Category: Standard Post

Poster design by Cherry Holahan

Solo performance event

8pm, Tuesday 20 June 2017, Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds

Choreographed and performed by Virginia Kennard

Artist mentor Grace Surman

Soundtrack mixed by Betty Lightbulb

Poster design by Cherry Holahan

Self Love is a Revolutionary Act will premiere at Sibiu International Theatre Festival, 13 June 2017 (ignore the outdated cast list).

My MA class at Leeds Beckett is taking a piece called Supermarket Love as part of the Festival module and i submitted my choreography as an extracurricular project, having been messing in the studio since December 2016.

The work features  Lucy Aspinwall and Eleanor Greasley (Year 2 students, BA (Hons) Dance), Chloe Hall (Year 3 student, BA (Hons) Performance), and Melanie McCabe (Year 3 student, BA (Hons) Dance), from Leeds Beckett University, as well as myself (playing the banjo, thank you Tom Steer!). There are mash-ups by Betty Lightbulb, movement material made by Lucy, Eleanor, myself, as well as in-process dancers Maria Popova and Gregory Wareing, and text by myself and Chloe. There is singing, dancing, running, ranting, jumping, and a relentless taking up of physical and aural space.

International artist baby!

Photo taken by Gillian Dyson-Moss

On Tuesday 6 December 2016 i completed my first performance assessment for my MA in Performance – a 30 minute live art piece called Were you smitten? [working title] or Do you find me sexyqueering space and feminising time, for my Artist Project Minor module.

On Tuesday 13 December i will be presenting a 15 minute talk about my performance. You can read the full text here.

I quite enjoy talking about my work but i am also perfecting my skills at procrastination. I have made mustard, chutney, mayonnaise this weekend, plus did my glass recycling, took my clothes to be fixed and borrowed a vacuum cleaner from my neighbour.

The crux of my discussion is about TAKING UP SPACE. Aural, visual, physical, political.

Where i go to from here is influenced by val smith’s This Cloud is Queering! in terms of queering space, as well as Beth Carol Roberts’ thesis Neither Fish nor Fowl: Imagining Bisexuality in Cinema in terms of investigating spatio-temporal relationships of bisexual spaces.

Hi *waves*

This is my very first blog post on my fancy new website, designed by the fabulous Zoë Deans.

A brief introduction [or how many labels can i conjure up about myself] – i am a cisgender NZ European Pakeha lazy femme bisexual queer woman, who creates body-based live art, interweaving explicit body practices, durational performance, spoken word, pole dance, and sonic art to explore the gaze, nakedness, gender and queer theory as a way to disrupt capitalist imperialist white supremacist patriarchy, femme-shaming, moral panic, and the sexualised body.

I am from the south coast of Wellington, a city where
“there’s always an edge
here that one must walk which is sharp
and precarious, requiring vigilance.” – Patricia Grace

I have recently begun studying for my MA in Performance at Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom. Amidst a global political context that includes #Brexit and the rise of neo-liberalism, the decision to undertake post-graduate study as an international student in the arts was not made lightly. I became increasingly unable to not only develop my artistic practice, but to critically self-reflect on my performance adventures. I reached out not long after returning to my home town in late 2011 to several academics in performance for advice on further study.

Their recommendations lead me to apply to Leeds Beckett University, the smaller of the two universities in Leeds. The department teaches a practice-led research methodology, providing various avenues into developing an autonomous professional performance practice. In the 2 months since i arrived, i have performed at NEWK, Live Arts Bistro, attended SPILL Festival in Ipswich, volunteered for Compass Festival, attended Sound:Gender:Feminism:Activism 2016 Conference in London, and have begun work on several live art and choreographic projects with my classmates, undergraduate dance students, and Leeds-based contemporary performance artists.

In order to get to Leeds, i received support from

  • Creative New Zealand [Quick Response Scheme]
  • Phoebe Maunsell Estate
  • Boosted, Arts Foundation [crowdfunding]
  • Homemade sauerkraut and chilli chutney sales to through friends and family
  • Tim and Lois Kennard
  • Basically working bloody hard at a series of jobs over 5 years, most notably for Invisible Wines, NZ International Film Festival, Festival of Work in Development (Toi Whakaari), Standouts Dance and Drama Studio, and The Performance Arcade.

I am super excited to have my website live (ish, i am still uploading and organising content, as well as fixing the myriad of ways i have broken Zoe’s great work) as i begin this #academeicartadventure. Stay tuned for my tales and woes of being this art person in the UK.


Get in touch with Virginia.


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© Copyright Virginia Kennard 2016