Photo: Susan MacCallum-Stewart
Composer Helen Caddick bought the world premiere of her new work, inspired by the poetry and practice of Jean Arp, to Turner Contemporary on Thursday 12 October 2017. This performance coincided with the launch of our current exhibition, which features Arp: The Poetry of Forms, the first exhibition of Jean Arp's work in a public gallery to the UK since his death in 1966. When Sophie died prematurely, Arp felt that when they lived together, they had lived in a dream and that when she died, as he felt he could still see her, that they lived in reality. It was this idea that drew Helen in and became the driving force behind Amphora.
On Sunday the 14th we will be showing the film made about the project in our Foyle Rooms, followed by a Q&A with Helen Caddick.
Inspired by Arp’s thinking and he and Taeuber’s involvement with dada, I have used nature and chance processes to help determine the overall structure of Amphora. Made up of 7 fragments to reflect the Duo-Collages and Duo-Drawings Arp and Taeuber created and with Arp’s statement that ‘we produce not reproduce’ in mind, I have set selections of Arp’s poems and writings as a stream of consciousness and experimented with sound, silence and melodic shape in response to Arp’s own sculptural use of form and space. The rhythm and movement I sensed from both Arp’s works and the motion of nature has also largely informed my choice of tempo in each fragment.’ – Helen Caddick
Scoring Amphora for singer and ensemble, Helen collaborated with multilingual dancer and choreographer Kamala Devam who, using chance processes, portrayed both ‘dream’ and ‘real’ Taeuber, inspired by Arp’s feeling that he could still see his wife after her death. Devam improvised to both the music of Amphora and Arp’s work, using descriptions of Taeuber dancing to further inspire her, bringing Arp’s collaborator to life just as Arp raised reliefs from paper and sculptures from the ground.
This film screening and Q&A with Helen Caddick is free to attend.