Summerhall Space and Summerhall Lab 2020 – Artist Announcement

Tony Mills of Room to Manoeuvre

Summerhall is continuing to support new artistic development in the midst of continuing Covid-19 restrictions, awarding Ciara Elizabeth Smyth & Oisin Kearney and Tony Mills of Room to Manoeuvre Summerhall Lab weeks for Autumn/Winter 2020. These artists will receive free development space in Summerhall’s main hall, a budget of £3000 as well as a whole host of development tools and resources.

In addition, James Ley and Untie My Tongue have been awarded Summerhall Space opportunities, which gives them free rehearsal or development space for one week in a lecture theatre space at Summerhall.

Summerhall’s artist development programme has been reimagined in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic and associated public health restrictions.  This iteration of the programme, which will run through to Summer 2021, comprises three Summerhall Labs, offering artists time, space and money to develop new work, and six Summerhall Space development weeks, offering artists in-kind space to develop new work.  The programme is supported by Creative Scotland and BBC Arts.

For the Autumn/Winter 2020 round of the Summerhall Lab and Summerhall Space programmes, applicants were asked to present an idea for a new work which could be shared with audiences in a world living with Covid-19. All development work will take place in Covid-safe environments, with all artists submitting risk assessments to Summerhall ahead of their time in the space.

Ciara Elizabeth Smyth and Oisin Kearney will be developing Come Closer, a hybrid show, blending live performance and binaural 3D audio. Set in Scotland in 2046, the show will follow Cora Campbell who is forcibly relocated inland when her seaside home is destroyed by rising sea levels.

Ciara says: “We are delighted to be chosen for a Summerhall Lab . We hope to workshop our script and experiment with form and technology in order to create something really exciting.”

Tony Mills and Room to Manoeuvre will be developing City Breakz, an outdoor hip hop and breakdancing trail with performances taking place in, and interacting with, unusual Edinburgh-city locations. The work is informed by the notion of the changing landscapes of cities through gentrification and homogenisation and the resulting question of where and how do we make room for art and culture to exist, grow and inspire people.

Tony says: “I’m super excited and very grateful to have been awarded this Summerhall Lab. Back in the day, I used to wander around this town with my lino trying to find places to break…and getting moved on. I find the symbology of this quite apt for Edinburgh, which has seen some major arts hubs gradually erased over the years. Ironically, I’m coming full circle having originally trained at the Dick Vet, when I also used to get told off for making too much noise dancing in the main hall.”

James Ley, author of Love Song to Lavender Menace and Untie My Tongue, an emerging female-led collective based in Edinburgh, have received support through Summerhall Space. These artists have received access to free rehearsal or development space for one week (Monday – Friday 10am-6pm) in a lecture theatre space at Summerhall.

Verity Leigh, Summerhall Programme Manager says: “We are thrilled to be able to continue to support  artistic development in what has been a very difficult year for performing artists. We invited artists to send us their ideas for new work for a new reality and are excited and inspired by the inventive responses we received.  We are so happy to have artists back in the building making work, and we hope that their time at Summerhall will help them all to move their ideas on to the next stage.”

More opportunities to apply for Summerhall Lab and Summerhall Space programmes will open in Spring 2021.