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INSIDE THE STUDIO WITH: ICC Associate Artist, Matt Shilcock

Wednesday 16 October, 2019

To have the opportunity to develop and explore one’s ideas of philosophies, theologies, psychology, identity, dreams, goals and desires is something incredible. To be able to share and communicate those very things is art. To have a career as an artist is a blessing without measure.

For as long as I can remember I’ve held an affinity with Alchemy. The mixing of art, science and spirituality into one beautiful and all embracing practice. As an artist nothing makes more sense that creating work from the things that inspire you most. Therefore, the name the lovechild between my fascination with the arcane and passion for movement is: Alchemia Exteriores (Latin for External Alchemy).

Alchemia Exteriores is an exploration of the embodiment of imagery, iconography and symbology of philosophy, theology, psychology, politics and identity as they appear in texts throughout history from the renaissance to antiquity. In short, Alchemia Exteriores is a Da Vinci Code in dance.

I had the huge pleasure of spending two days in the Tanja Liedtke studio with company dancers Kimball Wong, Daniel Jaber, Harrison Elliott and Rowan Rossi. We engaged in in-depth discussions about intention, identities, somatic practices, and cross communications with the conscious and sub conscious minds; layering our mutual and conceptual understanding atop of choreography developed from a task in creating pictorial signatures.

Through a process in transcribing statements of intention into an abstract figure. The figure, or sigil, is then traced onto Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man to create a map for choreography, with extra impetus like dynamic, duration, tempo and travel through a look at the properties and equivalents of the Latin alphabet letters to Proto-Sinatic characters. Taking all of this information and jamming it together became some kind of weird psycho-physical game of Twister.

As this process is still within it’s fetal stages, it was incredibly valuable to be able to share the exercise with a group of such experienced, receptive and talented artists that showed enthusiasm and openness to the work, asking asking and providing hugely constructive feedback to the process that affirms the validity of the practice, and provides me some great impetus to expand upon.

At couldn’t ask for environment to incubate and gestate my precious little artistic homunculus.

Photo: Matt Shilcock, taken by Gisella Vollmer (c) Skyline Productions, 2018.