Body Stories: Huddersfield Art Gallery Residency

I have just completed a three week collaborative residency with Gerry Turvey at Huddersfield Art Gallery.

Gerry Turvey: Dance, director, choreography.

Roger Bygott: Visual Artist, installation

June Gersten-Roberts: Video, installation

Vanessa Grasse: Choreographic director

Daniel Weaver: Sound and music composition

Gerry Turvey is a dance artist, who works in art galleries; she uses visual art as a starting point for movement and choreography. Her work and workshops have spanned over 30 years and have been seen in galleries in Leeds and Manchester as well as Iziko South Africa and The Hepworth Wakefield. She has shown work in Huddersfield Art Gallery since 1987.

Archive interview with Gerry Turvey and Ruth Gamble

Slide Show Documentation

The following slide show videos show three aspects of the residency: Development, Public Workshops and Performance. I will post video footage of the performance when it is edited. The sounds in the slide shows are all compositions by Daniel Weaver. The compositions were used as part of the sound installation and also for the final performances. There were three performances in the gallery, all fully booked (with 25-28 people attending each show).

Notes on the work

Through the threading and weaving of different art forms the artists used the personal and physical journey of Gerry Turvey’s life as the initial point to map her stories acknowledging how injury and physical trauma has brought about change in her life.

The concept of mapping and framing is a strong element of the installation, and of the performative work. The use of glass and window frames creates a sense of outlining and enclosing and develops a sense of strength as well as vulnerability. Written histories of the personal and the public are seen hanging in the space on luggage labels that celebrate the stories and lives of the many people that have added to the work. The use of film as part of the installation allows the viewer to witness images that could not be performed live. It gives closer scrutiny of physicality developing for a deeper and more intimate relationship for the audience. The film uses ideas of mapping, framing and layering, contextualising the theme and concepts. The final choreography was performed in the installation.

 Visitors to the gallery were invited to witness the rehearsal process, talk to the artists and explore the installation. In addition we invited people to add their own body stories to the work by writing a memory on a luggage label. Visitors could listen to Gerry talking about her work with Huddersfield gallery since 1987, and see the images on a monitor in the gallery.

The project has been developed over a two year period as artist residencies at the MillSpace in Leeds in 2012, and as part of the Space, Time, Tools, Advice scheme at IOU theatre space Halifax during August 2013.

As visual and installation artist for the work I loved working collaboratively and found the cross-over of disciplines really satisfying.

For further information about the creative process of the Body Stories project please visit the blog where there is information, images and film footage.

Bodystories: Elements of the Installation

Two adjacent gallery spaces at Huddersfield Art Gallery. With central sliding doors between the two.

Luggage labels with Gerry Turvey and public’s Bodystories written on them.

Rasterized images of a) the luggage labels, b) still images of Gerry’s body from Gersten-Robert’s video. Mounted on A4 foam mount and hung with red thread.

Red thread. Blood, veins etc.

A3 Tissue prints from still images of Gerry’s body from June Gersten-Robert’s video.

Rolls of tracing paper: for drawing onto with chalk and pastel. Then projected onto. Hung in twos or threes on different planes with slight overlaps.

Old frames of various sizes. As part of installation and as objects for dance interaction.

Videos: developed by Gerry Turvey and June Gersten-Roberts at Armley Mill residency, Leeds.

Dance: choreography developed by Gerry Turvey and directed by Vanessa Grasse.

Music composed by Daniel Weaver. Four channel audio installation in each room.

TV/DVD player with headphones for showing of video archive and Gerry Turvey audio interview with Ruth Gamble. 10 minute video/slideshow on loop.

Table for a) extra luggage labels with invite for public to write own body story and place in installation, b) pens, c) comments book, d) further information.

A1 wall mounted exhibition information board.

Some personal evaluation points 

(I will post a fuller collective evaluation later)

What worked

The final installation and performances worked. I think we worked towards an aesthetic and artistic conclusion whereby the dance and the installation elements (visual and audio) were coherently balanced. The three performances were fully booked (I assume the promotion and advertising worked). The public feedback was positive.

The primary idea was to create a performance mapping Gerry’s body stories over some 30 years of dance. I think we succeeded in doing that.

The two gallery spaces worked as linked, yet contrasting, spaces.

The video projections onto tracing paper rolls worked well.

The aesthetic of red thread and black and white prints worked well and was commented on in the feedback.

The rasters and tissue prints worked. (The tissue prints were in demand by the end of the show!).

The body stories luggage labels worked (both as an installation element and in terms of public participation). People did write body stories and read them. They were also successful in terms of engaging the public in dialogue.

Both the open and the HOOT workshops were successful and enjoyed by the participants

The artist’s talk/presentation was successful.

The most successful things

The collaborative process.

The final performances.

Seeing the piece develop over the period of the residency.

What was difficult/could have been better

Working with the limits of gallery lighting.

Limited technical support (in terms of time).

I think the archive slide show imagery could have been better edited as it had too much of the IOU residency. The information on the audio interview could have been better matched to the visuals. Maybe we didn’t need such a large screen ; a smaller wall mounted one might have been better?

The attendance for the performances was great but, I felt, a bit crowded. Could we have done more performances with fewer audience each time?

What we learned in the project

The collaborative process was productive, lively, and mutually beneficial in terms of learning.

Cross-disciplinary practice is very valuable.

There is a public interest in installation/dance.

Successive residencies (Armley, IOU then HAG) are really valuable. We built on the IOU residency and developed it considerably at Huddersfield Art Gallery. There is a sense that we could still develop the piece. This is also to do with learning about site specific modification and development. The original elements of the piece develop new relationships, meanings and layers as the project moves forward.


Playspace Project: Artists’ Summer Camp

A project of two parts created by The Heinrich Event and The Verb. Playspace is made possible by Castlefield Gallery New Art Spaces

Artists’ Summer Camp 19th : 30th August
8HRS + 2HRS 31st August

Playspace will take place at 4B Piccadilly Place, Manchester M1 3BN.


Artists’ Summer Camp is a chance to get creative in a space with other people – it’s as simple as that. You might want to make something together or play on your own; it’s up to you. Artists’ Summer Camp will provide a workspace and interesting and stimulating people. Just bring anything you may need to make, the site is in close proximity to city centre art shops etc.
Create in the space for a couple of hours, an afternoon, or over week or two: you decide!

Artists’ Summer Camp is open Monday 19th to Thursday 22nd August and Tuesday 27th August to Friday 30th August, 10-5.
It may be open over Bank Holiday weekend, by arrangement, subject to availability.

If you are coming to Artists’ Summer Camp, please first join the Playspace Facebook group and then let us know via the Artists’ Summer Camp Facebook event, stating which day or days you plan to come down. Or, if you are Facebook-averse, let us know via
On your first day at Artists’ Summer Camp, please arrive either between 10 and 10:30 or 2 and 2:30 to be inducted into the space.

8HRS + 2HRS | 31st August 10-6pm

8HRS of creating alongside, and if you choose with, other artists.

This is a 12HRS event, just a more concise day. See for details for past 12HRS events.
12HRS is a series of artist focused events which brings creative minds together to create in the same space over a day.
It provides practitioners with an opportunity to MEET/CREATE/DISCUSS with artists from a range of creative backgrounds. There are no limits to what can be done in this time frame. This is aimed at all creative people from enthusiasts to professional artists at all stages of their career. Learn, share, collaborate, and communicate.

If you want to come to 8HRS, please tell us by joining Playspace Facebook group and then posting to the 8HRS + 2HRS Facebook event, letting us know who you are, what you plan to bring & how much space you may need to create in. Or, if you are Facebook-averse, let us know via


Saturday 31st August, 6-8pm

2HRS is open to the public – invite your friends!
If you cannot take part in the Summer Camp or 8HRS but would like to see what has gone on over the 2 weeks join us for a beer and a peek! MEET|DISCUSS with other artists, and perhaps share experiences had over the two week project.

Playspace is made possible by Castlefield Gallery New Art Spaces

Feel free to get in touch with any question at

Ad Hoc Dance: Motion in Pictures

I worked with Salford based community dance group Ad Hoc over 11 weeks as artist in residence. We produced and performed ‘Motion in Pictures’ in studio 3 at the Lowry Arts Centre on July 22nd. The choreography developed out of an 11 week course in contemporary dance technique and creative movement, led by choreographer and artistic director, Ruth Jones.

My remit was to produce live mark making in response to the choreography.


Public Show:

Nice comment from Bethan Rhys William, audience member and director of Wise Move Dance

Very many congratulations on a wonderful evening. Your concept of combining a live artist as part of the performance was truly inspiring. The extra visuals added an element of spontaneity and an interesting dimension. I thoroughly enjoyed the evening. So good to see people having access to and being so absorbed in dance, regardless of age or previous experience…..very humbling……

IOU Making It Workshop

June’s Making it session took place at IOU Studio on Wednesday 5 June at 7pm.

I co-facilitated the workshop with Gerry Turvey. This Making It workshop was all about Leaving a Trace. The session explored the amount of space each of us take up and how we can leave behind traces of ourselves that represent that space. Using found objects and playing with physicality, participants shaped identity and image. The session was held both inside and outside of the studio where participants went for a structured walk in small groups, and brought  photographic images back.

Indoor traces:

Outdoor traces:

Post workshop merging:

Making it pair (2) Making it pair (5)(72) Making it pair (6)(72) Making It Pair(1) Making it pairs (3) Making it Pairs (4)

Flickr collection of images from the workshop