Dronfield Hall Barn November 27th 2016
There is always another Once Upon a Time
Projection Mapped Performance onto the exterior of Dronfield Hall Barn on a cold November evening.
Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Dronfield Hall Barn
What happened here?
Light and the dark
Where the shadows crawled
Under soil and stone.
Beneath the snow and sun.
Where Swifts make their long journeys without rest and return
Where children grow into women and men who create the force for survival and change.
Well here we are.
Making a difference.
In our changling world.
You ask me how did I get here? And I ask you the same thing. Why this time and this place? Is it ours for knowing? And in the end does it matter? So might we forget our past? – lose touch? – losing our identity, losing our stories. In our digital, big data, facebook information era with those millions of images uploaded by the hour.
Memory upon memory – snap upon memory snap – Even here we like it digital, but if you can smell the darkroom the taste of silver nitrate on your fingers feel the red light and the sensation of images emerging from the paper and maybe catch a glimpse of a bird before it is lost in the developing tree.
Then you may have a story to tell.
Are you my kind?
You for whom I would risk it all?
Have we found the place where the sights and smells become
the sound of love and desire?
Can you let me in?
where the blood runs hot and fresh?
Why would you say that? There are things lost and thrown away, found in the bottom of drawers, in the earth.These are the momento mori. They are the same as the great gods of the Egyptian sands. They are the tombs. And they are the defeat of death
We need these to create our lives. To surround us. Our shadows of the past
I will remove your eyes so that you can see.
Once upon a time or twice or thrice where history merges with magic and myth.
There’s always another Once upon a time,
like a bottomless well, a flaming scrap dropped, piercing the darkness, illuminating the walls with their drips and moss and stones, the worms and the echoes sounding back as we listen with our o so modern ears and try to glimpse and taste the times gone by.
And I will need all my senses. And in order to know my senses I may need to lose them.To exist in a sightless faceless sound less smell-less touchless tasteless world. Existing in only memory in which I taste and smell and touch and see and hear the sounds.
Memory a burning scrap of paper lighting up the past. My scrap and then yours and then your mother and father, their mothers and fathers then, theirs, then theirs – but only snippets now, then there are the images and the letters. Which speak more?
Hazy Images or the symbolic nature of letters and words. Or voices, words uttered and before the utterance. The breath. the passion . The emotion. What lies underneath when I speak?
And the letters written by people who are already dead. In this way we light our way back.
Once upon a time –Stop Stop when did that happen? Stop . How exactly did that happen?We ask about history. Not just a story. Our story
Shall we begin? If only I could remember I would know. Will you tell me, will you show me. And then only will I only see. Memory this burning scrap of paper. But I will remove your eyes so that you can see. Light up the past
Dronfield Derbyshire Jan 21st 1907
I should very much like to know if you received my letter of the 10th Sept 1907. You know why. What have I done right this time? I hope I have done nothing wrong, but it seems strange that I have not had a letter before now, surely you can find time to write a line or you must be very busy. It is a fortnight since you wrote and a three week since you went from here. So that is the longest week that I have seen. Do I belong the band yet? I should like to know. See over.
From Jack or Charley
If ever there was a place and a time it is now. When one looks back at history, does one see the now? The root, the essence of all that has been and all that is to come. Making way for the now. The present. This place. This place, this scene, this pile of earth and ashes, these stones and timbers. These people. This life.
We are sorry the number you have dialled
The number you have dialed has not been recognised Please try again later We are sorry we have not been able to connect your call “We have not been able to connect your call.
A sound of a telephone.
The following script was written in collaboration with Nathalie Allen of Hasland Hall Community School, Chesterfield UK
“There is always another ONCE UPON A TIME. compressed inside this ordinary life to be heard in your breathing (listen, smell, see, touch, hear. Feel) And something will change as the hands of the clock tick, tick and you open the doors of your wardrobe fairy-tale magic sticking even if your castle has already burnt down and there is nothing left but the people of the town, their houses rubble, living on the streets know this as long as you are there the heart of your village will always beat. Some pages are shrivelled and old yours shiny and new, some stories half way done and you’re not even on page two. Maybe to begin in the middle or the end. Mysteries burning bright between every word. Listening in the silences of the journey. Can all our stories start the same way? crawling out of the tunnel and into the light, big hands carrying us to our sanctuary unharmed.
Our world with its seven and a half billion stories begin, impossible to read events unspeakable and joyful and here we are longing for them to begin at the fairytale ball?
The uneasy search for beginnings buried like treasure, we all want them only a few brave enough to find them, to risk everything. “