Please Mind

Please Mind PromoPlease Mind Promo[2]

Please Mind
Living Arts of Tulsa
Saturday, September 20, 2014, 8pm

On Saturday, September 20, 2014 at Living Arts of Tulsa, artist, Marianne Evans-Lombe, will perform Please Mind as part of the event ‘Fragmented Lives’.

Please Mind is a live performance created as a response to events leading up to the artist’s son’s diagnosis of schizophrenia; the diagnosis itself; and subsequent events relating to the diagnosis.

‘Fragmented Lives’ is a poetry event with the theme of mental illness curated by Deborah Hunter.

Marianne Evans-Lombe
Please Mind – Live Performance
Project Description

On June 19, 2002, my son, Tarik, was diagnosed with schizophrenia. He was seventeen years old.

This story of my son, schizophrenia and the mental health system is told without words – in images and body language. The main imagery is that of the swallow – Roman symbol for a mother who lives with sorrow. The movements of my body come from a video tape I did of myself telling the story. I took movements my body made during the telling and turned them into a movement sequence. I created swallow drawings and filmed them and their corresponding shadows. The film will run during the performance. There will be moments of visual silence in which the only movement is that of my body, and moments in which the swallows and their shadows will intermittently interplay with my body; the surrounding walls, ceiling and floor; and replicas of cliff swallow nests that I created from clay.

The title of the piece is Please Mind, both a lament for my son’s mind and a sincere request that he comply with treatment.

Special gratitude goes to Alicia Chesser for the movement development and Rose McCraken for the film.

Photos: Rosa Evans-Lombe and Amy Ide

Rows of Swallows

Rows of Swallows

Yesterday, as part of the research I am doing for ‘Please Mind’, I spent a couple of hours talking to Dr. Charles Brown, Professor, University of Tulsa, whose research centers on the evolution of social behavior within a particular population of cliff swallows in western Nebraska. It was fascinating.

Dr. Brown has offered me a trip to Tall Grass Prairie, Osage County, Oklahoma to observe cliff swallow nests so that I can replicate them for the performance. In March, I’ll travel to Mission San Juan Capistrano, California for the annual return of the swallows, where Dr. Brown is a featured speaker. And when we return to Oklahoma, Dr. Brown will take me to observe the flight of the swallows right before I film my swallow drawings and their corresponding shadows in Porter Hall at Pittsburg State University the beginning of April.

As a bonus, Dr. Brown let me rummage around in a lab at TU and I took this photograph of rows and rows of cliff swallows in a pull-out drawer in a cabinet.

Swallows: Roman symbol for a mother who lives with sorrow.

Swallows: Roman symbol for a mother who lives with sorrow.

Yesterday, I attached all the swallow drawings to the poplar switches in preparation for filming. I bundled them all up so they were easier to manage and laid them across one of my studio tables. I started photographing the bundle from different angles. For this one, I laid on my back under the bundle and shot toward the ceiling. The backlight turned the swallows and switches into words, writing to me about swallows and sorrow.

Poplars for Please Mind

Poplars for Please Mind

This is my living room full of silver poplar branches to use for Please Mind. A good friend brought me 50 from a grove right outside of town. I have stripped them of their leaves and now have a bucket full of switches to attach swallow drawings to. I am awaiting approval to use the 2nd Floor Gallery Space at PSU. Once that happens, I will use the space to film the swallow drawings and their corresponding shadows. As inspiration, I have in my mind the Plastic Bag Scene from the movie ‘American Beauty’. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKg6OJ6zhhc

Please Mind

Please Mind

I am getting ready to film the swallow drawings and their corresponding shadows. Yesterday, a good friend delivered 50 switches from silver poplar trees. The poplar is a symbol of pain and lamentation “thought to grow in the underworld with its foliage trembling in the last breath of air” and I am using them to operate the swallow drawings in flight.

These are two of the swallow drawings: one out of black paper and one a line drawing on acetate. I did a short test film this morning. Drawings, shadows and the flight of birds are three of my favorite things.

Please Mind

Proposal_Please Mind

On June 19, 2002, my son, Tarik, was diagnosed with schizophrenia. He was seventeen years old. This performance was created as a response to events leading up to that diagnosis; the diagnosis itself; and the subsequent events relating to the diagnosis.

This story of my son, schizophrenia and the mental health system is told without words – in images and body language. The main imagery is that of the swallow – Roman symbol for a mother who lives with sorrow. The movements of my body come from a video tape I did of myself telling the story. I took movements my body made during the telling and turned them into a movement sequence. I created swallow drawings and filmed them and their corresponding shadows. The film will run during the performance. There will be moments of visual silence in which the only movement is that of my body, and moments in which the swallows and their shadows will intermittently interplay with my body; the surrounding walls, ceiling and floor; and replicas of cliff swallow nests that I created from clay, paper and sticks.

The title of the piece is ‘Please Mind’, both a lament for my son’s mind and a sincere request that he comply with treatment.

Please Mind

Please Mind

Watching the swallows
That flew about restlessly,
And flung their shadows
Upon the sunbright walls of the old building;
The shadows glanced and twinkled,
Interchanged and crossed each other,
Expanded and shrunk up,
Appeared and disappeared, every instant;
As I observed to William and Coleridge,
Seeming more like living things
Than the birds themselves.
– Dorothy Wordsworth