Saturday, 3 November 2018

Spoken Word and Performance workshop with a Shaddock surprise!

Yesterday spent another amazingly inspirational, productive and fun day facilitating an incredibly talented group of Newcastle University Fine Art students on a Spoken Word and Performance workshop.

The students range from 1st - 4th year undergraduates, and are really supportive of each other and engaged in what everyone is doing. Over the course of the day we thoroughly examined everyone's text and thought of numerous possibilities of presenting and delivering the work. The progress made has been significant.

Next Friday is the final session and I look forward to experiencing how their work has further developed between now and then.

I regard my role as a facilitator and am keen to eliminate any hierarchy between them and me. We all learn together and share experience and ideas. I find this fosters a really productive and experimental environment where people are happy to contribute.The students seem to enjoy it too.

At one point in the workshop I mentioned a work that I made involving a shaddock (a fruit).

(When I was a child my Grandad told me that our surname, Shaddock, is a fruit. Years later when I was living in Glasgow, I decided to go on a 'quest to find a shaddock'. I went to my closest greengrocer and asked for a shaddock, only to find they had never heard of one! I asked them to suggest where they thought I would be able to source one, and I followed their instructions and asked there. This process continued until I eventually located a shaddock. The shaddock was discovered by Captain Shaddock who traveled to the Carribean, and brought the fruit back to the UK where he named it. 

Shortly after my discovery, I was involved in a group exhibition, so my contribution was shaddock canapes and shaddock cocktails. 

I later took the shaddock to the Barras market, a traditional market renowned for bartering, in the East End of Glasgow. I had a shaddock stall whereby I offered shaddock produce along with a story about the shaddock in return for a story. Initially people were suspicious of me handing out free produce, but as word spread around the market about what I was doing, this quickly turned into curiosity and I had lots of people really eager to share their stories with me. It was a super way to be educated into the local dialect!)

See some documentation of this on my website

After lunch the students surprised me as they had been to a local greengrocer and bought a shaddock for us to share! It made a delicious afternoon snack.

Great work today folks!

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