Tag: art

William Kentridge in front of his work Home Page Boxes

William Kentridge inspires BEAF 2021

William Kentridge inspires BEAF 2021

 

a crowd of people
William Kentridge’s Other Faces

We have shared our ideas, asked for your thoughts and now we want to introduce William Kentridge, and share why his work ‘Other Faces’ was the inspiration behind this years festival theme 2B Human. We are honoured and excited to be exhibiting ‘Other Faces’ during the 2021 festival.

sharing personal stories linked to the complexity of existence, to uncertainty and to broader reflections on the human condition

 2B Human

For BEAF 2021 Artists we set the theme of what it means to be human.  The theme was introduced through the words of visionary artist William Kentridge, which provided a starting point for ideas and motivations for proposals. We were also particularly interested in proposals which involve community engagement, or from practitioners who work in socially engaged practice.

Who is William Kentridge?

William Kentridge drawing
William Kentridge drawing

William Kentridge is one of the world’s greatest living artists. Born in Johannesburg to lawyers well-known for representing people marginalised by the apartheid. Kentridge has had an expansive career which has seen him design opera sets, stage multi-disciplinary performances and create hard-hitting and poignant drawings and animations.

Kentridge grew up amidst the racial turmoil in South Africa. It is this racial tension which informs his art. His work explores the legacy of apartheid, as well as the human condition, and the ever-repeating cycles of history and memory.

“Drawing is about fluidity and testing ideas”

Kentridge only ever draws in charcoal with touches of blue and red pastel.  His drawings are then progressively altered through erasure and overdrawing, and given a few seconds on a 35 mm film camera.

Other Faces

William Kentridge's drawing of a man with a camera
A still from William Kentridge’s Other Faces animation

‘Other Faces’ is Kentridge’s latest foray into cinematic animation. It sees the return of character Soho Eckstein. A character from previous films who is a Caucasian industrialist and land developer living in post-apartheid South Africa.

This film is the newest addition to the artist’s Drawings for Projection series which began in 1989 with Johannesburg, 2nd Greatest City after Paris. The film attempts to narrate the socio-political traumas experienced by individuals in the wake of apartheid and civil war.

Eckstein’s story in Other Faces begins when is involved in a car accident with a black preacher in front of a black African church in downtown Johannesburg.  Kentridge oscillates the narrative between the event and Eckstein’s thoughts using his unique style of animation.  The music, provided by fellow South African Philip Miller, evokes another layer of pathos, as Eckstein’s story unfolds.

 

BEAF 2021

You will be able to see ‘Other Faces’ between 29th June – 6th July at this years festival.

If you are inspired by William Kentridge and our theme 2B Human, there is still time to send us your open submissions application HERE  and join us for BEAF 2021!

One person standing and one person sitting against a brick wall Coming Up

A Taste of BEAF 2021: Pests Production

A Taste of BEAF

BEAF 2021’s Commissioned Artists

Planning for BEAF 2021 is in full swing, and we are more excited for May 29th than June 21st!  So, over the coming weeks we will be giving you an exclusive taste of BEAF 2021, by introducing our 2021 commissioned artists and what exciting things they have planned for this year’s festival. Each week we will feature chats we’ve had with our artists to find out what you can expect between May 29th – June 6th.

FABruary, Outrageous Outfits & Uncle Simon’s ‘friend’ Mark

One person standing and one person sitting against a brick wall
David & Sophia from Pests Production

 

This week, in honour of LGBTQ+ month we chatted to Sophia from the vibrant world of Pests Production. Run by Sophia Greppi and David Doust Pests Production is not-for-profit producing company grown and based in Dorset. The duo put on drag and theatre shows across the South West, and have worked with local, national, and international artists to bring performances to areas that don’t have much of an established arts scene.

As well as putting on a variety of shows, including an Arts Council funded programme of theatre, they also offer producing services, application guidance, script editing, and general artsy chats for people feeling a bit lost about their next step.

‘It’s basically a party, it’s a celebration, and it’s definitely a gay old time’

What new piece are you creating for BEAF Festival 2021?

We were delighted to be asked to organise BEAF’s closing party! We’ll be joined by two solo performance artist, Grace Thompson and James Watkins, both putting on previously toured shows. They’re weird, they’re funny, and they’re definitely not anything you’ve seen before! And following this, we’re bringing you a fabulous night of drag with our ever brilliant hostess, Cilly Black. Cilly and her cast will be bringing a whole night of live performances, lipsync battles, and outrageous outfits, all under the theme of ‘Coming out of the Closet; Best Outfit Edition’.

People have been stuck in trackies and pjs most of this past year, so we thought it’d be super fun to encourage all of our audience to wear their favourite outfits, whether that’s a floor length gown or your newest football shirt. It’s basically a party, it’s a celebration, and it’s definitely a gay old time.

 

Lipsyncing drag performer with arms in the air
Lipsyncing performance during BEAF 2019 festival.

We love making people happy’

Tell us all about FABruary

FABrurary was our little project this month to bring some happiness onto people’s socials. Everyday, myself, David, Josh (aka Cilly), or Emily, our social media guru, would nominate a person we thought were fab and write about them! We picked athletes, humanitarians, artists, friends, relatives, all sorts! It’s been amazing to see the response, and how many people have messaged us privately to say they’ve really been cheered up by the posts. Getting that kind of feedback is what we strive for; we love making people happy and sharing positive vibes.

Check out Pests Production socials to see their nominations for FABruary:

Pests Production Facebook

Pests Production Instagram

Pests Production Twitter

‘Openly queer characters on children’s TV shows helps a lot more kids than most people realise’

Who is your biggest motivator or inspiration from the LGBTQ+ community?

I think my biggest inspiration growing up had to be my uncles. I remember being really young when my uncle Simon would come round with his ‘friend’ Mark. Being a very small person at the time, I just thought it was cool that my uncle got to hang out with his best friend all the time! Both my uncles have been incredible rocks in my life, and a shining example of what a successful marriage looks like.

I also have a passionate love for Rebecca Sugar; she’s an out and proud bisexual woman, and her work as a writer and cartoon creator gives younger audiences clear examples of queer relationships and the fluidity of gender. I would have loved to have had something like Steven Universe when I was younger, it helps explain a lot of what I was feeling growing up but didn’t know how to put into words. Having openly queer characters on a children’s TV show helps a lot more kids than most people realise I think; even with the progress today, there’s still a loneliness in figuring out queer sexuality in a hetero-normative world.

 

Drag Perfomer smiling during a performance
Scarlett Fever performing – follow her on the ‘gram @scarlettfeverdrag

‘We’re curious, we can’t help ourselves, we’re only human.’

What does it mean to you to be human?

A lot of being human to me is all about exploring! Bonding with other people and learning more about them, more about the world, that’s what it means to be human. You get born one day onto this weird little watery rock in space and there’s SO MUCH to discover on it! Since lockdown, I’ve had the chance to try out a lot of stuff, and even the stuff I’ve failed miserably at, I’ve really enjoyed trying.

I think humans are curious little creatures through and through, we love to learn, we love to try new things. I get so excited about any space mission, because isn’t it just brilliant that these little specs in the universe are sending their robots off to other planets to explore even more? We’re curious, we can’t help ourselves, we’re only human.

Share your FAB People!

A big thank you to Sophia for chatting with us and sharing more about Pests Production, her inspirations and what it means to be human! Sign up to the Pests Production newsletter to see all the icons their followers have submitted as their own FAB people. Sophia and David are also still taking submissions for anyone else interested in taking part! Find all details pinned to the top of their fab Facebook page: HERE