Louise Ann Wilson has over twenty years experience working as a leading site-specific performance maker, scenographer and director.
She is the Artistic Director of the Louise Ann Wilson Company Ltd (LAW Co) formed in 2008 to produce the performance work of Louise Ann Wilson. The company makes visual and multi-sensory site-specific performances in rural locations that seek to articulate, reflect upon, and transform significant life-events. This work is evolved in close collaboration with artists from a broad range of creative disciplines, experts from fields not usually associated with performance, and people with lay and local knowledge and skills. It is made through an extended period of immersion in a chosen place using bespoke processes and methodologies. Performances include: Ghost Bird (2012), a silent walking-performance and live art installation in the Trough of Bowland, Lancashire; Fissure (2011), a three day walking-performance created in the Yorkshire Dales; Jack Scout (2010) and Still Life (2008, rev.2009) both dance and live-art walking-performances created with Sap Dance in response to the environment and landscape of Morecambe Bay, Lancashire.
Louise’s regularly exhibits her work, recent exhibitions include: Ghost Bird, with production photos by Manuel Vason, in Transformed Double-Bill (Sept-Dec 2013) at the Peter Scott Gallery, Live at LICA, Lancaster will be transferring, as a solo show, to RSPB Geltsdale’s gallery, Cumbria (Jan-April 2014). Her production of Fissure was nominated for a Production Design Award at the World Stage Design exhibition in Cardiff (Sept 2013). And an exhibition of four of Louise’s productions is currently showing in Creating a Scene, a group exhibition at The National Centre for Craft & Design, Lincolnshire (Jan-April 2014).
From 1998–2008 she was the Co-Artistic Director of the acclaimed site-specific theatre makers wilson+wilson, a RFO of ACE whose works include Mulgrave (2005), News from the Seventh Floor (2003), Mapping the Edge (2001) and House (1998), see www.louiseannwilson.com.
Louise is currently undertaking a Practice as Research PhD (nominee) at Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA) for which she has was awarded an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) studentship.
Fissure, devised by Louise Ann Wilson in memory of her late sister, was a cross-disciplinary, site-specific walking-performance that unfolded over three days in the Yorkshire Dales. It was a unique encounter between artists, scientists, participants and landscape that explored life, death, grief and renewal; and was performed by a company of professional dancers and musicians, geologists, neurologists, cavers, mountain leaders, a choir, hand bell-ringers and church bell-ringers.
In Fissure 180 participants made a journey by train then on foot covering a twenty-mile route that circum-navigated, descended-beneath, and finally ascended Ingleborough.
Fissur was Louise's response to the illness and death, aged 29, of her sister due to a brain tumour and the grief caused by her loss. The piece created a space where the diagnosis of a terminal illness and its implications could be explored and her aim was to make a performance which transformed this very personal experience into a work of art that resonated with others on both an individual and universal level.
In planning the route and the places in the landscape for creative and scientific interventions Louise looked for fissured, symbolic, and diverse locations such as limestone pavements, shake-holes, cairns, scars, subterranean rivers, caves, and mountain tops. These choices were underpinned with neuro-scientific knowledge of the brains structure and its function and dysfunction. The shape and dramaturgy of the piece was informed by: key moments of her sister's illness, death and the ensuing grief; oncology and treatment notes; and the liturgical structure of resurrection and underworld myths and religious narratives.
Creator, Director and Scenographer: Louise Ann Wilson
Choreographer: Nigel Stewart
Composer: Jocelyn Pook
Writer: Elizabeth Burns
Scientists and Experts: Neuro-Oncologist, Professor Michael Brada; Neuro Physicist, Dr Chris Clark; Neuro Surgeon, Andrew McEvoy; Geologist, Dr Mike Kelly; Conservationist, Colin Newlands; and Caver: Duncan Morrison.
Commissioned and produced by Artevents in association with the Louise Ann Wilson Company
Production photo: Bethany Clarke