Saturday, 10 October 2009
I visited Oxford to interview the performance artist Kirsten Norrie about The Wolf In The Winter performances at Katuaq Cultural Centre in Nuuk and in Sissimuit in 2003. Norrie is a Scottish artist who trained at Ruskin School of Fine Art, Oxford. Her work, which encompasses music, literature and performance, is gutteral and haunting.
The Wolf In The Winter is an international group of solo performance artists who come together as a pack to 'speak through physical action in a tough poetic about the world around us.' The Greenland performances were instigated by the Inuit artist Jessie Kleeman.
Before we discussed the Wolves' work in Greenland, Kirsten and I strolled into the gardens of Wolfson College and sat drinking coffee. It was still early morning and strands of spidersilk were drifting sideways in the sunlight. The dew was rising as mist down by the river: a warm day was promised. These moments of unexpected grace in the temperate zones contrast with the abrupt seasonal changes in the far north. In Oxford, time is mutable and contrary. The sunshine is not necessarily benevolent. Later, shortly after we had turned off the microphone, Kirsten noticed that the windows of the room were seething with ladybirds. They had interpreted the late autumn sunshine as a new spring, and were attempting to escape the safety of the flat to hurl themselves to certain death by frost outside.
You can listen to Kirsten Norrie on her performance with The Wolf In The Winter here