In developing The Ten Inch Heels I have been thinking more about ways of approaching the audience and in doing so, I found a useful discussion about risking intimacy with audiences by Bobby Baker. In her show, Packed Lunch (1979), Baker gave the audience food so that they could experience a different way of eating; a change in environment, an unknown dish and her unique culinary presentation. Her attention to detail within the arrangement of food brings forth a cultural perfection that a well-trained woman would have to adhere to. However, it is not just about the way in which the food is presented, it is how the food is given. The emphasis on HOW she enters audience space will dictate the atmosphere of the work from that point onwards. This would apply to me in my work in the way I touch the audience, look at them, how I stand next to them, have them stand next to me, whether or not I let them touch me and if I give them the object(the shoes), or not. Baker also reminded me that if you encourage the audience to treat you or see you in a certain way, in her case, to be humiliated by them, they become complicit in that role and this can be difficult for a performer to get out of it.  If you want to see how I navigate my audience interaction in The Ten Inch Heels, here is a link for tickets to the show.

An Artist I am Interested In

How I have only just heard about the work of Yves Klien, I don’t know, but I am interested and want to explore more. His work “Living Brushes” has a lot to say about using the body as a tool to create art. He literally used the female body as a paint brush. In front of a live audience, naked female models would cover their body in paint in preparation to come into contact with a blank canvas whereby they left an imprint of their form. His interest in using the body as a paintbrush was not to objectify the body, or to generate something erotic, rather, he wanted subjectify them, to use their living energy to create art. His models spoke highly of their experience, claiming it as magical and expressive.

Something I have read

Here is an incredibly eloquent article about the benefits of dancing like an idiot and letting go of ego. To quote The School of Life, when we dance “we are symbolically ‘standing apart’ from ourselves – separated from the dense, detailed and self-centered layers of our identities which we normally focus on and obsess over. We should reconnect with something more primal and more necessary: our common human nature. We remember, through a period of ecstatic dancing, what it is like to belong, to be part of something larger than ourselves, to be indifferent to our own egos – to be reunited with humanity.

Something I am watching

The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel – If you have not watched this before and are in need of a laugh, you should switch Amazon Prime on right now and watch this TV show. Throughout the series you will witness Miriam Maisel evolve from a perfect stay at home mum, who supports her children and husband, to world class comedian. Much like Bobby Baker, Maisel uses her domestic experience as inspiration for her performative acts. She jokes about her husband’s flaws, her parents, her children, but most pertinent, how she manages those womanly pressures. Her agent, Susie Myerson is hilarious and shows exactly what it takes to “fake it until you make it”.

Rowena x

I will be back with more notes next week, but in the meantime, you can see my daily updates by following me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook


Heathfield, A. (2014) Risk in Intimacy: An Interview with Bobby Baker