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Crocodile Tears
Atelje Clobb, Slovenija
I invited people in Škofja Loka to place their head into a mysterious box….

Inside the box were chopped onions. A fan at the other end blew the onion scent into their eyes and a lamp illuminated their faces. The illuminated faces are like icons that laugh and cry and grimace. They represent and record a spectrum of false emotions.

The music (‘Casta Diva’ from Bellini’s opera ‘Norma’ sung by Maria Callas) is Norma’s outpouring of grief after betrayal. It is a technically difficult piece and demands talent from the singer to covey convincing emotional turmoil.

‘Crocodile Tears’ explores the disjuncture between the internal, emotional realm and public persona. It resonates with a sense of betrayal and loss some people in Slovenia feel about the break up of Yugoslavia.

Atelje Clobb Residency

From 2013- 2014 I was artist in residence at Atelje Clobb, Škofja Loka, Slovenija. The residency was hosted by the local Zavod (or community organisation), Zavod O.

Stills from my performance ‘Dancing Lace’, Atelje Clobb, 2013

Clobb Artist Residency

I had a studio space at Clobb and worked there 7 days a week blending my artist residency work with the community studio and engagement work I opted to do.

I was inspired to undertake this residency to experience life in a rural context that was previously a part of the former Yugoslavia. The work that I made during this time was very experimental and responded to the wider context of the culture. Exploring different engagement, storytelling and narrative approaches instrumentally shaped the work I made during the residency and overall approach.

I remain friends with many of the artists and thinkers I met, lived with and collaborated with during this period.

Community Arts Studio

As part of my residency at Atelje Clobb, I devised and ran engagement programs for children, young adults and older learners, supported music nights and organised happenings and events.

I ran an art program for adults and weekly workshops with children and young adults at the studio. I also ran an engagement program for young people at the local gymnazia (secondary school) in order to recruit interest in the community arts program. I organised exhibitions in the local library and in local restaurants for the work that came out of the community arts programs.

During the summer I ran an Atelje Clobb stall each weekend where I sold local craft work and did face painting to raise money (and the profile of) Clobb studio and community programs.