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Distil Muscle & Iron

The following is concerned with passion

Please note that all text apart from titles and dividing pages have been sourced from the original recordings of conversations between Gareth, Dan, Matthew, Charlotte and myself. I have attempted to replicate them as they were spoken. At times this has over-ridden the rules of grammar and punctuation. Also please note that ‘Distil’ has been spelt with a singular l. This is in accordance with the British version of the word as opposed to the American English version, spelt with a double l.


1. 4


My entire life I’ve attempted to surround myself with things that enthuse me. I hold dear the markers & mementos that represent my passions and enable my obsessions. A small knife that I took from my parents home when I first left its safety reminds me of my early quest for independence. It’s handle, worn lighter on the right hand side that rest in the palm still brings back the exact moment I sat on the floor of my new home and ate my first meal as someone who was now solely responsible for the rest of their life. The crushing excitement and the badly suppressed fear are wrapped up in the worn rivets and the exact taste of the coffee and the hum of cars that cut such a contrast to the silence that came with the night of my childhood are engraved alongside the fading stars embossed to the blade. I still have the sheets of paper on which I nervously scrawled the lyrics to a song that I would scream the first time my hand drew a microphone toward my mouth as guitars whined. They represent the knowledge that the rest of my life would be in search of a mastery over words and the acceptance of that bittersweet knowledge that I would always be searching and I would never find it.

So I looked for the passions in others and picked four. A Dancer, a Musician, a Farrier and an Artist. I wanted to explore their passion. Why do people dance until they’re bones crack or wear away like the steel of their footstool? What makes a sound perfect or a tattoo infinite? Why will people forever risk everything to do what they love? And while I’m really only knocking snow off the tip of the ice berg I have found myself enthused with other peoples passion. I hope this comes across in the following pages and reinforces the fact that following love and interest can only ever bring your life into a sharper focus through which you can see the right direction.

For me the gentle whine of the Vacuum press is creation & pain. The red brick of Leeds is love. This book started out as a search to find these objects in other people’s lives. The items that defined a moment or a choice, had the ability to re-kindle passion or enable its advance. However, it quickly became clear that objects are meaningless. They are merely memories or means to an end. Without the knife I would still have left home and still sat awake savouring my independence. Without torn sheets and shaky handwriting I would still sing. If the vacuum was silent I would still draw the ink until my hands cramp and my muscles hate me. If the smoke stained red of Leeds was the cold calm of concrete I would still be in love.

~ Matthew, Charlotte, Dan, Gareth thanks for everything.






— I guess it all started about ten or eleven years ago, initially because of Fat Paul and his label Invada* that he set up.

—Driving a couple of his bands around. And it just kind of went on from there really, it wasn’t really like oh, I’m going to do this. I just kind of fell into it. And I met people and then you know you..

— I tell you what,

— Sounds really weird,


— but I split up with my wife, this is what did it, I split up with my wife, I was just completely lost. I was just game for anything, You know because when you’re married your life is kind of, it sort of gets mapped out for you and when that kind of falls apart, you have the rugged pulled out from under you and just a bunch of opportunities came up that some people probably wouldn’t have jumped on but I got offered to do this tour in America and I was just like,

— ‘What the hell have I got to lose?’

— it was like two months, and it was literally like ‘pack your bag and be there, be in San Francisco in three days.’ And I was just like,

— ‘yeah. I’ll do it.’

* Invada Records UK was Set up by Portishead’s Geoff Barrow and Paul Horlick. Showcasing the “Finest in experimental music. From krautrock to hip-hop, taking in doom, post-rock, metal and noise along the way.. to promote underground gems you’ll struggle to find elsewhere.”










Roland AP.7 Jet phaser 70’s vintage (1975)

Wattson Classic Fuzz FY-6 (Univox Superfuzz Clone)

Six way MODE selects between two clean phaser modes, and four jet modes. a combination of differently filtered distortion plus phase sounds. Also LEVEL (volume), RESONANCE of the phase and SLOW RATE. The final knob allows a “base slow speed” of the LFO of the phaser that is ramped up to maximum with a stomp of the FAST/SLOW. The take-off sound gives the Jet Phaser its signature sound.

Clone of the classic fuzz pedals from Shin-ei and Univox. stylishly captures the elusive tone of the sixties originals with fat compressed fuzz octave tones that have to be heard to be believed. A whole slew of original Univox pedals were dismantled, poked, prodded, and analyzed for R&D and comparison purposes.

MXR Distortion + M104

Vintage Roland AD-50 Double Beat Fuzz Wah (1976)

Germanium-powered, soft-clipped distortion.Classic 70s distortion. originally designed in the 1970s by MXR Innovations.

Original Roland AD-50 Double Beat fuzz Wah. This pedal has a plethora of different vintage fuzz tones.

Boss ODB-3: Bass OverDrive

Freeze Electro Harmonix (Sound Retainer Effects Pedal)

An overdrive effect designed to cover the entire frequency range of bass guitars, including 5 - string basses. Overdriven sounds can be blended with dry bass signal for maximum clarity and punch.

Trigger it during the decay portion of a guitar chord and it will loop the sound to form an indefinite, smooth sounding drone, with an almost organ like quality. very usable sound, with no giveaway end of loop glitches.

Fender Blender Fuzz Pedal

Fender Classics Series Phaser Pedal

The classic and coveted Fender Blender fuzz pedal in all its vintage-style growling glory, ’70s-era good looks combined with volume, sustain, tone and blend controls.

70’s era re-issue phaser pedal.

Boss Space Echo (Roland 201 Space Echo Clone) One of the most beloved echo effects ever made, the Roland RE-201 Space Echo, has been reborn as the Boss RE -20 Twin Pedal! Roland and Boss have recreated every sonic detail and nuance of the original.







— I actually started playing bass because I thought it would be the easiest to learn, (laughing) well I’m pretty sure that was the reason, there were some friends of mine, when we were teenagers and they were doing a band, they were doing a metal band and they wanted a bass I think they wanted a bass player and I thought, ‘yeah I could’, because you know when you pick up a bass and you can kind of pay a few root notes and its just like ‘yeah this is alright!’ I just thought yeah I’d play the bass. I didn’t actually realize that its the bloody hardest instrument to master, it really is a hard one.

— But there’s something about it I love. and it was difficult to make it my own, to play it in my own way,

— I mean that took me ages.

— I played for years in a bunch of bands that never really did anything. We did a few singles, did a few 7” releases I think we did three 7” and I did a split with a guy Hugo from The Heads. It was a little experimental thing and we did a little 10” and it stared going towards an album and I was just losing faith in it and decided to knock it on the head. And I actually stopped playing for about five years, I just didn’t want to play anymore and that’s when the touring thing started and that was about ten years ago and I ended up picking up the bass all the time when I was on tour and I just missed playing it and the next thing I know I met a guy and he was just like ‘lets have a few jams’ and I just ended up playing again and then the amplifier fetish started.. (Laughing) well you know I bought an amp and you know I couldn’t get what I was trying to do out of it, and musically I was listening to, my musical tastes had really opened up as I got older as well which was a weird thing, a friend of mine Paul just got me into some really out there stuff and that really effected what I wanted to play. — I was working in Replay Record shop* at the time and Neil and Hugo who used to work there always used to be hunting for really weird crazy stuff on little labels that would do like 500 copies on vinyl and stuff like that and you’d get to hear some really out there stuff, I just started thinking and I was like I want to go down that road and try and do something totally different and that pretty much was were it started or started again.


— I think it was when I really started developing as a bass player, almost ten or twelve years after initially playing and Stopping for five years and then starting again and that why I feel I’m almost like a different person as I’ve been doing that. Its weird you know I’m 43 I’m an older person but I could never of, I didn’t know enough about music to make the music I make now when I was younger I just think my influences, I didn’t know enough. That’s the advantage of knowing loads about, the, especially obscure stuff. Like in the world of Jazz and Noise and Punk and Gospel Music you know and old Rock and even through some of the more weird I guess kind of dancey stuff coming from stuff like old Krautrock stuff and the Electronica scene and trying to pull your influences in from all that stuff and it takes years of listening to music to be able to know a bit more about it. — I mean one of my favorite artists of all time was Miles Davis. Total bastard, but, my favourite period of his was his later stuff when he was in his 40’s and he did Bitches Brew and On the Corner, Big Fun, Tribute to Jack Johnson, Get Out With It, In a Silent Way all that stuff from the late 60’s to the early 70’s really magical stuff. I know it was a magical period at that point because it was kind of like the birth of that kind of stuff. yeah, I mean before the 60’s music didn’t exist in the same kind of way. But now things have changed and I fear that things have gone, things have gone very generic.

— I fear that there’s something missing in a lot of music, a lot of violence (laughing) I’m not talking about macho aggression in any way, I’m talking inwards, about the release of it.

* Replay Records Bristol now sadly closed.




— I’ll talk about a band, The Who, and I’m not even a fan of The Who really but I used to love watching the videos and watching Entwistle, Townshend and Keith Moon’s interaction when they played live. I mean not their studio stuff, I just wasn’t into, but their interaction playing live, the kind of violence of it. That whole kind of, it’s almost like a kind of Buddhist theology I think, where you release violence through your music.

— Its like a release of all the bullshit in life comes out of you in this kind of musical way and really trying to recreate a bit of that. Trying to write but also stay free. It’s kind of weird. You start being able to read each other almost its almost like a kind of telepathy. And trying to get to that, that’s my goal really. So even though I want to make records and play gigs it’s kind of like that it is a by product the whole main thing is to come down here and try and create.


— This is something I feel really strongly about and this is quite often in life you’re given this value that your life has this pound sign on it and that’s how you’re supposed to measure the value of your life, of your fucking life. And I think that’s wrong and I see people who do these jobs and they work hard but they go out every weekend and get wasted and they get drunk and I think, I’m not sure, but I think I know why.

— I think they’re lost.

— I feel lucky that I’ve got something in my life that has given me value to myself.




— No money could come close..


— I don’t see that as a measure in quality. painting, making music,

— it doesn’t matter if no one listens if your doing that, if your creating,

— the value that you get out of that is, you can’t put a price on it.


The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles

exploding like spiders across the stars.

~ Jack Kerouac in On The Road



2. 35

DAN 36


— My grandfather kept horses, I used to go driving with him a bit. Take the horses out, I can remember when I was younger going through the city centre and going up on The Downs with him an that, and sitting with him, so always had a bit of an interest in horses from him. I started riding when I was about 7 I think, had some lessons and got my first pony when I was 13, 12, no, younger than that I suppose, somewhere around there. As a Christmas present, which is quite strange for a boy isn’t it?! (laughing) and I can remember coming down Christmas morning, in a right mood, and mum made me pull back the curtains and I had the pony on the lawn, sat out on the lawn when I was young, so that was fantastic. That’s what really hooked me on horses ‘cause I had one of my own. But with the shoeing I wasn’t too sure because I knew it was quite strenuous on your back so I wasn’t that keen. You know? Do I do it? Because I knew I’d be pretty screwed when I was older, or what but, I wasn’t the best at school. I struggled a bit really and managed to come to the end of my school time and I really had to decide what I wanted to do. And they’d just done this course on shoeing and I quite liked the thought that I could be out in the country side, out side with horses which I obviously already really liked and doing something physical which was, I just didn’t want to sit in an office or anything. So I went and did this pre-farrier course. Luckily got on, and the course qualified me to be a, to have an apprenticeship. Which was lucky because I didn’t really have any exams as such. — So when I went to collage and you know, when quite a lot of the lads were down the pub or wherever I was staying in, doing a fair bit of studying, doing a lot of catch up. Do you know what I mean? But if you’re interested in something.. and I surprised myself in a way. Because school



— But at collage I was sort of like second in the class and sort of just really enjoyed it. So that was good. So really just got into it though being interested in the horses.





— Anyway, I luckily managed to get work experience with Monty Ball who worked from Winford. And I phoned up, I can remember, saying can I come work experience with you and he said

— ‘yeah, you better’ he had a real Somerset accent ‘You better come see I’

— so I said alright when should I come over? He said ‘come over, come over when Blind Dates on’

— I said where’d you live? He said ‘Winford’

— I said where in the Winford?

He said ‘ask any bugger they’ll know’ — an he just put the phone down.


— So I had to look in the paper for when Blind Date was on, I don’t know if he liked Blind date or what but and then I got to Winford and it was pitch black because theres no street lights in Winford because they didn’t want them so we’re trying to find his house, so we managed to find his house and went in an he was an older chap, smoking his pipe, sat in the front room and I walked in with my mum at the time because I couldn’t drive back then and he said ‘you better put the kettle on mother’ and he was just a real real character.

— So I had a fantastic apprenticeship with an old boy who was such a character, he was fantastic, so I done four years an two month with him but my main job was really, it was a father and son, but I helped Monty mainly, Monty the father, Monty Ball. So I spent most of the time making shoes, making shoes for the police horses, making shoes for shire horses and working horses Just being with Mont all the time. Which was just, it was just more of an adventure than an apprenticeship. — And he was very well respected, I can remember being at collage and we were making shire shoes and they were all arguing what shape shire shoes should be and they had all the top blokes from the collage there and they said ‘hang on a minute, one of you here works with Monty Ball, who is it?’ so I said me, and they said ‘What shape does he make these shire shoes?’ so I showed him he said ‘Right, that’s what we’re doing’ he was very well respected. So I had a good apprenticeship. Mont was very laid back, let you do it, show you in the forge.





— But shoeing has completely changed. I mean the process is exactly the same and has been for hundreds of years but the work and the way we travel and, and, its changed a lot. Mine are mainly leisure horses, got a couple of hunters, I don’t do any race horses, got a mate down Glastonbury way that does the majority of the race horses down there. So mine are mainly happy hackers, eventers, a couple of show jumpers. So I’ve got quite a broad spectrum of horses which is good for the lads to train, because they’re seeing all different sorts.

— And you know there are horses on the round you like, — and horses on the round you don’t like.

— But if you’re doing a horse regular you get to know what he’s thinking, you know? you get to know what he’s going to do, you get to know what you can do too like can you leave your toolbox by the side of him or is he going to turn around an obliterate it? And cut his legs to pieces? And with feet you can go back and see you know? Like that didn’t work there so I think I should support that a bit more. But it can be really frustrating at the same time so you go an see a horse and you go a shoe a horse and you think that’s a lovely job I’ve just done, its real smart, I’ve shod him with a load of width on the outside because he’s standing under a bit and so he needs a bit of width and he needs a bit of length so I’ve really helped him out there and I’m really pleased with myself like. So you drive out the yard yeah, and then the next thing the customers on the phone saying ‘he’s lost a shoe’ and you think well yeah, he’s lost a shoe but if I keep shoeing him like that he’s not going to be crippled when he’s twelve you know? He might go on until he’s 20, because I’m helping him out. But you can’t explain that to some people, because He Has Lost a Shoe. — And in their eyes if you lose a shoe you must be a shit Farrier but some time that ignorance is just bliss, you know?


You get to know what he’s thinking, you know? you get to know what he’s going to do.



— Being with the horses wasn’t ever really an issue really because I was so used to them but being confident in your shoeing, that takes a long time, I think like as in, with the shoeing you still come across things that even now you’ve got to think about it and in the last three years, four years I’ve changed the way I shoe. You know when I first qualified and a few years after, first three or four years after I qualified to how I shoe now. I would say is completely different. And it must be frustrating for the lads * because they come to work thinking ‘What’s right today is wrong tomorrow’ you know? What’s right today could be all wrong tomorrow. And that must be in their head, I know it’s in their head. But that’s just part of the training. But that’s the nice bit and I do like it, I do like to explain stuff and chat, that’s really rewarding to me. Really nice to see when you send them out on their own and they do a set on their own or what have you and they come back and you ask how they got on and they’ll be over the moon you know? You let them nail a pair of shoes on for the first time and you’d think you’d just given them a thousand pound, because they’re so, you know his face lit up! And he nailed them on lovely, absolutely lovely. And he was excited you know what I mean? To nail a set of shoes on. And I don’t know if you get that in many jobs but it means a lot.

* Dan’s apprentices.






— You are essentially wearing your body out, because you do. I mean you have a look at my footstand tomorrow. My footstand is fucked. And my body, is, I made my footstand when I was sixteen, I’ve still got the same stand. But it’s wore out. The feet are just about to fall off. Well my body’s going to be the same as that isn’t it? That steel’s harder than my body. 55

— But it s a nice job, you get to go to nice places and see nice people. You get to travel round and you get to chat to different people, I mean, on my round I’ve got, god!, I’ve got, the people I shoe for, I shoe for people that have very very little all the way to multi multi millionaires do you know what I mean? You get to meet all walks of life. And you’re not controlled in any way, of course you got to be professional.

— But you don’t have to conform, do you?

— I can always be who I want to be.










I myself am a philosopher, and one of our occupational hazards is that people ask us what the meaning of life is. And you have to have a bumper sticker, you know. You have to have a statement.

So, this is mine.

The secret of happiness is: Find something more important than you are and dedicate your life to it.

~ Dan Dennett ‘Dangerous Memes’ TED February 2002






— It all started when I was doing a degree in fine art and I realized that Art education doesn’t really teach you how to draw like I wanted to be able to do. It was, just, never really what I wanted to do, I wanted to learn how to technically draw and be technically proficient at painting and studying objects, which I feel is something that fine art just doesn’t teach you. I should have just done technical drawing and actually learnt to draw. I really learnt to draw when I decided that I really wanted to, Like anything, you can kind of teach your self if you’re focused enough,

— so I focused on it.

— And it’s a weird thing, people say ‘you’re good at drawing’ or ‘you’re good at painting’ and they get kind of annoyed at you because they think that you’re naturally good at it, but I’m not naturally good at this. it’s taken years to get good. It took six or seven years of making no money and drawing everyday. Trying to get to a level that I was happy with. so you know,


— it’s a long process..




in your own head


you’re never good


— I feel that too many kids just get into tattooing nower days and are just thinking about the tattooists they want to be.. They’ll just do that work, just do traditional, or colour work but you’ve got to learn how to do everything, You know? You’ve got to learn to put in solid black and learn how to do light grey work and then you can decide what you want to do. It’s not like there are any rules you know, but it just helps, its just really beneficial. I haven’t done a tribal piece in fucking years but I’m also really glad that I did do them because it taught me how to put in solid black and taught me how to do long smooth black lines, you know? To me all these things are very important and it’s the process of being a good artist,

—being the artist you really want to be.

— Most people just contact me with an idea and I’m really really lucky to be given a lot of freedom with my work. People just let me draw up my own ideas and people are very trusting. I feel I’m very lucky to have that, but you have to treat every client as an individual and you really can’t live off your portfolio too much. Every client, every tattoo is a new challenge, every process that I go through is an exciting process. I try not to ever, I try to mix it up all the time, to constantly push myself, I dream of tattooing, I definitely live it from the moment I wake up which is SO important to do that, if you want to be a professional artist.

— You should always be looking at your work and thinking you can do better. The day that people think they’re a good tattooist, like, its over. Because you’re never good in your own head. All the best artists are always progressing, and I don’t feel any different from that, yeah, it’s such a complex thing somebody can say ‘I just want a portrait’ or I want a classic thing like a skull that have been tattooed millions of times before by all the artists in the world, in every style you can ever think of but if you think you’ve done it or that YOU can’t do it better then what’s the point? Why are you doing it? Why, why are you in this trade you know? It’s the most exciting thing, I love it when people say just do it, and do it in your style. Its just click massive challenge again. I mean a guy is flying over from Denmark soon to have 2 days of tattooing from me. And he’s given me a concept and it’s just like

‘do it man, go for it.’

— And now the benefit of social media and stuff like that, its just incredible man, you can do a killer tattoo, click a button and thousands of people can see it. Which even when I first started, we never had that, we just had a few shitty tattoo magazines that we’d just read over and over and study them. Now you’ve just got the world at your fingertips and it’s so easy to have inspiration all the time. Anyone whose not inspired or buzzing on it all the time, I mean, I just don’t know where they are in the world there’s just so much around you, come on..







— If your constantly doing good work you just haven’t got to worry about it you haven’t really got to stress. It’s when you start doing thing for you pay packet, I feel really beneficial because I live like an absolute tramp (laughing) and I don’t have to worry about my fast car habit or any shit like that. I can quite happily live in the gutter and eat out the bin if it means that if it means that I can focus on my work, focus on my artwork. And I think that’s a really good thing. — Really focus on just producing good work, which is all I really want to do. And I’m a total nerd with machines. I love the technical aspect of tattooing because, once you understand it you can just start conquering what you really want to do on the skin. For me like when I, when I was in Australia, I was taught how to make needle configurations. He taught me how to build a machine, we used to make everything in the machine ourselves, and we used to sit and make needles together like everyday, and it really taught me how, how to properly use a machine whereas before it was just a machine, it was a tool I was trying to use.





— To be honest,


— My favourite machine, which I still probably use in every tattoo I do is this old crusty terrible looking bronze piece of shit. Which I was given by this crew in Darwin when I left the shop because I was there for, well they just gave me a gift they even engraved it with my name, its so cheesy, it looks so bad but it just runs so well. (background laughing from the studio) and I’ve got all these other really fancy, super expensive machines, which I also use but this thing is bad ass its just, it’s amazing. I’m just so embaressed by the way it looks.

— It’s just such a crusty piece of crap. But it’s just amazing, its super good for putting in super smooth work, you can do anything with it, it’s never let me down, it’s traveled with me all round the world and it’s just badass.

— It’s a Mickey Sharps machine its just so well worn, its sort of wearing all the metal away but I mean, if I ever lose this. I’ll just. I’ll just give up man, start washing pots or something..




it should be embraced

talked about

It needs to be shared


— For me personally I gain all my satisfaction tattooing from the process of tattooing. Like from the tattoos that I do, while I’m doing it, the buzz you get between you and the client and that’s the most important thing. If you don’t get that anymore, I think you shouldn’t be doing it. If you want to do it because you want to be, you want lots of people to like you, or you want to have a massive waiting list I think that’s just, that’s just stupid. Because then you’re talking about an industry and for me the tattooing industry is as shit as any other industry but tattooing is a beautiful thing, it’s a beautiful art form, and if that’s getting lost amongst all of the profit and people who just want to profit from it, then, as soon as you lose sight of the important things it’s a dead end, I don’t care about my waiting list. I want my next client and my last client to love their tattoo, I want to see the tattoos I did five years ago, and see them today and still buzz off them and have that connection with them. Its one of those processes, what you’re physically doing on a day to day basis should be your enjoyment. And some people strive to be something that they’re not, or they strive to be more popular. And you end up lose a connection to why you’re doing it. — And its such a beautiful art form, the way skin holds ink, because of these weird machines that we’ve developed and the sharing of this information that we have together, its beautiful, it should be embraced and talked about It needs to be shared you know? Not kept in a trendy little boys or girls club, like it mostly is or trapped in an industry based on money. People seem to think that you can just get good with your wallet, but these people don’t really want to be good they just like the idea of being good. If you want to be good you would want to be at every level of it.




4. 92


There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique.

You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly of the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open.

If you block it,it will never exist through any other medium and be lost.The world will not have it.It is not your business to determine how good it is; nor how valuable it is; nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.

No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction; a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.

~ Martha Graham to Agnes Demille after the 1943 opening of Oklahoma! over sodas at Schrafft’s restaurant.




& 96

space 97



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ity un m nce om da c h . a t ec th ake w a said o e d th m t i n an o w r k a d t t h e m m e o urse o w e h or s o co e f is t h n , w n e a n d this c l u o d d re d o o m fter e a l v o t t c h i f a n g r o ng a t h a n f ’ o t i n oi e a n t e w h d e p a r w a i ut d d o r w w i t e a h e abo a l l y e t g b t re b em ojec to re in kin lly, I r m n e hi a m e t re a p he e w Ir — w a s f o r t r w you n o w it c e be t are ’t k m e p i m e wha d o n e I I r me i k e to a s l Iw

as tw a i re g t o I fo t be goin h a d w n e s a b at’ ?’ d ou ht I’ a t t h y t n’ oug t h uld r th i n d o w ve y m hy ne m ‘w just s e d aid I os t s on c r us pti v e r e . j e n o n e lif sh d er a l i t my n a ev o o th — st n s c h wi ju c e do n o d a nt t wa


e or w g no h i n n d hern et a rt m on i No so d s e s s rn ( a e h b h I y o ort at t h ts m e n e i v ov l i e ow I l b e . N and e un t m e o f f thou d i a t i ) w m ce a b ve at t h f o r ’t li D a n g n t i in ld rary a y i n g ou r s do I c mpo e H s t ing t e y. — n j u eth C o n da a y r m f t h so e lo ev its h o o o d I Sc at wh ing do e v I lo d n a — m







— My days are so filled, and that’s what I really enjoy. I feel lost when I’m on my holidays, not knowing what I’m doing, not having to wake up at quarter to seven in the morning,

— Ready for class at 8.45


— to start warming up at eight o’clock.

— to then do three hours of technique and then rehearsals all afternoon.

— My feet hurt, I have bruises all over my knees, I have a really bad tail bone, I have a bad hip, I have a massive friction burn on the underside of my foot, I have a crooked second toe I have a stiff neck and a knot in my back

— but I’m happiest when I know I’ve been working hard. I love my bruises,

—it’s the knowledge that I’m pushing.




The idea of skin and being tactile with the floor and contact between two things I had this really beautiful material that I hung they were quite vast pieces quite intimidating actually When they were hung I felt like this I felt like a little baby in the womb it was just so big and I’ve never felt so small against anything and enclosed and safe


as well because the colours were neutral they were skin they were familiar they were see through they were quite beautiful and comforting It wasn’t my initial intention but anyway it started with the body Skin material the body as a tool as a mechanic and as having its own fabric The body has its own materials why would you need something external to inform the

way that you move? When you already have all of these devices it’s like a penknife in a sense You have nerves blood veins colours textures muscles bones a whole system that controls everything that you do that’s what fascinated me And that’s what took me to creating a piece on ‘Fascia’.* I wasn’t originally going to do the piece on fascia, I was going to

do it on blood because I like the way that you have a natural rhythm in your body You have something that’s already on its own time which changes it’s a natural time but then it has moments of impulse and being sporadic it can calm but yeah I was going to do it about blood but fascia is just underneath the skin and it felt

like a better way to follow on from my minor and it’s just as tactile as skin and although blood travels everywhere fascia encompasses the whole body completely in a massive net and it’s the idea of the torque in it how it can be tougher in places much stringier in others gluey elastic It has really fine fibers it can be like string and you

have these massive sheets It’s a material of its own There’s nothing else like it and I like the idea of it seeping out of my pores to have its own contact with the skin and the floor so I had this idea that if I was to pull my hand away from the floor the fascia would be coming away from my pores Which to

me looked like glue it’s a strong image that I have in my head that I’m netting the space around me kind of like spider man (laughing) so I’m creating like a thick space through my movement and a resistance as well It gives me something more to my movement than just ‘I’m moving here for the sake of it’ I’m moving there because I’m trying

to pull something away from the floor that I’m attached to and then because of that resistance and that direction that then I have to twist or I have to try and get out of this web that I’ve created around me So I had that idea and that was one and it was quite external I worked with three ideas I had one internal the

idea of the fascia moving under my skin with me not even doing anything I could be stood still but I have this idea of fascia moving really really slowly its very articulate its very detailed and specific and there were times that I was quite quiet but it was very specific the feeling I had And then the other idea was that instead of all of

these thousands of fibers coming out of my skin that actually my limbs so head down the centre line arms and legs was just one thin piece of floppy string a lot like a puppet so if you were to pull the string of the puppets head then it would all the legs would pop up and the arms would pop up and yeah having no

control of my body and it being very loose Then I’m creating thousands of strings coming out of just the palm of my hand or my forearm or my back or my ear or inside my mouth I’m creating thousands of these gluey strings and that’s what I mainly focused on But through out it was internal that internal feeling.

* “Fascia is a structure of connective tissue that surrounds muscles, groups of muscles, blood vessels, and nerves, binding some structures together, while permitting others to slide smoothly over each other”


* String used to locate the audience during a phase of Charlotte’s performance on the subject of Fascia.





­— * Stage movement notes and audience directions from Charlotte’s performance on Fascia. Audiences were guided by string and ushers to specific areas of the stage so as to interact with the performance.







— My life would be quite empty without it and because of this I feel extremely lucky and privileged to be experiencing something so profound everyday.


distill | disˈtil | (Brit. distil) verb [ trans. ] purify (a liquid) by vaporizing it, then condensing it by cooling the vapor, and collecting the resulting liquid : they managed to distill a quantity of water | [as adj. ] ( distilled) dip the slide in distilled water. ~ (usu. be distilled) make (something, esp. liquor or an essence) in this way : whiskey is distilled from a mash of grains | [as n. ] ( distilling) the distilling industry. ~ extract the essence of (something) by heating it with a solvent. ~ remove (a volatile constituent) of a mixture by using heat : coal tar is made by distilling out the volatile products in coal. ~ (often be distilled) figurative extract the essential meaning or most important aspects of : my travel notes were distilled into a book | [as adj. ] ( distilled) the report is a distilled version of the main accounts. ~ [ intrans. ] poetic/literary emanate as a vapor or in minute drops : she drew back from the dank breath that distilled out of the earth.

ORIGIN late Middle English : from Latin distillare, variant of destillare, from de- ‘down, away’ + stillare (from stilla ‘a drop’).



Distil # Muscle & Iron Joshua Hughes~Games


Distil 'Muscle & Iron'  

I looked for the passions in others and picked four. A Dancer, a Musician, a Farrier and an Artist. I wanted to explore their passion. Why...

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