Artists, Archivists, Ravers: A Clodhopper 'Salon-2'

 Photography: John Fairhurst

Photography: John Fairhurst

The word seems to be getting out, the artists seem willing and the party seems to have stepped up a level. For A Clodhopper’s second public outing ‘Salon-2’ the audience numbers tripled, the mediums spread further and the response was overwhelming. On February the 4th, and as always in a secret central London location, artists, archivists and performers engaged a select but plentiful audience of culture consumers.

Erotic short film ‘Cover Girl’ opened proceedings, the 1960s black and white short is from the Archives of pin up legend Pamela Green  (who also cameos) and was presented by friend Yak El-Droubie who maintains the archive since her passing in 2010. The Q&A touched on her fascinating career running studio and publishing company Kamera Publications, working with Soho glamour photography icon George Harrison Marks and being cast in Michael Powell’s thriller ‘Peeping Tom’ (1960). From naked film to full frontal with live life-drawing, three artists (Joseph Steele, Katrine Roberts and Laurence Rose Mence) were given a series of short poses to draw live in front of  the audience. Katrine (ink) and  Joseph (paint and charcoal) were on easels, Laurence was drawing on her ipad pro which was live projected on screen. Through a series of 6, 3 & 1 minute poses and a super fast 30 second pose the audience watched as the artists created, the energy among the viewers and the artists reaching fever pitch as the poses got shorter and shorter. Following on from live life drawing Dorothy Allen-Pickard, an award-winning documentary, fiction and multimedia filmmaker presented ‘Old Pal’ a documentary-conversation with Caitlin McMullan about her experience of living with disability, the audience were moved by the story and the approach taken to exploring the subject.


After the halftime break Errol McGlashan aka 'Uncle Errol' gave rousing renditions of his spoken word repertoire. Highlights included 'London Lonely' and ‘One Drop’ a song about the racially motivated murder of Stephen Lawrence. Mega Pash Action  (aka Alana Yee) along with Valentina Uliviers presented ‘The Lamb Shift' a movement study and inquiry performed in real time composition. Inspired by their current life styles of juggling two extremes of extensive life modelling and managing dance practices the piece looked at ideas of  “complete stillness, dynamic movement and endurance” referencing parallels with bodybuilders and athletes. Drenched in baby oil the structured improvisation aesthetically emphasised their musculature and portrayed the work of sweaty athletes. Dorothy Allen Pickard presented her second piece for the night, short fiction film ‘Spent’, a fascinating insight into the concept of indirect sex work. One woman hurricane Sam Amant gave a rousing performance of her electro/post punk music getting the crowd on their feet with her powerful stage presence. And wrapping up the Salon part of the evening was hooper, voguer and rollerskater ‘Symoné’. Starting her performance with a delicate and provocative performance showcasing her incredible hooping skills it culminated in a whirling blur of hoops bouncing off her body all at once as two performers pretended to shoot her to gunshots in the soundtrack...before the brief Q&A afterwards she was carried off stage limp and lifeless as if dead. WOW!

 
 Photography: John Fairhurst

Photography: John Fairhurst

I say wonder, you say woman...WONDER! WOMAN! WONDER! WOMAN!
— WondRWomN

Next was the after rave, DJ Fizzy D bridged the gap from art-to-rave with a two hour reggae set ending on classic hip hop. This segued beautifully to Dirtbag Storm Ant who picked up on the hip hop and transitioned to Old Skool UK garage where the energy shifted up a gear. Accompanied by the talented ArA Harmonic on vocals the sound and vibe brought us back to the 1990’s and a bit beyond. ArA took turns with MC WondRWomN, together these two young emerging talents "rocked the mic like a vandal" adding a superb touch to a banging party. Highlights included a ArA doing a garage improv of TLC’s classic ‘No Scrubs’ and the call and response of WondRWomN “I say wonder, you say woman - WONDER - WOMAN - WONDER - WOMAN”, YES GIRL! From their A CLodhopper resident Boruch took us through our Drum & Bass paces playing a splendid high sweat dance set taken to another level when Sam Amant took to the mic. Improvising phenomenal high energy MCing skills the avant-garde singer might possibly have learnt from her days supporting Beardy Man. Filipp took over from Boruch finishing the night at 07:30AM, the perfect end to a perfect night of culture, hedonism and sweat.

Hope to see you at the next one! ;-)


 Photography: John Fairhurst

Photography: John Fairhurst