Gemma Collard Stokes & Scott Thurston: Body, Words and Land – Dartington


Shifting between body, voice and writing, we will find new ways of responding to and with our natural surroundings.

Monday June 27 • 15.15 – 16.45

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This workshop is supported through a collaborative engagement between two artist-academics, Scott Thurston and Gemma Collard-Stokes. Together Scott and Gemma have being exploring the ways in which movement and writing can form and inform one another. They wish to extend this enquiry further to include Gemma’s environmentally responsive movement practice, and Scott’s kinepoetic practice integrating movement and poetry, with a view to discovering how words and movement can support us in our bid to deepen our connection to nature through contact, emotion, meaning making and kinship. Shifting between body, voice and writing, we will find new ways of responding to and with our natural surroundings. Together we will explore approaches to develop, perform and hone both our written and physical explorations towards individual and collective responses to ecological entanglements and the necessity to fortify the human-nature relationship as we endeavour to become more response-able.

About the artists

Gemma Collard-Stokes is an interdisciplinary performance artist, researcher and educator. Her work is informed by Helen Poynor’s Walk of Life Training, Miranda Tufnell’s compassionate approach to communicating our experiences of the world and Andrew Morrish’s performance improvisation. Gemma’s research examines the function of dance as a route to prevention, management and treatment of conditions affecting physical and mental health and wellbeing. Since 2010, Gemma has been developing an ecologically conscious interdisciplinary approach to outdoor dance and is known for her on-going enquiry into the ways movement can support sustainable [re]connections between humans and the rest of nature. This body of work has seen her collaborate with poets, visual artists, musicians, and film makers and the co-production of numerous live, multimedia and installation pieces.

Scott Thurston is a poet, mover and educator. He has published many books and chapbooks of poetry, most recently Terraces: a choreography (Beir Bua, 2022), is editor-in-chief of the Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry and Reader in English and Creative Writing at the University of Salford. Since 2004, he has been developing a kinepoetics integrating dance-movement and poetry which has seen him studying with Billie Hanne, Sally Silvers and Simone Forti and collaborating with Sarie Mairs Slee, Julia Griffin and Gemma Collard-Stokes. Scott is fascinated by how words and movement relate to each other in live composition – and as a means for exploring vitality dynamics (Stern) and the creative connection (Rogers). Scott is currently undertaking an MSc in Counselling and Psychotherapy.