My work to be included in a collection of seminal texts in the field of sign language interpreting:
January has passed and I am emerging from the cocoon of my thesis writing in harmony with the rebirth of Spring. My doctoral thesis was completed and delivered on time and I’m currently awaiting the viva examination.
In the meantime I’m hoping to begin updating both the content and appearance of this website to reflect the development of my practice through the period of my doctoral study.
My apologies in advance for any disruptions you might encounter.
There is some wider news to report, notably from People of the Eye (the collective I established as part of my doctoral work). I proposed Tom White’s short film ‘Social Sculpture‘ to the 4th International Hong Kong Deaf Film Festival and we were delighted when it was selected and shown in February. Congratulations Tom.
Quite some time since the last update. Life has been wonderfully full.
Three months were spent in New Delhi at Sarai experiencing the glory that is Mother India, considering ontologies of the sensorium, re-working my thesis outline and updating my reading in line with a major and exciting shift to a new academic supervisor, Professor Simon Shaw-Miller, in a new Faculty.
My research is now under the aegis of the History of Art department in the Faculty of the Arts at University of Bristol. My delight at this move has been distinctly tempered by the closing of the Centre for Deaf Studies at Bristol, where my second supervisor, the legendary Dr. Paddy Ladd was based.
At the start of the summer, I curated two happenings at the Royal West of England Academy after winning funding from the AHRC’s Afterlife of Heritage Research Project (see Nana’s blog for more on this).
My joy at the success of these two events was surpassed perhaps only by the thrill of being awarded a (blue) Blue Peter badge for assisting presenter, the charming Barney, in his challenge to perform a BSL rendition of one of the songs of Stealing Sheep‘s live set, shortly followed by the privilege of interpreting a talk by Professor Germaine Greer and then kicking back in her dressing room for a one-to-one chat over a glass of Australian Shiraz. Both of these events took place at the ever rich Latitude festival 2013.
A glorious late summer slowed academic progress to a languorous pace, whilst the advent of autumn sees me cloistered with laptop, gathering cobwebs, and drafting the final version of the thesis. To keep myself sane I’m engaging in two collaborations: an aesthetic exploration of translational forms with performance and dance artist Mel Shearsmith, and a commission to write creative texts for Luci Gorrell-Barnes‘ glorious Birds Wearing Clothes.
Otherwise, I should emerge from this academic cocoon some time around January…..
January saw big changes, with a move to Bristol which entailed bidding a fond farewell to my studio and all my fellow tenants at Arts’ Complex in Edinburgh.
But new horizons bring new opportunities and I am delighted to have been invited to join HATCH, an exciting research-through-drawing group with whom I’ll be collaborating. Next on our agenda is a small action I’ll be curating in collaboration with the Signartists of the People of the Eye Collective and the Royal West of England Academy as part of their Drawn 2013 exhibition.
That work emerges from the AHRC‘s Afterlife of Heritage Research to Public initiative currently taking place through artsmethods@manchester.
Coming up in March and April is a six week AHRC funded scholarship in Sarai, Delhi, comparing the cinematics of the Indian film tradition with those found in Signart (sign language poetry). Be sure to keep up to date with Nana who’ll be blogging throughout.
As the PhD enters its final year, it’s looking like Professor Simon Shaw-Miller will be taking over my supervision, alongside Dr. Paddy Ladd. This is a very exciting prospect so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that all the paperwork will pass easily through the system.
Finally, all the input of the Narrative Inquiry Centre in Bristol- from Professor Jane Speedy, Dr. Malcolm Reed and guest Tami Spry- has finally encouraged me to bring my scribblings out of the closet and present two new pages of poetry and prose. I hope you’ll enjoy them. Constructive feedback most welcome.
The clocks have turned and summer is well and truly behind us. As we draw towards the end of the year, the visual/plastic artists of the People of the Eye collective draw their explorations of sign language poems (Signart) to a close. Watch this space for future developments.
My own artistic contributions to the PhD study are now underway and will develop through the rest of the year and throughout 2013. I’ll be exploring the question ‘Is the poet in the poem?’, as well as developing work around Kandinsky’s ideas of analytical drawing, and Deleuze’s cinematics.
This latter work will be boosted by a thrilling, once-in-a lifetime opportunity to join the scholarly community at Sarai, Delhi where there is a strong focus on Indian cinematic traditions and digital technologies. I’ll be travelling out there in March for a six week placement, thanks to the AHRC’s International Placement scheme.
I’m also pleased to announce that I’m now a member of the Forum for Research through Art and Creativity at CRASSH (Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities) at Cambridge University, and also HATCH a research through drawing group organised by doctoral candidates at the University of the West of England (website imminent).
As the season of goodwill draws ever closer I’m busying myself with some work for the Arts’ Complex Open Studios on December 8th and 9th. At the last Open Studio event, earlier this year, we clocked over 800 visitors- so don’t miss the opportunity to pick up some unique presents if you’re in the neighbourhood.
The upgrade documentation has gone to the examiners, so now it’s all nervous fidgeting until the viva on the 8th of August.
I’ve just got back from interpreting at this year’s Latitude Festival where, for the second time sign language interpreters were up on the main stages for selected acts (Latitude is the only UK festival that does this, as far as I’m aware). This year we were even blessed by Deaf Jesus. See Nana’s blog for more on this.
Earlier in the month I was invited to give a presentation to 6th formers at Newcastle Grammar School, who of course provided some really useful insights into my PhD work. More recently, having responded to a couple of calls for papers, I received this deliciously ambiguous reply from one group of second (third? fourth?) language English users:
Thank you very much for sending your proposal, we have received it well.
You will hear from us after the Summer.
It struck me that it would take me quite some time to achieve a translation so beautifully balanced on the edge of ambiguity (Has it been well received or did they simply receive it? We’ll have to wait and see).
I’m now busy prepping the presentation for the Arts in Society conference in Liverpool.
And you’ll find a very old piece of creative writing (‘Poet in Underland’) has been newly added to my page.
Enjoy your summer
The People of the Eye are delighted to welcome a new artist, Sophia Lindsay Burns. Sophia has previously worked with a visual poet but this will be her first foray into working with sign language as a visual stimulus.
Kyra is currently working on her upgrade documentation for her viva examination on 8th August.
In the meantime you can find two new works (‘Knock, knock’ and ‘A Bit Flighty’) on the Creative Writings page
This summer will also see Kyra’s graduation from the EUMASLI programme, with a Master of Science in Sign Language Interpreting. Kyra won’t be donning a gown for the formal University ceremony since she and her fellow students celebrated the end of their programme back in September 2011 with champagne on a sun-drenched terrace in Salerno, Italy (a much better arrangement).