Nick Field is a writer, performance maker, musician and the sole curator of Pow! – a brand new opportunity for LGBTQ creatives.
Pow! will offer 10 creatives the opportunity to develop their work via mentoring, workshop sessions, professional development meetings and the chance to share their work with a live audience. Here Nick tells us more about his work, what inspired Pow! and how you can get involved…
‘My work so far has included writing and performing three solo shows that have toured internationally. My shows have explored questions around what home means through performative travalogue, and relationships to work through the tiny minutia of office politics wrought large. I’ve created performance pieces and I love taking my work to unusual place. I’ve had residencies that have included being Artist in Residence at London Metropolitan Archives, where I explored the historical and contemporary siginificance of streetlife in London, and Keats House. Coming up I’m looking at fantasy, ideology and why both unicorns and nationalism are having a moment in my new solo show Unicorn Party. I will also be working in collaboration with Rebecca Biscuit of Sh!t Theatre to create Paid Fantasist, a show featuring comedy, music and dance that explores how neoliberalism has shaped our cities, and us, via Dr Who legend Tom Baker. Both shows will be at Camden People’s Theatre in the autumn season.
Alongside my work as an artist, I’ve worked extensively in arts education and artist development. This has been a really rewarding and integral part of what I do. I’ve worked with organisations like Ideas Tap for whom I created a programme of development workshops for young creatives. I have taught writing and performance at University of Kingston and created an education programme exploring the creative possibilities of the English language via Medieval scribes for City of London that I toured to schools across the capital. Other organisations I have worked with have included The Poetry School, Southbank Centre, and recently Apples and Snakes with whom I worked with four emerging artists in Brighton to help them develop longform performance pieces.
Pow! came initially from a conversation with Laura Kenwright at Spread The Word. We were talking about the lack of specific development opportunities for young LGBTQ emerging artists in live literature. I was also working with and mentoring some LGBTQ artists working in this area around this time, and the prohibitive challenges of developing a voice and creating work in a competitive field that was not always very open to young emerging LGBTQ voices was becoming clear. Also, whilst self-reflecting, I realised that although I had amazing support along the way from organisations like Apples and Snakes, the context itself meant that as an LGBTQ artist, I often felt very isolated within it, and suppressed the kind of work I really wanted to do because I couldn’t see how it would fit in. I also experienced homophobia along the way from other performers and programmers, and frankly that was almost enough to make me give up. It was only by diverting into theatre and performance making that I found a context more conducive to the work I wanted to make. And yet, I love the form and at the heart of my work is a relationship to poetry and live literature, even if that might manifest as a dance piece or digital work.
I envision Pow! to be an opportunity for young LGBTQ artists to explore their voices and their practice in a specifically tailored and supportive environment, develop new work and create a peer network. I’m thrilled to have amazing guest artists involved. Hannah Silva, a groundbreaking artist who has a unique and fascinating practice. Malik Nashad Sharpe is also a guest artist. Malik performs as marikiscrycrycry and works with dance and choreography. Malik has worked with me on Unicorn Party and so I have experienced how they will bring a wonderful opportunity to explore a relationship between poetry, live literature and physicality. I’m really looking to see how we can expand the definitions and possibilities of live literature and encourage explorations of cross-form performance, so people with backgrounds or interests in a range of different forms are very welcome to apply.
We’re looking for 10 creatives who want to jump in and get involved. If you’re interested in writing and performing work, then brilliant! You’ll work with me and an associate artist and our amazing guest artists through a series of workshops focussing on developing your voice and exploring new practice possibilities, and importantly creating a network of peers to support each others work going forward. There will be mentoring from the lovely folks at Spread The Word. We’ll also work with you to help you create a new short piece of performance for a showcase at the end of the programme. This will be at Bar Wotever at the iconic LGBTQ arts venue The Royal Vauxhall Tavern. The showcase will be a delight, and I can’t wait!’
Pow! is supported by Spread the Word, Wotever World and Arts Council England. Applications are now open until Thursday 28 June. Find out more here.