Artist Talk - Natasha Bourke
Interdisciplinary artist Natasha Bourke reflects on her site-specific performance in-progress ‘Testuro Utero Go! Litter Womb’, which addresses existential themes in increasingly changing times.
Presented outdoors between dusk and nightfall, I perform as a ‘separate being’ inside a large transparent ball, blindly navigating from day to night, between land and water mass, followed by a figure pulling two smaller balls containing shredded single-use plastics. Intermittent walkie-talkie exchange with a guide outside is core to the soundscape.
The work attempts to visually summarise the safety, isolation and uncertainty experienced, as humans increasingly exist in bubbles. The performer’s presence is contained and protected, traversing and adapting to ever-shifting terrain. The vulnerable image echoes the challenges that we grapple with in trying to understand the world. I am mindful of ancient waterways, linking a site to an earlier state and am interested in anatomical/environmental ‘containment’ of water with its role vibrating through a body/landscape, contrasting the solid and the mutable. The plastics within the balls provide ecological commentary. The first iteration of T.U.G! LW took place in a derelict sea bath, for Kirkos Ensemble’s Biosphere in Dublin. In further developing this work with Echo Echo in Derry, I am keen to explore links with Cork, my southern sister city, particularly within uncharted post-Brexit territory.
Natasha Bourke is a Cork-based interdisciplinary artist of Irish/Dutch descent with an extensive movement background (including contemporary, break, folk, jazz, ballet, poetic/authentic movement, contemplative dance, butoh, body weather, aerial/harness, acrobatics, physical theatre, swimming, yoga and tai chi). Her practice embraces performance, lens-based media, installation, archive, drawing and sound. She has a 1st class honours BA in Fine Art and has been involved in numerous live/filmic projects across Europe since 2007. The artist’s roots, life and mixed experience of intense ballet training from infancy, underpin her work which contemplates themes of self and society such as identity, isolation, institution, legacy, transience, perception, polarity, pathos and play. With a surreal, ironic and spectral aesthetic, Bourke continually investigates new ways to merge and refine the different strands of her practice into a unique coherent poetic language, whilst maintaining an open approach and process. T.U.G! Litter Womb is the starting point of an ambitious new water-based vision that Bourke is developing with support of the Arts Council, Echo Echo DTC, Firkin Crane and Cork City Council.
Join us online for a series of conversations exploring the creative practice and ideas of each of the artists who would have presented work at our festival had pandemic circumstances allowed. Steve Batts will interview Caroline Bowditch (Aus) and Linda Fearon (Armagh), Kate Wilson (Sligo), Suzannah McCreight (Belfast), Natasha Bourke (Cork) and Zoe Ramsey (Derry) to find out more about the work they were making for the Echo Echo Festival their personal history, work practice and ideas, and the ways they have adapted to "Covid Times". We hope these talks will whet the appetite for when we are in a position to present the performances properly, hopefully in the not too distant future.
You can join the conversation with questions and comments towards the end of each interview. If you have a question you would like to submit beforehand please email: email@example.com and put "artist talks" and the name of the artist in the subject line.
Echo Echo Festival Presents
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Echo Echo Festival Presents is kindly supported by Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the National Lottery through ACNI, and Derry City and Strabane District Council.