Deborah Hay – ways of making art

“Dance became a way to learn without thinking”

I am fascinated by Hay’s radical and non linear thinking about the body and movement.  It resonates with my personal way of making visual art, an approach which seems entirely intuitive and directly mediated through my whole body.  This is an Eastern way of making art. I am going to keep this blog as an informal (and non-linear!) collection of impressions and ideas. I think Hay’s ideas are an honest account of the creative process for many artists, though dance, requiring a completely tuned and toned body, may actually be a little different.  Still, the visual artist, speaking personally, needs to practice every day.  It is a manual skill as much as anything.  Perhaps this will help me to

I love my body, it is my friend and supporter and talks and reports to me constantly.  It tells me what it enjoys (exercise, the gym, cycling, dance, less so walking), what it wants to eat, and when it has had enough (overload at Venice Biennale last weekend).  It is my life.

Deborah Hay’s body “practices a religion renowned for its sceptical stance toward religion.  It performs as teacher, oracle and companion in the investigation, not of spirituality, but of consciousness itself”…Hay “explores the ramifications of multiple, distinctive metaphorical framings of physicality.  Body, in turn, has offered a kind of dialogue – probing, assessing, reacting, and instigating – in response to Hay’s various queries.  Close and consistent attentiveness to this dialogue forms the basis of Hay’s regimen for learning to dance..”  Susan Leigh Foster in the foreword  to “my body the buddhist” by DeborahHay, p. ix.


January 2020

Movement Medicine

New Year ceremony in Edinburgh over 30 hours (including 6 hours sort of sleep).  This was intensely active, involving a lot of expressive dancing and periods of personal communication with a few people in the group.  It confirmed what I wrote above about dance and movement practice being a way of recognising my method and identity as a visual artist.

I am looking forward to continuing my dance journey in 2020.  I shall be studying with Monica de Ioanni this winter and also going to the jam sessions in Edinburgh.

Katye Coe wordpress site a model of beautiful presentation and brilliant far ranging content about the contemporary dance world.