INTERVIEW with LEONIE BELL
What has been your process with working on your project? Do you do something specific to jumpstart your creative process? Please describe it.
This project has been very much based in my video conversations and written correspondence with my Midwife. We video chat on a regular basis. We also keep a physical journal together that we send back and forth. In it, we document our thoughts and responses to our written and verbal communication as well as personalized discoveries from our daily lives that we'd like to share. We include found materials (relative to our exchanges or new inspirations) in this journal. This journal is a map, a collage of our journey together as we investigate the different ways in which we can be witnesses, in which a document can be a witness, to a the flow of time as it impacts our interior and physicalized landscapes, as it impacts our work and our relationship to our work (and our audiences). In that sense, it often feels like a science experiment based on the firing of neurons - we jumpstart based on any little (visible or invisible) stimulus, a remembered phrase from a video chat, a quote included in the notebook, a comment on a magazine cut out. I feel continuously creatively inspired and ravenous for this type of textured exchange because it feels active, down and dirty, and the work owns itself with our combine effort to let it do so.
What has been a challenge about this project? A surprise?
At times, as with many things you adore, I fail to make time for our journal. It sometimes takes weeks for me to return to it due to time constraints (that my brain and I have decided on), like when you get caught up in work and don't see your friends for a while. Once you return, it feels so good and you can't believe you were so far away from this goodness just by deciding something else was more important. (Incidentally, this line of thought is a favorite topic of ours, how we "should" ourselves into a creative practice (because we are worried about everything "other" - opinions, how "well" other artists are doing, etc. - then it stops being about the work and that's not respectful towards yourself or the work) when sometimes a creative practice involves not doing something for a while just because that's what it wants at that time - trusting that has proven to be the harder part). This journaling process with my Midwife has and is helping me take it at my own pace, to not let the creeps that are my negative thoughts (and which often lead to a sense of paralysis in my work and creative spirit) try and take over the party. MY PARTYBUS!
Is there anything you’ve learned, or are learning, from this process?
I thrive on exchange! I could be in my room, doing weird dance shows for myself with me as my audience, sure, but the intellectual, emotional, and inspirational support and invigoration I've been getting from my Midwife and our journaling has been one of the best things I've ever experienced. The only intention behind this work is to document a process of time passing through life and theater-making and incidentally, creative bursts come as an amazing side product.
What do you create time for that feeds your creativity?
Our journal! I feel like a collaging queen in a low pressure/ high inspiration environment and that is texturally stimulating, soothing, and never-ending.