Jamie Wyld (Vital Capacities’ director): Thanks for being part of the Vital Capacities residency programme! Can you say a little about yourself and your work, perhaps in relation to what you’re thinking about doing during the residency?

I’m an artist, writer and educator from Cape Town in South Africa. I live in Birmingham in the UK, a place people think is terrible, but I really love. My work is about bodies, ideas, and things, that don’t fit into near categories, that move between states – like bleeding women; genderqueer people; and melting icebergs. I am hoping at the moment to make work that builds intimate and complex relationships between bodies and nature, often quite literally by putting myself in a river etc.

JW: One of the aims of Vital Capacities is to create an accessible site (so more people can use it) – how do you think this will be an opportunity to develop your way of working?

In the play I made with Carl Gent last year, All Us Girls Have Been Dead for So Long, we had all of the dialogue projected on the walls because our actors didn’t have time to learn it, but also because it made the play more accessible for hearing impaired people. We also had a BSL interpreter called Richard dressed as a mermaid and sitting on a TV. I am hoping the
residency can expand my ways of thinking about accessibility as something that is always already in the work, as opposed to something that is added on. I am interested in what the online equivalent of a BSL mermaid called Richard is.

JW: What would you like to achieve through the residency? Is there a particular project you’ll be focusing on?

I am working on a project where I walk the length of the River Cole, a river that runs past the top of my road in Sparkhill in Birmingham.

JW: How do you see the next few weeks unfolding? Where would you like it to take you?

About two miles from my house there is a community Stables where I volunteer. The river leads to it. The walking Is a very laborious process because of my costume, and the unpredictable-ness of the river and riverbed. My boots keep filling with water, also. I am hoping that in the next few weeks I will reach the stables and be able to interact with and
film the horses as part of this work.

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