and that I’m empowered to make decisions about who I work with and where I work. Staying true to my integrity and nurturing my strength as a female independent artist however that manifests is the most important thing to me at this moment and although this artistic path is not easy, I’m getting better at enjoying the ride.

Check out the video below of the performance at Outcome Unknown’s York Festival.