Otago Polytechnic

Jane Venis and Hannah Joynt have developed collaborative performances.

Working together in the College of Art Design and Architecture, Hannah Joynt and Jane Venis decided to explore the possibility of collaboration in their artistic practice. Hannah draws, and Jane plays music. The idea was that each would stay in their own discipline but together they would produce something fun and dynamic that would be different from what either would do separately. Hannah says:

It evolved from there. Why don't you play something and I'll draw it? Why don't you draw something and I'll play it? It's a live performance practice.

Their improvisations are spontaneous and creative - every time it's different. Jane and Hannah enjoy the synergy and curiosity to see where they'll go together, and so do their audiences. They are continuing to explore new territory in their collaborative practice, with Jane building new musical instruments and Hannah developing new drawing tools, to extend the boundaries of that what they can do together.

Each is responding to the other to produce one combined performance piece. Hannah is not just listening to Jane but also responding to her movement, and Jane is watching Hannah as well as what Hannah is drawing, as they express themselves and develop the performance "in tune" with each other.

Although the process is largely spontaneous, the drawings can also be ‘read’ as a narrative, and the performance has a theatrical storytelling quality to it. We all have different non-verbal modes of expressing ourselves. In our performances we are initiating dialogue with each other in our own individual creative languages. How might a mark be interpreted? How might sound by interpreted? The notion of improvisation and spontaneous expression is common to both drawing and music/sound performance.

They hope that their work also gives their audience a sense of wordless communication, that the audience members as witnesses will share Jane's and Hannah's experience through music, movement and drawing.

Jane and Hannah contributed Jamjo, a film work of a live performance before an audience, to Lines of Thought, an international contemporary drawing group show at the CICA Museum, Gimpo, Seoul, South Korea in 2018. They were also invited to perform live at the opening event. In September/October 2019 they have residency at the Buinho Creative Hub in the historic town of Messejana in Portugal. 

CREATIVE & PERFORMING ARTS

July 2019