While many might find these photos of bird remains (filled with colorful plastic and detritus and washed ashore) to be sad or grotesque, Saskia explained that “...a discarded, broken thing can be a beautiful thing. We are drawn to the beauty in the photos.”
In one exercise, Julian and Saskia each improvised the manipulation of two sheets of newspaper to create incredible life-like figures. “I’m interested in exploring the idea of something beautiful coming from nothing”, explained Julian. In another sketch, Julian constructed a mask out of foam on Saskia’s face, and in a matter of minutes, she had taken on the character of an old man in a boat with a distinct and aged “face.” Whenever they got stuck thinking of what to experiment with next, Julian and Saskia would write several ideas, thoughts and images down on separate slips of paper, scatter them around, and spin a pen which acted as a pointer, telling them which idea to pursue next. They would create a moment inspired by whichever slip of paper the pen had landed on after it stopped.
In the next phase, the team will most likely storyboard the plot and further explore how to bring that story to life using puppetry and music. More importantly, the artists described how they discovered a “language and aesthetic that is unique to [them.]”
“We weren’t looking for that,” said Julian, “but it was created here.”
Click here for more photos of Julian Crouch and Saskia Lane in rehearsal!