A Note From Alice Sheppard After the First Week of her Residency

It’s Friday morning.  And I am both refreshed and drained.  Refreshed because I slept really well last night.  Drained because I am involved in a process in which people have committed their everything.  Such total dedication and openness is utterly compelling: I’m drawn in.  I want to honour their commitment to the best of my abilities.  So, yes.  I, too, am committing everything I have and know to the process.  The learnings flow back richly, complexly, terrifyingly, and beautifully.  That’s all right.  This is everything I could have hoped for.


I am at *that* stage of the process--the one where the cares of the outside life fade away.  I woke up and counted my clean clothes.  I have just enough to make it to laundry day.  I check the fridge in my ever so comfortable hotel room: I have enough food, and nothing has gone rotten.  I check my washbag: yes, there is enough toothpaste and deodorant.  But I do seem to be running low on hair stuffs.  It seems as if I will have to leave the studio life for a moment to take care of some of the basics.


In the studio, though, I am realizing that the piece is taking shape.  The fragments and “thought packets” that we created on the basis of intuition have revealed themselves to be generative and anchoring at the same time.  As I write this, I am also scribbling in my journal (a beautiful, turquoise U of A journal that Lindsay, Kelsie, and Danielle gave me in the most generous welcome bag!).  The many notes and lines and question marks are shifting towards a solidity that I recognize as the start of a piece.


As the shape reveals itself, I question my choices.  What am I saying if we do that here?  What could it mean to do that there?  What changes if I switch them?  I am asking these questions at a big level--they will help organize the piece, and I also ask them at a small level.  Working towards answers for these and other similar questions will help me find the truth of the movement.  More on that perhaps in another post.  Overall, I continue to ask myself how I can best develop, deepen, nurture the artists?  I know that if I succeed in that part of my job, the piece will grow by itself.  




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