The sun came out yesterday and Festival 2018 put on FACE CREAM
Face Cream premiered in George Square yesterday as part of Festival 2018 and was commissioned from Monster Chetwynd by the GoMA in partnership with Platform in Easterhouse as part of our work on play, adventure and neighbourhood that also involves the South London Gallery. (More to come on this later in the year!)
The team at GOMA and Platform were excited about the opportunity to work with Monster for Festival 2018 on this ambitious, deviant, magical film that used museum venues across the city as well as Platform and some of the groups that meet there. Face Cream came out of conversations between GoMA, Platform and South London Gallery on play, adventure, neighbourhood, the artist and the institution. Each of our organisations has been exploring play with artists and our audiences for a number of years now and wanted to spend some time looking at how we develop that work. Monster Chetwynd has also done a number of significant commissions and work on play and with children, including Dogsy Ma Bone with the Liverpool Biennial in 2016 and was perfect for this opportunity with Festival 2018.
Early conversations were open and discursive with Face Cream emerging from a meeting in February where Monster talked about someone she knew (Flavia) who made organic face creams (one offs with new recipes each time) and a moment in The Master and Margarita By Mikhail Bulgarov where Margarita is given a cream by devil that she covers herself with and turns into a witch then able to fly. Within these two gestation points ideas of transformation, potions, flying, good, evil, irreverence, play, deviance, magic, the organic, micro and mass production, climate change, illusion, theatre emerged and face cream began.
There were two key elements early on. An organic face cream workshop with participants from Art Factory – a group that meet at Platform and a flying workshop and theatre element using aerial techniques to be taught to people who signed up through Platform. In thinking about spaces for the face cream workshop the St Nicholas Garden at Provand’s Lordship came to mind and on the site visit it was perfect. Within the garden there are plants noted for medicinal and skin properties, as well as it backing onto the oldest house in Glasgow – part of Glasgow Museums. Planning an outdoor event in Glasgow is always 50:50, but we were lucky with the weather and the workshop with Flavia Borghese and the group was fascinating and organic with some incredible pots of creams of individual recipes emerging from the day.
The next participatory stage in the film was the aerial workshop and Monster got in touch with Aerial Edge and was delighted when we could use both the space at Kelvinhall for practice then the fantastic auditorium at Platform for performance and filming. An incredible set was built and installed over a day with the filming taking place over one day with a group of brilliant people who has signed up for this.
Within these two key elements Monster has gathered other artists, writers and performers around her to realise the other aspects of the film. There are commissioned texts from Guillhaume Vandame, Denise Ackerl, Jessica Ramm and Patricia de Vries as well as performances from Foxy, Mamon Hawkins AKA The Hummingbird, Bob Moyler, Natalie Wearden, Mary Hartley and Aled Haywood along with Rachael Cross, Olivia Cross, Elaine Fisher, Dylan Miller, Tommy Sherry, George Drennan, Susan Milligan, Mary Wilson, Samantha Brown, Jas Rafferty, Alistair McCrone, Mary Mullen, Angela McLauchlin and our current University of Leicester Museum Studies students Bo Yang, Siqi Yang and Alejandra López-Oliveros.Filming was by Oscar Oldershaw, Joe Campbell and Felix Green and special thanks to Margaret McCormick at Platform, Ariel Edge, Ameyzoo, Dragan Cichosz, Kristen Zellmer and Eyelash & Electrosmog.
Thank you also to the brilliant team at Festival 2018 for the support to make and show this work as well as funding to realise the project!
GoMA and Platform would like to thank everyone involved, especially Monster for weaving all of us into this work in such a magical way.