For the last few months I’ve been working with four fantastic dancers in the studio on a new dance work which I’ve (finally) titled ‘Kafa Ulaya’. It’s been an idea in the making for a while after chatting with several other artists about what inspires and moves us.
This piece stemmed from several documentaries, discussions and scenarios I’ve come across revolved around clothes. The culture we live in that binges on latest trends, discarding old clothes to the back of the wardrobe or chucking to the nearest charity shop with the label still attached, the culture that doesn’t always think about where their clothes end up or how much pollution is created from these decisions.
After some research I was gobsmacked at the statistics from various angles and felt that it was a topic we discarded as much as the clothes, and we should be more aware of how these decisions affected our planet. As a person who doesn’t really fit into fashion trends, and gets a lot of hand-me-downs and charity shops finds into my wardrobe, I felt that it was a great place to start discussions in a dance studio.
I gathered up a fantastic foursome – different ages and backgrounds – and asked them about their personal experiences with clothes and their distribution. Some who have tons of clothes in wardrobes, shelves and drawers, others who rescue rags and up-cycle as much as possible. It wasn’t about pointing out who is right and who is wrong, but it was about sharing experiences and finding out more.
With a few creative tasks I asked them to think about what happens to these clothes. Who is involved in the chain. Who these people are and what the clothes mean to them. The different eras and generations and the varied experiences between them. The list goes on.
Out of this came ‘Kafa Ulaya’. I’m really excited to share the piece that has emerged from the short amount of R&D we have done and receive some critical feedback to allow this piece to develop and move forward. It’s being shared next Monday at Creative Heart at UoS in Ipswich. Watch this space!