Hello There, how's it going?

I’m Steve, a performer and theatre maker based in Swansea. In January 2018 I will be working on an Arts Council Wales research project to develop a new piece of work; Sore Thumbs.

Sore Thumbs is a project about connecting research, memory and performances to place in order to unlock and encourage conversations and pockets of experience linked to the human experience of death and grief. 

Stemming from my own personal experience, my ultimate aim is to develop new, engaging, fun, participatory works which broaden the discussion to include the experience of others and offer opportunities for myself and audiences to share, evoke and celebrate the memories of their loved ones in creative ways.

‘’But, will I stand out like a Sore Thumb?”

This was a question asked by Joanna Bond, who, as part of her performance at THE END IS BY YUR conducted a meditative pilgrimage through the streets of Swansea dressed as a train in memorandum of a decommissioned railway.

My answer was “Yes, but we’re all Sore Thumbs here”.

Mourning should be as unique and creative as the people and places we miss and remember;  they should be celebrations of the potential they held in them and a joyful continuation of their energy and influence in our lives. Sore Thumbs hurt; they’ve taken a battering and stick out bright and bold among the other digits. They are a reminder and an acknowledgement that every other fleshy appendage is susceptible and vulnerable to life’s hammer.

Sore Thumbs is my attempt to experience, remap and encourage a use of public spaces which is full of life, unpredictability and play, and provide an alternative to what can be expected from the everyday.

I begin the Sore Thumbs R&D in Swansea and will be collating my thoughts and feelings here in a series of blogs posts between the 15th and 26th of January. These posts will be a mixture of working notebook and diary with images, sounds, video, questions and thoughts about how the project is developing. It'd be great if you could find the time to read, listen, watch, get in touch or get involved. I hope that they offer a little insight into the process.
Best Wishes,
Stephen Donnelly.

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