Choreographed Vessel

Mirka Golden Hann, Carrie Madgwick & Mark Bishop

‘Choreographed Vessel’

In 2012 I curated an exhibition for Black Swan Arts entitled SHIFT which looked at the shift in approaches to ‘craft’ and its relationship to contemporary fine art practice. One of the works in the show was a collaborative work between artist Mirka Golden Hann, choreographer Carrie Madgwick and film maker Mark Bishop. The work ‘Choreographed Vessel’ was a physical handmade vessel onto which was projected a choreographed dance.

The work can be seen as ekphrastic in that the dancers are choreographed in response to a visual design on a Grecian vessel, furthermore the artist has responded to both the dance and the original vessel to produce another combined work of art.

I do not believe that the artist was aware of one of the most famous examples of ekphrasis, Keats’ ‘Ode to a Grecian Urn’ and I wasn’t at the time of the show.

This piece was conceived for the Relay exhibition at Salisbury Arts Centre, as collaboration between ceramic artist Mirka Golden-Hann, film maker Mark Bishop, and choreographer Carrie Madgwick. It draws upon the ancient Greek concept of Kalokagathia which may be summarised as the harmony between spiritual and physical endeavour.

The human form is here depicted upon the porcelain bowl in the manner of decoration applied upon a Grecian vessel. Human imagination, always striving for new forms of expression, seeks to combine techniques otherwise distinct from each other. In this piece the disciplines of ceramics, choreography and film are brought together. This collaboration allows a furtherance of concepts in the respective disciplines; the decoration is not the applied representation of a scene or event but is actual footage of an event itself projected onto the surface of the vessel. In this way three professionals bring their skills together in a celebration of beauty, skill, knowledge, and creativity.” Mirka Golden Hann

Video taken at Salisbury Arts Centre in 2011

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