TO YOU TO YOU TO YOU : 4 - 6 October 2018, London

In the midst of rapid change, polarisation and crises of social imagination in the UK and mainland Europe, small acts of imagination and friendship become radical interventions. TO YOU TO YOU TO YOU is a gathering of love and dissent that seeks to connect, exchange and witness through performance and assembly, and through the action, idea or form of a love letter.

Over twenty artists from the UK, Europe and beyond take part in a programme of performance over two evenings including commissioned work. There is an accompanying publication being launched at LADA on 4 October.

Friday 5 October:

Brian Catling & David Tolley / ESKA / Tim Etchells / Catherine Hoffmann / Mikhail Karikis / Claire MacDonald / Ivana Müller / Daniel Oliver / Florence Peake / Maria Sideri

Saturday 6 October:

Kate Adams / Dean Atta / Reverend Billy and The Stop Shopping Choir / Season Butler / Robin Deacon / Matthew Goulish & Lin Hixson/ Brian Lobel / Erica Scourti / Marikiscrycrycry/ Nikki Tomlinson

This two day programme at Toynbee Studios builds on Love Letters to a (Post)Europe at Bios, Athens in 2015, in which 26 artists created short works in response to a provocation. For this programme I am revisiting and presenting FOLLY.

"Love Letters to a (Post)Europe connects artistic practice and intervention with solidarity, as a mode of visibility."
– Diana Damian Martin, Exeunt Magazine 2015

On 4 October, Live Art Development Agency are hosting the launch of the 'TO YOU TO YOU TO YOU' book, with an evening of screenings, discussions and open letters.

Curation: Lisa Alexander
Production: Lisa Alexander and Alessandra Cianetti

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England and by Live Art Development Agency, Artsadmin and Counterpoints Arts.

Full info and tickets available from

RITE by Florence Peake : research period at Somerset House

RITE - research from florence peake on Vimeo.

Documentary about the making of RITE at Somerset House with dancers Susanna Recchia, Iris Chan, Katye Coe, Antonio de la Fe, Sam Kennedy.

Production : Steve Wald
Dramaturgy : Martin Hargreaves
Sound : Beatrice Dillon
Producing : Nikki Tomlinson

Supported by Jerwood Choreographic Research Project and Arts Council England.

F O L L Y in Love Letters to a (Post-) Europe at BIOS Athens : 3 October 2015

I will be presenting new work F O L L Y at BIOS Athens in Love Letters to a (Post-) Europe, a curated event of short works performed in the context of a rapidly changing Europe and in a city whose country is currently bearing the brunt of austerity. This 2-day event asks artists to respond with 'the action, idea or form of a love letter. Of now. It may also be ending it. An action approaching another, a double listening'.

For Love Letters to a (Post-) Europe I am making F O L L Y, a short live performance. Spurred on by the passion but also ambivalence and sadness in David Bowie and Brian Eno's "Heroes", F O L L Y seeks to speak of hope, defiance, joy and nonsense. It is also about falling and rising and falling again. Or perhaps rising and falling and rising again. "Heroes" was written in 1977 when Bowie had a studio overlooking the Berlin Wall. The video used in the piece is of Bowie performing "Heroes" in post-Wall Berlin, in 2002.

More on Love Letters to a (Post-) Europe curated by Lisa Alexander:
Levelled at this crisis of social imagination, economic dogmatism and neoliberal tyranny is imagination, empathy, sensuality, presence, being together, singular witnessing, living manifestos, stories, acts of friendship, fellowship, solidarity, refusals of order, nonsense, gifting, calls from and to the wilderness, rants, tough love, seductions, messages in brokenness, adoration, utopias and post-utopias, songs from the margins, addressing the now.

Participating artists: Kate Adams (UK), Demosthenes Agrafiotis(GR), Brian Catling (UK), cris cheek (UK), Robin Deacon (UK/USA), Vassiliki Dimou (GR), Tim Etchells (UK), Alec Finlay (UK), Matthew Goulish (USA), Guy Harries (UK), Steven C Harvey (UK), Catherine Hoffmann (UK), Wendy Houstoun (UK),Mikhail Karikis (GR/UK), Brian Lobel (USA/UK), Claire MacDonald (UK), Georgios Makkas (GR), Ivana Müller (HR/FR), Mariela Nestora (GR), Kira O’Reilly (IE/UK),Florence Peake (UK), Erica Scourti (UK/GR), Maria Sideri (GR), Anna Sherbany (UK), Jungmin Song (KR), Yoko Tawada (JP/DE), Nikki Tomlinson (UK)

Friday 2 & Saturday 3 October 2015 at BIOS in Athens

Florence Peake : The Keeners : Performance 19 September 2015

Florence Peake 'The Keeners', 2015. Courtesy of the artist and commissioned by SPACE.
Image credit Tim Bowditch.

Performance in London Fields, E8 : Saturday 19 Sept, 12noon-4pm
(If raining, the performance will move to Space Studios, Mare St E8 3RH
Exhibition of film and objects from the performance launches on Thursday 1 Oct, 6–8pm
and runs until 1 December.

The Keeners takes its title from the notion of ‘keening’, where professional mourners in Irish and Celtic traditions grieve others' losses on their behalf. Peake’s work abstracts this tradition and presents a collective grief in the form of a public performance to mourn the commodification and instrumentalisation of art in the corporate world, enacted by a chorus of dancers on a glossy mirrored dance floor.

A public open call asked for people to submit notions of what they feel they have lost culturally. Every one of these submissions is read out and then mourned by the dancers. The performance is situated in London Fields, which is classified as common land (Lammas Rights for grazing animals), and links to its history as a plague burial site.

Highlighting a framework of collective support and a platform for discussing the notion of ‘artwashing’, personal ethics and moral dilemmas the piece is also a playful and slyly ironic comment on the hypocrisy that faces us in daily life.

A commissioned essay on The Keeners written by Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt will be available online and at SPACE.
The Keeners is by Florence Peake. Performed by Charlie Ashwell, Lizzie Lequesne, Susanna Recchia, Nikki Tomlinson, Rosalie Wahlfrid

Florence Peake : performances at the Hayward as part of Mirror City (Oct 2014 - Jan 2015)

27 performances
Ends 4 January 2015

For Hayward's major exhibition MIRROR CITY, Florence Peake is showing 'Swell the thickening surface of', testing the multiplicity of readings and images that surface and thicken from the singular action of shaking. Using surfaces of other bodies, the floor and walls to propel the action of shaking through the body, the performers play between states of awareness throughout the galleries and stairwells of the Hayward.

Performed by a rotating cast, with two performers each time : Gaby Agis, Luke Birch, Neil Brown, Rachel Gildea, Nando Messias, Lizzie le Quesne, Catherine Long, Hamish Macpherson, Joe Moran, Florence Peake, Amaara Raheem, Carolyn Roy, Nikki Tomlinson, Rosalie Wahlfrid. Volumes Project, which is the performance programme running throughout MIRROR CITY at the Hayward, has been conceived by Frank Bock, Nicola Conibere and Martin Hargreaves.

In an era when so much time is spent in the digital realm, Volumes Project focuses on the physical body as a means of exploring actual space. The invited artists including Florence Peake will present performances on this theme. Rather than being conventionally staged, these events will take place in ‘in-between’ spaces in the gallery.

Please see full schedule in the post above for details of dates, times and performers. Each performance lasts 2.5 hours - please come and go as you like.

Tickets for Mirror City are £10.90 and include access to the performance programme. To book please visit here

Hayward Gallery
Southbank Centre
Belvedere Rd
London SE1 8XX

GRAFT : 28 May 2014 : The Place

I'm happily back in the studio with the inimitable Mamoru Iriguchi who is developing another new work - this time at The Place, London. Commissioned for Spring Loaded 2014, GRAFT explores the shifting landscape of body and space through displacement of body parts via multiple monitor screens.

GRAFT started life at Choreodrome last year and will be presented at The Place on 28 May in a triple bill of Mamoru's work, to include his One Man Show and international touring piece Projector/Conjector. I'm working on these three pieces together with co-dramaturg Selina Patsoupeli.

The audience are invited to remain in the theatre during one of the intervals for a mid-show talk. Hosted by Nicola Conibere (Artist and Senior Lecturer at Coventry University and Brian Lobel (Artist and Senior Lecturer at Chichester) who will discuss the surrealist world of Mamoru’s work. Mamoru will be resetting the space right behind Nicola and Brian, wielding a seemingly excessive amount of cables and digital devices and dipping in and out of the conversation.

All Suffering SOON TO END! screening at Tate Britain

Jennet Thomas' single-screen film All Suffering SOON TO END! gets another outing, this time as part of the Assembly - Ceremony II programme at TATE Britain on 9 December.(7pm - 9pm, Tickets £5 from TATE).

All Suffering SOON TO END! was first presented at Matts Gallery in 2010.
Thomas takes a contemporary evangelical pamphlet as her inspiration. The pamphlet describes the ‘the end of days,’ and is both tender and lyrical in part, then suddenly savagely violent and ridiculous.

An imagined characterisation of the pamphlet’s author acts as the film’s main protagonist. This passionate and sinister Purple Preacher is a conflation of fundamentalist preacher and cartoon super villain from 60s and 70s Marvel comics, The Purple Man, whose superpower lies in his ability to instantly convince and persuade.

Calling at the comfortable home of an elderly suburban couple the Purple Preacher uses his sinister allure on the unwitting residents. A hypnotic slide show, life-sized Adam and Eve rubber dolls, a visit from a mysterious green nun, a disconcerting trip to a miniature model village in which perfect and parallel imperfect worlds are portrayed, and an impromptu gig in the garage, are amongst the surreal tools the preacher employs to illustrate his sermon, whilst unwittingly foretelling his own destruction.

At moments sinister and disturbing whilst at others charming and enchanting, this mesmerizing world of surreal repetition bombards the senses. A speculative exploration into cultural forms of ‘belief’ and representation, this darkly comic work satirizes the persuasive rhetoric of fanaticism, and begs the question:


Still from All Suffering SOON TO END! Tiago Gambogi and Nikki Tomlinson as Adam and Eve.

'Swell the thickening surface of' by Florence Peake at DRAF (2013)

Image : Florence Peake, Swell the thickening surface of, 2013. (Dancer Nikki Tomlinson). Photo Josh Redman

'Swell the thickening surface of', a new movement work by Florence Peake comprising of two duets and a solo.

"First you were my mother or a landscape, soon a votive figure dissolved into a humping dog, maybe something more explicit; this quake is liquid and transitory, unfixed, ready for distillation."

Swell the thickening surface of is performed in collaboration with dance artists Gaby Agis, Amaara Raheem, Nikki Tomlinson and Rosalie Walfrid. Costumes designed by Corinne Felgate.

Florence Peake's MAKE at BALTIC (2013)

Florence Peake: MAKE from BALTIC CentreforContemporaryArt on Vimeo.

6 - 7 July 2013
Performed by Iris Chan, Katye Coe, Rachel Gildea, Amaara Raheem, Susanna Recchia, Laurel Tentindo, Nikki Tomlinson, Rosalie Wahlfrid.

Next performances :
MAKE : V22 Young London : 27 October 2013, 3pm - 4pm. Free.

MAKE : Axis Arts Manchester : 7 November 2013, 7.30pm - 8.30pm. Ticketed.

MAKE by Florence Peake is produced by Dance Art Foundation and funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Florence Peake is an Artsadmin Associate Artist 2012-14.

REMAKE, an extract from MAKE, performed over a number of hours : BOHUNK Nottingham : 12 October 2013, 1pm - 4pm. Free

REMAKE : Moving Museum, London : 12 October 2013 7pm - 10.30pm. Free


Just home from a wonderful few days working with Florence Peake at PAF in St.Erme

May - August 2013

Some news on current work..
Mamoru Iriguchi is following up his residency at the National Theatre Studio with a further fortnight of R & D on two projects; one looking at making a live work in a cinema and the other at ideas revolving around body image, pain and mortality. I'm working with him as dramaturg together with Frankfurt-based dramaturgs Susanne Zaun and Philipp Schulte.

I'm also very happy to be working with Florence Peake as performer and advisor in the run-up to her presenting MAKE, a piece with a cast of ten which unveils the hidden labour of making and maintaining sculpture through a choreographed performance. Developed and first shown at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in 2012, MAKE goes to the BALTIC in Newcastle this July, to V22 in London in October and to MMU Manchester in November.

I've begun work on a new project influenced by Chardin's still lifes, figurative paintings by William Scott and classical sculpture. This together with some other ideas forms the basis for some early-days research with Florence at PAF (Performing Arts Forum) in France this August.

Working with Florence Peake during her Dance Art Foundation Atelier residency at Moving East, April 2013
© Maia Satz CrosThe White SheepFolk DancePlainsong by Nikki Tomlinson with Hannah Marshall. Image by Joe GreenPlainsong by Nikki Tomlinson with Hannah Marshall. Image by Caroline MuellerPlainsong by Nikki Tomlinson with Hannah Marshall. Image by Caroline Mueller
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Folk Dance by Nikki Tomlinson at La Caldera, Barcelona (2008)Plainsong at Christchurch Spitalfields (2010)Plainsong at Christchurch Spitalfields (2010)Plainsong at Christchurch Spitalfields (2010)Plainsong at Christchurch Spitalfields (2010)Plainsong at Christchurch Spitalfields (2010)
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Plainsong (2010, 30min)

Plainsong by Nikki Tomlinson and cellist Hannah Marshall is based on a shared score and composed in real time, with each performance building on the memory of the last while responding to its new site.

Plainsong references the simple lines of plainchant and two paintings; a grid-like abstract work by Juan Uslé, 'Soñé que revelabas (Inquieto)', meaning 'I dreamed you were revealed' and The Water Carrier by Goya.

The movement in Plainsong is almost entirely in profile to the audience, shunting backwards and forwards as though the body is scanning the space, never quite stopping, but looping like a swimmer from wall to wall. The sound is also composed in real time, within a structure that allows us to be more or less influenced by each other, or deliberately counter each other.

For From Morning, curated by Florence Peake at Christ Church Spitalfields, three versions of Plainsong were performed; at 9am, midday and dusk.

Images from Plainsong at Clarence Mews Space, London 2009. Colour stills from video documentation by Carrie Mueller, black and white photographs © Joe Green

"a beautiful performance... time disappeared" Mildred Rambaud

"such mesmerising time and attention, the resonance between the strings and your body, resonance through the space and light but also across time and memory. I was absorbed and moved" Theron Schmidt

Plainsong was made during a residency at La Caldera (Barcelona) and through mentoring with Rosemary Butcher on Independent Dance's Critical Pathways project.

Versions of Plainsong have been shown at :
Christ Church Spitalfields, London (May 2010) and at Clarence Mews' Moving Architecture weekend, London (July 2009); Arcola Theatre, London (June 2009); Siobhan Davies Studios, London (June 2009)

Plainsong (short edit), created by Nikki Tomlinson with Hannah Marshall from ashley michael briggs on Vimeo.

Plainsong (16min edit), film by Ashley Briggs. from ashley michael briggs on Vimeo.

Staithe (2007, 6mins) showing at The Place : 14 December 2012

Staithe by Nikki Tomlinson and Lucy Cash is being shown at The Place on Friday 14 December 2012 (3pm - 6.30pm) within Dance & The Other, a programme curated by Joe Moran with students at London Contemporary Dance School. The programme features live and installation work by Stina Nyberg, Florence Peake, Stephanie Skura, Joe Moran, Alex Howard, Henry Montes, Marcus Coates, Rahel Vonmoos.
Full info here

Staithe is a video distillation of a 3-year performance project, saw/sore/soar, looking at memory, habits and the nature of change. Filmed on Burnham Overy beach in Norfolk in 2005, here it is re-cut by artist Lucy Cash as a single-screen video. Earlier versions involved a performance operating as a duet between live and pre-recorded material. The original version was a 25min solo performed live with no film, and with sound by The Magnetic Fields and Blondie.

saw/sore/soar was shown in London at: The Place, Hoxton Hall, Hackney Empire, and at Sensitive Skin (Nottingham); Spring Collection at The Point (Eastleigh); San Francisco Fringe Festival; Masdanza (Gran Canaria).
Staithe has previously been shown in London at the Intimacy Across Visceral and Digital Performance symposium at Goldsmiths; Falling Wide's Outsider Dancing programme at Toynbee Studios; the Chisenhale Biennale curated by Richard Layzell and Alana Jelinek at Chisenhale Studios.

Bird (2006-7) by Nikki Tomlinson & Lucy Cash

_DSC3738Bird by Nikki Tomlinson & Lucy Cash (2006)_DSC3610_DSC3473_DSC3483_DSC3484

Bird: Nikki Tomlinson & Lucy Cash, all images by Ole Birkeland.