Both Performers Begin Standing on Opposite Corners of the Room
Institute of Light, London April 2018
Nina Davies Both uses her work to discover what choreography is beyond its performance. This new film uses audio description (a method used to describe choreography to visually impaired audiences) to translate and display a choreographic process.
Wrestlers: Philip Bedwell and Gary Vanderhorne
Dancers: Richard Pye and Kyle White
Choreographer: Imogen Knight
Cinematographers: Libby Overton and Moea Creugnet
Lighting: Roman Sheppard Dawson
Audio description: Justin Bikram
Steakhouse Live Festival with Noemi Lakmaier, London February 2018
Steakhouse Performance Film – Steakhouse
Credit – Che Kevlin
Deep Trash – Romance with Nicola Hunter, February 2018
Deep Trash Image Credit – M Oynxx
Steakhouse Live Image Credit – Manuel Vason
Body, Sense and Wellbeing: A Live Art Event, Rich Mix: 14th February 2018
Image Credit – Max Moore
Connection. A glance, a spoken word or breath.
Visitors to my space leaving imprints of body and mind.
Sitting on the sand, sharing memories, hopes and dreams. Finding gifts in the sand. Free to take or leave for others.
Feeling joy and resolution. Knowing that there is a state of mind and body available to find yourself.
Communicate as you wish, take what you need…
Materials Used – Perspex, Sand, Paper, Ink, Breath, Voice.
Duration 3 hours
Modern Panic VIII, Apiary Studios: 22nd October
ANATOMY #16 Return of the Frost Kid Gang: 2 DEEP 2 DESOLATE, Summerhall Edinburgh: 8th December
Film of Performance – Defence Wounds
Using lace, body, blood and ashes. I show the secrets we hide behind. I question
our connection to nature, how time changes us and how our perceptions of self change too.
I seek to show how we all find our identity and how I find my place as masculine.
Materials Used – Lace, Needles, Coal, Ashes
Duration 20 minutes
The Dynamic Tensions Physical Culture Show
Chapter 3: An Education in Wrestling with Broderick Chow
Anatomy Museum, Kings College London: 13 October 2017
“Despite being a man of true strength, Hackenschmidt’s history in the theatre always haunted him. Weights, after all, could be faked, and matches could be fixed. Many call Hackenschmidt the first professional wrestler’, looking forward in time to the spectacle that wrestling has become. I think he would have hated that title. He was after authenticity. ”
Full Video – https://vimeo.com/242013620 Time Code 36:45
Purgation with Noemi Lakmaier
Steakhouse Live: Tender Loin, London July 2017
An act of devotion and trust. Love and betrayal. Indoctrination.
I kneel before a tank of water. She comes beside me and strokes my hair gently. Then, without warning, pushes my head underwater for duration before violently pulling my head up.
I gasp for air and she allows me this for a few seconds before forcing me under again. My head pounds and hearing muted but my body remains calm. She pulls my head out more gently this time. Allows me to recover before pushing me under once again.
The process continues until she judges that it is enough. She leaves, and in time, I gather myself and leave the space as well.
Materials Used – Water
Duration 15 minutes
In the Future, the Past will be remembered in Fragmented Ways
Marathon Final Performance – Berlin June 2017
Photo Credits to 高远天 & Ruth Biene
As the audience enters I kneel onto the salt square in front of me and place a bandage into my mouth.
Wine and glasses are also in front of me, water and cloths are behind. Finally, a mirror is placed on the far wall.
The audience has the choice of what happens now.
Over the duration, I am subjected to many emotional responses and demands. I acquiesce to them all.
Wine is delicately given to me, toasts are made. I’m asked by one man if I trust him and he passes the wine from his mouth to mine.
During one of these moments, I’m patted on the head like a dog and the mood changes. Someone forces me to try to drink a whole bottle of wine whilst never making eye contact.
I could choose to end this, the audience to choose to stop, but it continues until all the wine has gone.
I push myself back, my legs have gone numb from kneeling from so long. I’m stained by the wine. As I pass the bowls of water people come forward and start to wash the marks off me, to help me straighten my contorted legs.
When I have the strength, I stand and look at myself in the mirror. I take the mirror down and shine it at the audience.
Finally, I reveal to a close few that I had a pearl held in my mouth for the whole time.
Materials Used – Salt, Wine, Bandages, Towels, Water, Mirror, Pearl.
Duration 2 hrs
UnShut Festival – Sheffield May 2017
Sitting amongst newspapers with current political reports.
I have a book in front of me containing many quotes, copied and personal, emotive and ridiculous.
As drone and politicians campaigning are played a repeated at varying volumes over the speakers I copy the quotes onto fresh sheets of paper. I then read aloud what I’ve written. I try to make my voice heard above the repetitious din.
Voice is drowned out, words are duplicated and made meaningless. Authenticity becomes a vapid slogan.
I fold the sheets I have written into origami envelopes and stack them in front of me.
The audience comes closer so they can hear me easier. So they can unfold my envelopes and examine if what I have said is actually what I have written. To regain trust?
I no longer need to shout. I start to read to individuals quietly.
As the drone nears the end I fold the last letter and eat it.
I drop a lit match onto the stack of envelopes I have made and they burn away without a trace.
Materials Used – Drone, Paper, Voice, Forest Scent Spray, Fire
LOW STAKES – A Micro Festival, London February 2017
A ritual, a cycle. Creation – Destruction – Resurrection.
Intestines on a slate are carried into the space. I lay the objects on my stomach and stand. The balance of the slate and my position makes the action hard, but I succeed. I lay again and add more
I lay again and add more slates.
The balance becomes even more precarious, the weight harder to hold above my head. I repeatedly add more slates. Repeating the motion of stating time and time again. My breathing is laboured in the silence.
Eventually, I can no longer maintain the strength and skill needed to lift the objects anymore. They fall around me and shatter. I destroy the rest of them with a pestle.
I make a zen circle with the shards. I hold the intestines close to me and leave the space.
Materials Used – Slates, Cows Intestines, Pestle
Duration 30 Minutes
Break My Bones with Jordan Mckenzie
At Steakhouse Live: Tender Loin, London January 2017
Image credit to Greg Viet
Description from Jordan Mckenzie –
At Modern Panic 7, London October 2016
I place myself amongst the materials in a meditative position.
The objects are of labour and of nature. They are covered in ash and charcoal.
I contort my body against each object, in turn, I let it define its shape against my skin. I wear these marks to show my place in the world between nature and consumerism. Between creative energy and multiplication tasks.
As the dusty mixture blackens me I return to my original position. To contemplate which of the marks define me.
Materials Used – Wood, Nails, Steel Hanger, Bricks, Pebbles, Ash and Charcoal
Duration 15 Minutes
Invasion of the Bodyslammers 6 with Tarnya Allen
At Extreme World Wrestling, Hastings Centre October 2016
At Modern Panic 7, London October 2016
The Good, The Red & The Ugly with Stu Allen
At Extreme World Wrestling, Hastings Centre July 2016
At Tempting Failure 2016: Brixton, London July 2016
Final image credit to Julia Bauer.
I kneel and a black rope attaches from my neck to the ice. I caress the ice with my hands, the light makes it appear that it is moving.
I try to sit back onto my heels and the rope cuts into my muscles and into the ice. The pressure and exertion mean that I can’t feel the cold.
Through slow increments, I manage to rise. The rope continues to work its way into my flesh and into the block. Both materials having to adapt to the gravity.
Steam rises from the sweat of my body and the ice from its evaporation.
As I try to take deep breaths and steady myself I start to cry. I kneel and place my face against the ice. My tears falling into the water on the floor.
I gather myself and will myself to rise again.
Materials Used – 30kg Ice Block, Rope
Duration 30 Minutes
At //BUZZCUT// on tour: Let England Shake, May 2016
Images by http://www.joetwiggphotography.com/
I kneel amongst various bricks and rocks. Debris from a building site and rocks from forests near to me. Materials both man-made and natural for my body to adapt to.
I handle the pieces in different ways, I console and crush. I display strength and submissiveness.
I resist. I adapt.
I stack the rocks and then I lay on them. I try to rest, to appear peaceful, my twitching muscles betray me. Despite the peace in my expression, my body is in rebellion.
As the pain becomes too much I rise and the indentations of the materials are plain to see.
My flesh has adapted for the present but the marks will fade.
The memories will remain.
Materials Used – Rocks and Concrete
Duration 90 Minutes
At Modern Panic 6, London October 2015
The audience enters and I am already engaged in a deep breathing practice, readying myself for the efforts ahead.
I hold a handstand over the top of plain white paper for as long as I am able. I arrange my legs so I assume a postion similar to the Hanged Man card from the Tarot.
When I can hold the position no longer I remove a needle from my forehead. When my muscles are able, I return to the handstand again.
This repetition continues until there are no more peircings in my head. I then acknowledge the audience slowly and all in turn whilst eating a piece of paper where the blood has collected.
I take my corporeal efforts back into myself.
Acceptance and erasure.
Materials Used – Paper, Needles
Duration 20 Minutes
Humility and Reason
At Modern Panic V. London, 2014
My body heavily trained to be more imposing. As the audience enters my back is turned to them, is this through self-absorption. shame or guilt?
Mirrors are laid out and a series of movements are played out atop them. All the time I force myself to observe my reflection. I then start to tape areas of my body where I have suffered injuries in wrestling. The taping supports me but also hinders my ability to hold myself correctly in the position above the mirrors.
After each series of the movements, I kneel and remove a needle from my forehead. My reflection is gradually obscured by my own blood.
In time, I am unable to complete the movements anymore. I crawl to the corner of the room, my back turned once again.
Materials Used – Needles, Mirrors, Athletic Tape
Duration 20 Minutes
Union with Hellen Burrough
At Tempting Failure, Bristol 2014, Buzzcut, Glasgow 2015 and Submerge Festival, Bristol 2016. Image by Roser Diaz
Film of performance – https://vimeo.com/181388595
An embrace which prevents pain from entering our bodies. We are joined at the heads and groins by piercings and chains, slowly we part. Our eyes locked on each other’s countenance. In time, the chains begin to stretch to their limits and then our flesh then stretches too.
Skin is pulled tight and then finally we start to remove the needles in ritual unison.
Despite the pain and blood, our faces remain impassive. The ritual must be observed.
When all the needles have been removed, we stare at each other. Wearing our wounds, born anew.
We gently and slowly walk back to each other. Locked in each other’s gaze. As we grow closer, we can hold the gaze no longer and look over each other shoulders and into the lights behind us. Our bodies touch once more and are joined in a bondage of blood.
The cycle has been completed, the bodies have been changed forever.
Materials Used – Needles, Chains
Duration 30 Minutes
Death is simply a matter of lying prone
At Tempting Failure, Bristol 2013
A setting of intentions and a display of influences. A transformation from everyday life, from a wrestler to an aspiring live artist.
The materials used were to question body perception and physicality, how one pursuit of interest can hinder another. How the need to maintain focus and clarity is key.
The title is a quote from J.G Ballard, and is a personal belief that we must keep moving forward, physically and spiritually. We must grow as individuals and as a populace, for if we lay still, we grow stagnant and degrade.
Materials Used – Mirrors, Rope, Needles, Suit, MMA Shorts, Metronome
Duration 20 Minutes