Waiting… is a playful short film constructed of individual and improvised interactions shot on green screen, where travellers meet and share on a park bench beneath a weeping willow. Each scene was created using humour, pathos, melancholy or hope to signify the sometimes human frailty of waiting. Scenes explore our recognition of nature, absurdity and fleeting yet special relationships. Waiting… is accompanied by an original song created by residents at St Anthony’s Day Centre, ‘Weeping Willow Blues’.
Old locks, keys and candlesticks were used to inspire imaginative and crafted poetry, prose and monologues in response to the mysteries of their owners, purpose and place. Observation, memory and new connections to the objects enabled the pursuit of exploring language, characteristics and interplay within the collaborative process.
As we searched for meaning we developed a sense of playful exploration. Through the collective song ‘Weeping Willow Blues’ we began to consider themes and ideas from Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot and Theatre of the Absurd: What is meaning? How do we see the world in its present form? What do we wait for and why?
All the artwork focuses on the actors, performers, writers and musicians of all ages from participants at St. Anthony’s, Assisi House and The Bostey to question and explore meaning, ideas, skills and techniques in the present. This has allowed the residents to make individual and collective musical, written and theatrical contributions. Regardless of living with dementia, strokes or life challenges, it gives them the freedom to pursue rigour and discipline of crafting within the artistic process and the joy of community collaboration.
Skimstone Arts worked with Newcastle City Council’s Arts Team when creating Waiting…, which featured in their Let’s Meet in the Middle project at Alphabetti Theatre from 8-10 March 2018, showcasing the work of artists and communities from across Newcastle produced as part of Newcastle Art Team’s 2017/18 artist-in-residence and arts connect programmes. Claire Webster Saaremets worked as Artist in Residence with participants from three settings: St Anthony’s Day Centre, Assisi House Supported Living and The Bostey Youth Centre.
All participants and staff at St Anthony’s, Assisi House and The Bostey Youth Centre
Roman Vaughan-Williams (student)
Peter Saaremets (musician)
Tian Abrie (film maker)
Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle upon Tyne, March 2018