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If we are the writers of dances Poet from Latin poeta “a poet,” from Greek poetes “maker, author, poet,” variant of poietes, from poein, poiein to make, create, compose Make from the Old English macian “to make, form, construct, do; prepare, arrange, cause; behave, fare, transform Curate from Medieval Latin curatus “one responsible for the care (of souls),” Choreography from French choréographie, coined from Latinized form of Greek khoreia “dance”+ graphein “to write”


in the ink dark A beginning

Dreamt as a living poem, it is a wander along the water, a seat beside someone on a bench, a conversation, a landscape of words written with bodies, a space for you to reflect, remember, imagine, in honour of things loved and lost

In the Ink Dark is an on-going project made of four parts: conversations, podcasts, performances and a collection. You can meet with each part individually or you can experience each in relationship to the other. This beginning of a collection traces some parts from the first iteration of In the Ink Dark for the midsummer of 2017. A little like memory it will continue to grow, breathe, fold, fade, tear, transform over time. Amongst these pages you will find the first In the Ink Dark poem, made by me from memory and from conversations with people all over Edinburgh and Leith about things they have loved and lost, read aloud by myself at the end of each dance performance. It is accompanied by traces of the dance made to honour those handfuls of words, drawn from visual artist Brian Hartley’s work throughout this process and the live performances; along with some musings on memory, cloth, collaboration and composition from Co-Designers Ben Whyman and Shanti Freed and Composer Scott Twynholm; as well as some more rememberings from people who encountered the project in its’ first iteration. Threaded throughout are the beautiful thoughts and words of Poet JL Williams, whose texts appear in blue. We have been in conversation about the project for just over a few years now. Our ongoing dialogue about the relationship between words and movement, poetry and choreography, became such an important element to its evolution that I asked JL to respond to what she heard, what she felt, what she saw throughout this process, so that we might share what came from the meeting of our words, our worlds, more widely. Memory is a live act, a choreography of connection, we can re-remember. This collection is a re-remembering of the project thus far, where it has come from, where it has been, where it might flow. It is not complete. As with memory it is partial. It weaves together insights from some of the artists involved and other people’s experiences. It is made as something for you to sit with, to hold, unfold, compose. You can dip in and out of it. Keep some parts close and let some go. Fragments, leaves to lift, which fall and see, how this object, some other surface, material, body of thought, might meet with yours. Luke Pell


Remembering In the Ink Dark the images appear now I struggle to clear my mind I want my mind to be clear for this clear clear movement action your bodies on the floor moving remind me of when you sleep touching me ever so briefly is it getting darker? as if bent out of shape still bright enough to write / to dance mellow and undone even your words are movement pigeons in the rafters the cry of a pigeon a child’s cry a love cry almost drowning out your words the echoing wing-sound the gleaming of light on copper the dust in the air as light leaves the room with sound the scented cloth trailing from a space high above long gold pins ink on paper words fading into as light falls the dark

JL Williams


He often sits curled up in himself  his long limbs folded and wrapped around one another his hands moving through the air in the manner of small birds moving in and out of the mouths of flowers JLW


A CONVERSATION

between bodies

A sculptor, a dry stone wall builder, a thatcher, a potter, consider their materials, their qualities, their dynamics, their action, in space and time, how they might change and transform in weather, in heat, in cold. I’m a maker. My material is the world around me, the words we find, the movements we make, the learning that comes from living. My work is to listen and to touch gently upon some things we won’t have words for, where words fail, to notice what might go unnoticed, the somethings in between. You write with your left hand You look at me and smile The sculptor, the painter makes studies, explorations in material, time, light. A series of considerations, of properties, qualities, particularities to bring an object into being, a visual, physical manifestation, which may, or may not, endure over time. Forceful objects. The way you fall in and out of time The way you direct my gaze with your gaze to your hand What then for those of us whose materials and studies are with the intangible, the live, the fleeting, the craft of making, the art of disappearance. I tend to talk about making and curating rather than work in participatory practice, live art, dance or performance. I create offerings and invitations, choreographies, poetic objects, intimate encounters in a certain light. What is the job of the writer?

What is the job of the dancer?

To dance / to remember To remember / to write

Yet dance is at the heart. Why dance? Not so much for the sake of spectacle - although I believe dancers are remarkable creatures with incredible, physical, embodied, felt intelligences – much more for the social, for well/being, certainly for ritual, for craft, for the magic, for art. Always as a political act and for me, because it is most like what is to be in the world. Here and gone. I identify as queer, all the shades of grey, the mist, somewhere in between. And I’m genuinely curious about other ways of being in the world, each of our unique lived experiences are precious, and gathered together offer wisdoms for living. What of that wisdom should become public and what remain private. Your closeness


If my work is to be with to you for as long as you need, to choreograph an encounter, in some space or room, a conversation about some memory across a floor. Where you or I may share something that won’t meet with many or any others’ eyes or ears and you leave that room with only the tiniest trace. The peeling walls the filtered light of pre-dusk Your tattered clothes The way you look when sound becomes light How do we value that? That time, that labour, those crafted moments, that empty space, where we make what’s seemingly certain, beautifully disappear I am not afraid of your body

DANCES I think of the words in poems as dancers in constant movement, trembling with emotion, very strong, carrying the weight of their fully lived experience, able because of their training to forget everything but this moment, this lifting in air, this touch. Commonly understood as the art of dancing, choreography in contemporary arts practices and cultural discourse is increasingly understood as a means of exploring movement, the patterns and dynamics in the world around us. This outward facing notion of choreography includes the movement of and relationships between people, cultures and communities, bodies and buildings, design, landscape and architecture, eco-systems, political structures, values, identities, objects, artefacts, materials, matter. People and the land around us transform in every moment, subtly and radically. Forests are devastated by fire, buildings crumble and decay, species disappear, politics change, family members die, friends move away, relationships end. Some changes we learn to anticipate, to predict and others are entirely unexpected, shocking and as such, traumatic. I lost a poem once and it was impossible to rewrite it. I tried and tried and wrote many other poems. Life is this. Humanity is this. New each time in spite of our desire for what is gone.


When we lose people, we lose a large part of ourselves, because we have come to know ourselves, and the world, together, through our relationship with them. Confronted by impermanence. In no longer seeing or holding that someone, some-thing, we are terrified that it is forever gone. The world is so thick, that we feel thinned. - I watched your tide go out breath by longer drawing breath What I care most about are people and places and the threads that weave between them. I am concerned about how we negotiate change and appreciate other ways of being. Change being that which permits survival. Fascinated by nuances of time, texture, memory and landscape, my work is underpinned by ongoing research into how we find language for loss. The physicist says that nothing is measurable. And by that he means the something of nothing. Utopia which means ‘no place’, and the space around the words which make the poem possible / the space around the dancer which makes the dance possible. In the wind, the tree branches trembling, no, the space around the branches of the trees. The poet Rilke said ‘Our instinct should not be to desire consolation over a loss but rather to develop a deep and painful curiosity to explore this loss completely, to experience the peculiarity, the singularity, and the effects of this loss in our life’. Poets, prophets, seers. In Celtic history the druids would invoke knowledge, attempt to see the invisible, by entering into ecstatic states of inspiration through trances, frenzies, dances. When we dance there is an activation, an acupuncture of the land, a summoning. An attention to what will come, to now and then. Remembering is an act of power. Landscapes remember, bodies remember. Grief for which there is no cure, because love does not end when the loved one dies. Death which is a stepping out of one frame and into another, which leaves a room filled with the loved one’s absence. Everywhere, there, and there, and even there where you never were, there you are. There. And when I breathe I know you are with me, and it is a deeper and more intimate relationship than we could have when you were in life, in which you are not writing the poem of breath, but you are my breath, and I am not a singular being, but I am also you. In amongst these people, places, living, come some things we won’t have words for. But, when words fail, there are dances.


When I am with him time is a pool rather than a tug, and I watch him across a room and see how he carries stillness with him. he walks you walk along the river of knowledge, libraries weight the river the library of stories the library of seeds the library of poems


in each my heart broke and was made whole again the way the river breaks and becomes whole again the way the skin breaks and becomes whole again the way the dream breaks and becomes whole

JLW


WORDS The poet whose fingers dance across the page, the poet who walks to the window, wordless, and raises the hand to trace the mark where once the water… When I first met him he told me that he had lost a partner, that he made work about death, about re-imagining loss, what it is to really listen, to touch,

to notice, to be with transformation and change I didn’t think it was morbid, I thought it was brave Some people don’t know what to do with loss and pain So much is hidden from us and we hide so much His work reminds me that we each have the river in us, each one of us is rushing He’s slowing the film down so we can see one another Being dazzled or trying not to be dazzled by the flashing lights with these sink lines of grief dropping in and the precious silver fish, those dreams, those hopes, pushing against the current

I love language water. Its great shapes and sounds, tones, colours, textures, how always moving, it is changed by people and place and time where once you I love how words form in the mouth and hand kissing, pressing, passing through pen or tongue, on to the page, off the lips. Reaching out in, toward others fingers, eyes, ears hearts, minds, memories. As a maker and curator of dance and performance I work with words in a particular way. For me language is physical. I understand it as of the body. My body is a choreographer of words. Words are the movement of my thoughts in air, the description of the dance on the page. I work with words and movement. Words as movements that outlive us. Words can bring things into being with greater clarity sun through pane. And dances can say so much when words fail, because I tired of the sound of my own voice, or understood that you could no longer hear my words, but that beneath the words was a flow so strong it connected this world with


The poetry of the body. Poetry unlike prose, narrative and other such ‘logics’, comes for me from sensing, feeling, attending, intuiting, opening up to the world, these things we do as we dance. It can speak to those things beyond our known experience, things that are bigger than words, different to the stories, fables, facts, we were told were the truths to be recalled. Poems are dances, dances are poems, they are queer things, excessive, subtle, radical, magical things. Spell and charm and ritual, evocations of what it is to live, which is to die, transform. These dancers, all dances, our movement through this world, these some-things, welling, swelling, meandering, maelstrom of musings, words carefully chosen to attempt to convey something beyond the sum of its parts, pluralities, experience abundance. There is deep time and there is this time slipperiness, the transformation of all our feeling, relationships and relatedness and all we thought we knew in every moment, convergence, comes some new emergence that changes what we’ve known. Words can be a way of finding questions and making invitations. An invitation is a gesture. Opening, Words

a conversation

Dances Invitations

Questions, can also exclude. Why? Why not? But, I think of a question as an opening and An opening, as a space of possibility what we call sacred even if we no longer believe A space that can invite different perspectives on what it is to be in the world and articulations of unique lived experiences An offer to work in ways - that to some, might seem more slowly - with space and time and the intention that everyone can be held and heard and listened to. I’m tired of the tyranny of schedules and want my own time. My body wants this, my mind wants this, my heart wants this. To do as and when I wish, to sleep as and when. Not because I need to find wood for the fire, or food for my son, or numbers for my spreadsheet, or a home, or love, or a dry patch to lay my head. I love the spaces between words, the pause,


The space to read or write yourself in the space you make for me And this is also what words can do, open up space to read or write yourself in. As I sit at desk, ink in hand, writing, I remember school days, when those of us who were left-handed were made to change they way we wrote. To write with our right hand because that was what was ‘right’      The nuns rushed from each corner of the playground to where I stood in the centre of the square, her on the ground before me, crying, and my dream comes back to me now in which I enacted some violence, but it was to survive, wasn’t it? And was that any excuse? Left and right Right and wrong An and an other Margins mainstream Risk safe Lazy binaries Not this kind of love The clutch of words, propositions to move in one direction or the opposite, that there is a right to be arrived at, I remember how words can be used to fix chemicals that fix the light to the page You,

are the space between the words

I remember that when I first met him he spoke of his past projects and there was one especially that captured my imagination. He described an intimate performance, for just one audience member at a time, in which the audience member would be asked to look through some photographs with him. The photographs were of a man, or men – the sort of photographs you might find in someone’s family album. They would talk about memories, who the photographs reminded them of, and maybe it was someone who wasn’t here anymore. The photographs had that sort of energy to them, pictures of someone whose soul had left the earth and whose physical traces were these marks of captured light on a scrap of paper, slowly blurring and fading. Once they had spoken for some time, he would take the photographs one by one and hold them over a small porcelain bowl, light a match, and burn them. Then, still warm from the flame, he would decant the ash into a glass vial, cap it with a tiny cork and thread it onto a silken string, and give it to the audience member to wear away. As attempts to make memories concrete Though lately it is the movement of hands, or their position in space, that stops me, makes me translate


Experiences into facts People into objects soft soft flesh I remember where I’ve come from, what I’ve heard and learnt, lived and witnessed. How and which bodies were written as right and wrong. And I remember those truths changing. How words can undo. Writing the truth into fiction. He said he had written me into his story because I was his inspiration, and now that sun-drenched afternoon in the forest when nothing happened but beauty would be written into history, and would be read by others long after we had passed from this frame into the next, and there was a moral imperative to share the story with me, which made me weep because I understood what he had done, and how very old he was, and how he knew the names of all the leaves and all the flowers. Also the pine cones knocking in the high boughs and the soil littered with needles and the violets shyly raising their faces to the trembling beams of light. Words can move the ways we have been taught to think, to see and act As a (dance) maker I work with people as on-going transformations, fluid beings, bodies becoming, landscapes, matter. I’m moved by movement not as representation, but as changing, unfixing, undoing, reordering, re-sculpting, re-knowing, a celebration of temporality and impermanence, of all that’s in between. As if they themselves were learning or remembering, re-experiencing as they moved. Some of our bodies were still in the space while some of them moved. There was pleasure to be had in being still while others moved, also the feeling that one wanted to move oneself, but was it possible? Was it allowed? What would it mean, really, now, to move one’s limbs in the light flooding through high windows, remembering making love to a body no longer on this earth? His head rising and falling, her arm curling through space, nearly brushing a woman’s knee, bodies bending at the waist, slow, intentional footsteps, the floor drawing up to support the bones of the spine, and a hand filling sheets of paper with words. I dance (little) political acts of Love

LP

JLW


THE MEMORY OF CLOTH They dress beautifully in clothes that often have holes or threads showing, as if to show how life wears us. Closely shaven. Skin pale, translucent at the temples. They fell once, on their own in a foreign city, and when I saw them they had a cut or bruise on their head. They wear a scent that reminds me of Italian gardens, orange blossom and petals rolling like wings of butterflies in a rush of wind blowing down from the mountain top – we are in a valley, and the car is parked by the cliff edge where the sea below is icy cold still even though it is September and the sun is shining. That’s where this scent takes me. Do they look after themselves? Are they in pain? Are they alone? They are young to have loved so much, to have lost so much. They help others and forget to help themselves. They notice my hand moving slowly through the air as if through water and I am grateful for their attentiveness, for their noticing. JLW

Ben Whyman Musings on In the Ink Dark with Shanti Freed How to tell a story with cloth. How to interpret someone’s vision with threads of feeling. How to capture memory in the warp and the weft. The influence someone has on their clothing and the potential influence of clothing on someone: not only in restriction to movement, containment and resistance, but transformations and distortions of the body. Moving and straining - against, with, towards, through and over the body. The space within The space between The space around The hauntings of the physical body on cloth Materiality and immateriality. What remains, and lost

Lines of stitch holding life together. Catching, bearing up or unravelling, falling away, undoing Dyeing (alchemy involved) and fading and story-telling always story-telling The costumes work hard, are worked hard. Individual demeanour shapes the form, silhouette, shape, the lift and sway. Not puncturing the space around the performer and those participating in the experience, but a presence. Not violating the space, but letting it be known that something has been here, will be there. The proposition: that nothing is forever. That a performance only lasts as long as it lasts. That the clothes these dancers wear tell the stories beyond the end of that performance, in the wrinkles and the materiality of worn cloth.


Things falling away because they can’t bear us up anymore Things falling away so space for the new is created Cloth undoing, fraying at the seams and edges. Clothing changes, fades, is undone by us. It is amenable, pliable, our desires infusing the threads. Memories to be imbued within and around Banking the stories of memories in times of need, laying foundations. Surges, receding, rescinding, flooding, amassing. Call and response You look back, and they’re dead You look forward, and you understand why The stories of memories are individual and personal. Hue/colour/tone is involved in some way when we gather memories, when we re-remember. Memories subdued. Dying, loss, absence imbues this work. Writer, gardener, lovers, friends and acquaintances (absent and very present). Tangible and intangible rhizomes of connections; associations and ways through and away from memories lost or regained. Remembering and re-remembering Always the stories telling and re-telling The work Shanti Freed and I developed with Luke and the collaborators on In the Ink Dark is a record of research going back at least two years. At Cove Park and Linn Gardens (overlooking Loch Long, Scotland), Luke and I wandered as we wondered about the presentation of loss and memory and absence

in performance. We walked along stony beaches. I looked at the stones very intently and for a long time. There was a reason for this. I have an interest in materiality and immateriality. The marks and wear of movement, actions and time on materials. Surfaces, like skin and cloth react with each other. What is left behind is where the really interesting stuff is found. The biography of the object is hidden there. It is a memory captured. Luke and I talked about the memory of cloth. It is something that sustained, and has continued to sustain In the Ink Dark. As time moved on, Shanti, Luke and I began working alongside each other in thinking through the performers’ costumes. Collaboration involves minds meeting, drawing ideas together, unpicking, unpacking, devising, considering, reconsidering, assessing, reassessing, making, re-making, completing. Ideas bounced and mingled, co-existed and were laid to rest or inspired another rush of creativity and pattern-cutting. Rich and warm discussions ensued around colour, texture, form, feel (with feeling). In the organic, collaborative elements of this cross art form there was a much welcomed and needed inspiration found in each other. The opportunity to play with and bounce ideas around, run with, free form, react and respond with fabric and textures and layers. Somehow, this reflected our emotional landscapes and the elements that made up In the Ink Dark. Trust in each other and in the spirit of the work was important. We as collaborators had to trust the process, to acknowledge the


incredible trust needed, and given, as we explored ideas instinctively and intuitively. Luke talked about landscapes, and we wondered about the memory in the land. And in our physical bodies. And in the garments we wear. Unpacking the body of ideas, talking to Luke and questioning. Reconsidering the body as landscape, looking at it from another angle, always with gentle mindfulness. How did we want this to feel, for the performer and the participant engaged in the experience of being a part of In the Ink Dark? Gently interrogating what we wanted to feel when we experienced the performance, what we wanted the dancers to feel. We knew we wanted volume to envelop the bodies of the performers and create landscapes around their bodies. In the end, we settled on trousers for many of the performers as a way of telling stories like this. Trousers that held layers of meaning in the line and fold of cloth. This is known: generosity knows no bounds. We experienced this when designer Shirin Guild allowed us to use her designs for many garments the performers wore. Guild designed the Qajar trouser, a pattern worked with over the many years of her work, based on Persian silhouettes and it was perfect for what In the Ink Dark represented to us. The layers of histories and meanings in Shirin’s oeuvre imbued themselves in the work we did with her designs, and the performers’ movements. And the simple design of a Tamay and Me (a young company with a rich background) knotted coat inspired us to give Luke’s outfit another layer of meaning and cloth. We rested on linen, the material that folds and shapes around the body and holds its own at

the same time. The heat and sweat of the body fuses with the material, forming folds and wrinkles. A material that is thousands of years old, and eloquently wears the mark of time. The soft drape rewarded us many times over, as performers moved in to the cloth, forming landscapes on landscapes in every gesture and angle. The cloth accepted the challenge. Grey is subdued, but captures every colour of the rainbow in its hue. Luke needed the tones of grey to help create the environment he desired: one of calmness and peace that captured the depths of meaning in the work. I worked with Shanti, coming up with suites of greys to experiment with. I dyed and re-dyed and gave up and persisted, and eventually found a palette that we felt happy with. Wrinkles and unfinished edges were part of this story. The clothes will slowly unravel as they are washed and worn. The colours will fade as worn surfaces erode and degrade, as surfaces (skin and cloth) meet, expand, retract, move around each other in perpetual motion. The clothes will, one day, disappear, but not after they have revealed their own biographies in the materiality, and what is gone in time. The performance ended, yet it never will. It is an ongoing process, just as we wanted the garments the performers wore to be.


Scott Twynholm

Fragments of Forgotten Songs The music for In The Ink Dark developed like all other aspects of the project - through conversation and memory. Normally I’d spend many more days in the rehearsal room but the nature of the music and movement both being informed by the same words and ideas meant they could develop independently. Everything came from words, handfuls of words. If we judged it right they would eventually come together and complement each other.

We talked. We talked about ritual, life, change and loss. We talked music, lots of music: Patti Smith’s The Coral Sea, Nina Simone, June Tabor, Eliane Radigue, Brian Eno, Murcaf. All music we felt contained a certain intrinsic humanity.


Luke supplied and continued to supply these handfuls of words throughout the writing process, fleeting images to spark the imagination: ‘particles of dust in light’ ‘something that strings do’ ‘between epic and intimate’ ‘a snow drift at dawn’ ‘a library in spring light’ ‘wind on water’ ‘bleached in light’ ‘sea, storm, ocean, a desert scorched’. All these words helped create aural images, imaginary soundscapes rooted in reality which led the composition. I considered my personal memories, memories of youth, first songs, elusive half forgotten things. The sound world would be raw, broken, or at least on the verge of breaking. This led me back to a twenty year old dictaphone and tapes which contained fragments of forgotten songs. Texture would be key to holding it together and I would make use of this degraded tape quality. Initial instrumentation would include the sustained tones of shruti box, slowly shifting organ, wind chimes, electronics and string quartet.

The music had to be emotionally resonant without leading. For writing I returned to my old piano, the piano I’d grown up with and which had belonged to my grandparents. There is something about its size, tone, smell and imperfect, idiosyncratic rattles and squeaks that made me want to sit with it for the duration of this project. Earlier in the month I met Luke to visit Leith Theatre, the recently re-opened space which would host the premier. Ultimately I wanted the music to sound like this grand old building - crumbling, flaking and worn yet hopeful, determined and inviting. The music would have layers of sound like layers of paint, submerged fragments sometimes swelling to become audible before disappearing back from whence they came. An in-between space of time and place.

print Valerie Reid


SOME REMEMBERINGS On this dance, in this building The library, as the ultimate expression of the curation of human memory and emotion, is also a space in which things are given their due and where their needs carry significant weight. The curation of books is both a joy and a burden, in parallel with the curation of individual memory, and is similarly selective in ways which emerge variably from choices, from taphonomic processes, and from unexpected interactions. And bodies The dancers bodies served as the site in which memory and thing become imbricated. At times the performers appeared thoughtful, as though engaged in acts of remembering (mind-based memories), but at other times they writhed on the floor, as though possessed by the act of remembering (body-based, in which the thing remembered has significant agency). These cycles of movement evoked the pluralities of being-in-the-world: the exact nature of who and what we are is ever-changing as wemove through different networks, losing some things and encountering others, and the imperfectness of this process (or understanding of process), in that we never successfully leave things behind. Their ghost remains, acting upon us in ways that vary in relationship to our ongoing encounters with the world. In particular, these movements on the floor also evoked the post-humanist idea of life as a process of accumulating prostheses (of which the body is the first). In this iteration of being, we understand ourselves as extending into the things around us. For example, the brain recognises the tool as part of the arm. To lose something, can therefore be to lose part of our selves - potentially as integral to our being (or more so) than an arm or leg. As the dancers moved – agonized - on the floor, I felt with them these profound and embodied loses the loss of self, sense and function that accompanies deep bereavement, and the

Morgana McCabe

gradual process of adjusting to a world in which the extended part of us exists only as a phantom. These deeply felt enactments of entanglement with other things had a distinctly Donna J. Haraway feel to them: the dancer’s bodies each expressed the reality of ‘third categories,’ the multiplicity of being in which both parties essentially create a beyond-hybrid self; something greater than the sum of the parts. Something which through loss, has to function in the complex area between permanently manifested and stripped away, resulting in heartfelt interactions between the joy at what has been and the grief at what is lost.


In The Ink Dark in Central Library, Reference Library, Edinburgh, June 2017

On cloth The costumes spoke of the space between person and thing. Their raggedness mirrored the ragged edge of a grief-shattered soul, but it also evoked the discarded or lost thing; the ruin; the broken. They spoke of the ghost that we temporarily become in the depth of loss, and the ghost of the ‘third category’ that remains on the periphery of our lives indefinitely. They were just individual enough, and yet also uniform enough to depict the way in which loss itself is both unique and universal.

And poem The poem read at the end itself was sparingly beautiful and Haiku like, despite it’s protracted nature. A series of visions with little captioning that relied on others to relate to those same loves and losses. I found that extremely powerful - more detail would have made the result less applicable to the lives of diverse others. There was both a local and Scottish-ness to it, and simultaneously a timeless, international voice.

Morgana McCabe is Editor of Love Archeology Magazine and is currently undertaking a PhD at The University of Glasgow considering the archaeology of Scottish Reformation and witch trials.


some rememberings from our audiences

from the press

I remember... a foot, a hand, a line, a wrinkle, a spot, a tuft of hair, a stretch, a curve, a smile… a connection, a thought, a memory, a shift in time, a yearning, a dream, a sigh, a peace… a phrase, a word, a mark, a foot detached from a hand spread wide, golden pins… Walking through the trees of the botanic gardens afterwards and noticing the intensity of detail in the bark and the leaves and smiling... feeling awe and mystery and release and solace.

Mary Brennan, The Herald **** In the Ink Dark, Luke Pell’s imaginative foray into the stuff of memories

I still find myself delighting in the memory and smiling and smiling and smiling.

Eyes, tears, safety… safe space… a ball of energy enveloping us all in its harmony… the cries of seagulls… the sound of bare flesh traversing the hard wooden floor. Movement. Transition. Progress.

It is exactly, what people need right now.

Paul Montague, The Fountain We are witnessing a ritual, evocative of muted incantations, the motion of a medium scrying on flesh. We are the eye of the storm, static, all around us kinetic. …an immensely intimate and meditative experience.

Erin Roche, The Edinburgh Guide **** In the Ink Dark will mean something different to each person who witnesses this evolving piece of theatre, dance, and poetry. A delight for lovers of words, a call to listen and share.

Kelly Apter, The Scotsman In the Ink Dark is a ‘happening’ it feels good to be a part of.

Thank you to all the people who generously shared in the conversations. Thank you to the hosts and supporting partners and people at: The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Edinburgh Libraries, LeithLate, Leith Theatre, Scottish Poetry Library, Dance Base and Janice Parker Projects. This work has also been made possible with support from METAL Peterborough, Fuel Theatre, Cove Park, Jerwood, Sharing Little Sparta Trust. Special thanks to all of the collaborators and to N.C., Caroline Bowditch, Morvern Cunningham, Clare English, Roanne Dods, Ruairi Donovan, Michael Dylan, Shirin Guild, David Harradine, Wendy Houstoun, Sam Jones, Siriol Joyner, Ruth Little, Catherine Long, Alice McGrath, Kate Marsh, Heather Marshall, Garry Mullen, Robert Softley Gale, Ly Tamay and Hannah Cowie, Tamay & Me, Jack Webb and Jennifer Williams.


Maker and Curator | Luke Pell Performing Artists | Kitty Fedorec, Robert Hesp, Alex McCabe, Katie Miller, Janice Parker, Carolina Ravaioli, Jak Soroka, Richard White Co-Designers | Shanti Freed and Ben Whyman Composer | Scott Twynholm Additional Musicians | Daniel Meszoly, Kate Miguda, Elaine Koene, Robin Mason Print & Digital Design | Valerie Reid, Five Storey Visual Artist | Brian Hartley Guest Poet | JL Williams

Podcasts | Lucy Cash, Claire Cunningham, David Harradine, Simone Kenyon, Robbie Synge Project Producer | Claricia Kruithof Consultant Producer | Vicky Rutherford O’Leary communications | alexandra forrest PR | Owen O’Leary, Oh Really Creative BSL Interpreter | Rachel AmEy Audio Description| EJ McHenry Production Consultant | Nia Wood technical manager | nik paget-Tomlinson

This project is funded by Creative Scotland and The City of Edinburgh Council.

Luke Pell is a Dance Base Associate Artist


in the ink dark intheinkdark.com

in the ink dark collection  

In the Ink Dark is an on-going project made of four parts: conversations, podcasts, performances and a collection. We created a limited e...

in the ink dark collection  

In the Ink Dark is an on-going project made of four parts: conversations, podcasts, performances and a collection. We created a limited e...

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