Back again for my final visit to Milford House – final for now that is, when concerned with the Soil And Grass Residency I undertook this Autumn 2023.  I am sat in the kitchen of Milford, with Olive (residential cat) on my knee. She has gotten brave, she usen’t to come downstairs so much the last time I was here. But now the house is empty of artists, I assume it will stay so until the New Year.

I was thinking about some ideas I’d written down in my secret ideas note on my phone, top secret you understand.. I copied them unto an email and sent them to myself, Ive condensed the email down into the relevant content for now. see below:

Field frolic.
Demanding around maniacally in a field  dressed in black, with a black mask painted on. Raining ideally. Evening or afternoon. Wind. Rain. Kind of dance mime run jump
Mark making in a field- spatial canvas.
Lateral lunge stepping out, squatting and back in, in a circular pattern, making circles of movement clockwise and anti clockwise 
Performative action of moving forward and back, talking repetitively 
A loop of despair. 
Leaning into my situation and using it and a strength when applying for things and in my performance work. 
forced agenda
Surge retreat- in a Carpark underground
In a wide open space at night- 
Repetitive action, the magic is in the looped movement. Is there meditative understanding to be arrived at within the repeated action 
Accidents are not accidents 
Series of ‘flash’ actions repetitive 
Flash performances – super quick- in and out of a space 
1: forward back- swooshing forward, retreating back, possibly wearing a cloak or a billowy dress – camera looking straight at face, getting right up close to camera, then retreating and getting smaller, crouched down, head bowed 
2 stepping over, crouching under repetitively
3 jumping up, crouching down 
4 circling around clockwise, anti clockwise 
These are done in outdoor spaces, possibly filmed fast, guerilla style
Now consdidering theses notes, I wanted to try making one or two more actions whilst here, weather, conditions, ability and help permitting.
Thinking of the actions as short experimental art works
Surge retreat (Advance Retreat) 
Performative action of moving forward and back, talking repetitively 
using the laneway to milford house gates as venue- there are trees on either side so its nicely framed
Repetitive action, the magic is in the looped movement. Is there meditative understanding to be arrived at within the repeated action 
Forced Agenda
A series of continuous movement in a field.
Important- to be made at start of dusk- so 4pm, finishing after 4.30
Incorporating repetition, warm up movements, exercise movements, childlike movements- a kind of gestural dance mime run jump, but repetition repetition, layering of actions on top of each other and repeating. 
This would occur as day disappears and dusk falls. Ideally filmed, so the action gradually disappears as dusk falls. Indicating the futility and ephemerality of the gesture. Name- as an agenda is being forced on the landscape.
Now seeming as I forgot my tripod this could be challenging, I shall go and look around for something that could hold my phone in place while I make the action.
I went for a walk when I got here, in search of the brown ploughed field I’d made the Field 2,1 piece in with Mark previously. I think I found it but it looks like this now
nature you went and gave it a makeover..
Its 2.12pm-  i can see from the window that the shadows are getting longer. Think I will go out and try a run through of an action now myself- to breathe the air and push away the grass and the sky etc etc.
I am now finishing this post on Sunday evening, I arrived home from Milford house yesterday. With Olivias help I made some more experimental actions, which she helped me document.
I wanted to make 2 more actions, as mentioned above.
First I had a go at Advance Retreat. Go. Stop. Retreat. Reverse. Go. Forwards. Stop. Reverse. I like the idea of performing these actions, repeatedly, in a space. How does it feel? How does it relate to the environment? What is being asked? What is being suggested? Who is it for? For me it is a form of mark making. Its a short action intention. Its simplicity is its power. I wore a black suit as it seemed fittingly serious.

Still from Advance- Retreat- Tree avenue in Milford Grounds, Friday 1/12/2023.

I was happy with the framing anyway.
Then I had to get ready to go and have a go at Forced Agenda. I had scouted the field I wanted to make it in earlier- and I needed to wait until 4pm so as to be working as dusk fell. My goal was to perform in the field as dusk fell,  hindering visibility, and therefore me also,  all going well.

I worked for just over 35 mins, in the field. It was cold, very cold, but as I was continuously moving I was fine except for me hands and feet. My goal was to make movements, actions, until the act of making actions became easier, as the light faded around me. I had planned vaguely to keep going until it was completely dark but this did not prove to be practical- Olivia was filming for me so I was conscious of her welfare- and although I was continuously moving I could also feel myself getting stiffer and more fatigued, which was affecting my movement. We had an interesting conversation later that evening about fatigue and the midlife body.

I wore a red dress and red training leggings so as to be detectable amid the green landscape. The movement I followed is not simple to discuss- I never, never feel comfortable in my skin but thats besides the point. Its not about feeling comfortable or the aesthetics of the movement- its about the gesture of making the action.

I reserve the right to make the action.

It’s a statement of intent.

It’s an agenda.

I will do it because I can, so I will.

It is an act of forcing an agenda out there and theres nothing easy about it. It’s also an acknowledgement that I am imperfect, and that time never stops, so you must do it anyway. My uncomfortableness in my body means that the act of making movements forces me to be present and to be there, and to be uncomfortable and to sit, to stay in that uncomfortableness. Its important. To force oneself through the action, Forced agenda.

Also the repetition of action. To inhabit a space and to make actions movements, gestures, over and over again. Coming back again to how it feel so to be there, at the beginning , the middle, the end. How it relates to the environment. What is being asked. What is being suggested. Who is it for. Yes once again it is a form of mark making. It’s a conversation with the environment. Its a pushing out of, a declaration of my intention, at a particular time in a particular space.

I will edit the footage and make short films. Also to be at Milford, on December 1st, making art, felt cathartic and so affirming. Live Art has been a lifeline for me this year, when I have felt like the opportunities were scarcer and my ability to make work was more limited. It gave me the opportunity to develop new work in any which was I chose and to do so at my own pace. I am very grateful for that. TBC.