Thursday 23 September 2010

The horror oh the Horror!

This blog is random if nothing else, and true to form today I am letting everyone know I am taking part in the AND (Abandon Normal Devices) Festival next month. My role will be in conjunction with the Cornerhouse, that benchmark of high brow art and one of Manchester's most revered art establishments. So it should come as no suprise that I will be go-go dancing behind a US drag queen while dressed as the Bride of Frankenstein for a floor show to end all floor shows!

Take cover everyone, Peaches Christ is coming to town!

For any of you unfamiliar with Miss Christ she is the brains (ewww brains) behind Midnight Mass, a cinema experience that lets the audience get that step closer to what they see on the screen, namely trash horror and B movies. Think Elvira, Showgirls and Teen Witch, but don't be lulled into a false sense of security, the driving force here is gore and low brow entertainment.

This will be my first burlesque style performance outside of my double act The Chantilly Belles, and I'm really thrilled to add it to my performance resume which includes collaborations with The Lowry, Urbis and the Whitworth Art Gallery.

The event will run for two nights 2nd and 3rd Oct in the Cornerhouse's larger cinema and will be the UK premiere of the Midnight Mass event. But that's not all, Peaches has produced her own flick,
All About Evil, inspired by her love of high camp horror which will be aired for the first time in the UK and will be accompanied by the floorshow.

So what should you expect? Well if you are after a quiet night and a cosy film don't come along. The night will be hosted by Peaches Christ and audience members are encouraged to dress up; monsters, drag queens and vintage glamour with a twisted edge. (Junk in Manchester's Northern Quarter will be running Gore Couture workshops this weekend to help you create your own costumes and designs.)

There will be music and singing and dancing
(cue me and 7 other B movie monsters doing our thing) and of course the film itself, what more could you want!
I am excited to be taking part in this big arty event but also just a little bit, a little little bit freaked out! I guess that's the first step to fitting right in...

Midnight Mass at the Cornerhouse
70 Oxford St


Tickets £15/12.50 concs

2nd/3rd Oct 10.30pm

Monday 13 September 2010

Les Folies

I got my tickets for Kylie's new tour Les Folies Aphrodite this morning!!!! I couldn't help but celebrate. Go Kylie!

Thursday 9 September 2010

Handbag time capsules

Continuing my research for my collaborative project with Stoke Potteries Museum and Art Gallery I sent a request for items including handbags to Laura the Documentation Assistant. Today I found this email in my inbox,

'Angela, our volunteer, and I looked through some of the handbags yesterday. There are some lovely ones and some with narratives that I thought you may like. Many of them had built-in mirrors in and a few had combs. I am attaching photos, but may have to send them in batches. 3609/3610 belonged to Lady Bagot and we found some old Harrod's toothpicks inside it.

3626/3627 apeared to have some sort of net hair/ bun knot inside it. 3632/3633 had a library card inside, although the date may be a little later than you were thinking. Quite a few of the bags had an odd button in, like this.

3651/3652 had a perfume bottle, lipstick holder and some other type of case inside.

3671 - 3678 are all of the same case, which was a vertiable treasure trove, with a manicure set, notebook and pencil, name and address card, torn up note(s?) and a section for blank telegrams!'

I found all these items really interesting and full of potential for a backstory. I like the fact that these handbags have obviously been left untouched for years even decades before their contents have been rediscovered. As mundane as they might seem I feel excited to be part of unearthing the objects from these time capsules.

The thing which intrigued me most is the torn up note.
What did it say? Why was it torn up? and why was it kept in a handbag? It's questions like these which feed into my interest with belongings and narrative and will definately have some place in my work with the museum.

Wednesday 1 September 2010

Crime scene #2

My second attempt at going all Sherlock Holmes and reading a dressing table like a crime scene courtesy of dressing table owner Alison Jane Craddock:

Loves experimenting with looks. Has to try out the latest beauty product/gimmick. Gets easily bored. Enjoys theatrics. Is quite a girly girl when it comes to relationships though you wouldn't think it to meet her. Has a Roman Catholic background and has strong bond with her grandparents. Used to wear glasses but now wears contacts. Always looking for the next big thing, a dreamer. Has set ideals for life but reality sometimes gets in the way.

Here's how I did:

'Hi Gemma , very very close :) I do have church back ground (Cof E), but currently work at a Catholic school and have really got into the Catholic art and imagery. Especially how Mary is portrayed in art.
Family is very important to me as I come from a very large family on my Dad's side . I'm one of 16 Grandchildren and my Grandparents have now been married for 66 years . At family parties my Nannie always sings 'The way we were ' to my Grandad , who without fail when she sing the lines
'If we had the chance to do it all again tell me would we? Could we?'
Starts crys and shouts we would Nelly we would :)
I'm very much a girly girl in relationships which I think comes as a shock to men once they get to know me .
Always experiment with my looks, much to the excitment of the teenagers I teach .
So yes very close xxx'

Not quite as good as my first outing into detective mode, but I feel quite impressed all the same. and how cool does Nelly sound!?

Quick update

Just a quick post to give you the results of my Sherlock Holmes deduction skills from yesterday's post. I contacted Helen Davies, the owner of the dressing table I tried to read like a crime scene and this is what she had to say:

'Gemma!! Wow, that was really interesting :) And to answer your question- yes, I would say that all your observations were spot on, I guess in the knowledge that I am 30 you could surmise that there is a big part of me refusing to grow up ...and being a little obsessed with kitsch :) Have you ever heard of semiotics? If not, look it up- I studied it at college as part of a contextual studies module. In a nutshell it is reading an image without the use of words or language- in the main reading the signs- pretty much what you have done here.... Interestingly- since seeing my dressing table online, I have recreated this space. I'll shoot it again and show you the results :) you can see what you make of the transformation :) But all in all- top analysis missis :)'

I am quite suprised at how well I did! My conclusion that Helen lived in shared house was my most intuitive guess and I'm proper pleased it turned out to be correct! I think I may give this technique a few more goes to get into the swing of it and I'll have a look into semiotics, thanks Helen for the tip off ; )