I was very happy to receive funding from Arts Council recently to both begin development of a new body of work and install an exhibition at the Berwick Gymnasium Gallery, which will also be part of this years Berwick Film and Media Festival.
Since Monday I have been working at Dance City with my Grandad on a Creative Summer week long residency. The experience so far has been amazing! After 25 years of training he has attained the level of black belt, 3rd Dan in Wado Ryu style karate.
Watching him perform the karate katas (choreographed movement phrases involving blocks and attacks) in the past it has appeared both complex and in some way simple. I realise now that achieving the appearance of simplicity is very difficult. Monday and Tuesday we worked together as teacher (Sensei) and student as I attempted to learn the first black belt kata (Seishan). It was fascinating to learn, but more interesting to learn from my Grandad and to see him change from the the man I know to the intense focused state when performing. He told me that when he is performing the kata's he sees nothing else, everything else disappears.
During the fisrt 2 days I also observed my grandad performing three of the black belt kata -Seishan, Basai and Rohai - and began capturing some of the more dynamic moves.