Art isn’t the first thing we associate with Birmingham (more often it’s Curry, Cadbury and cars) but thanks to Fierce Festival, that's about to change. Opening this week, the event will transform the city into a stage for emerging talent, showcasing the work of Graeme Mille, Mette Edvardsen and Ann Liv Young. We speak to Slade School graduate Eloise Fornieles about contributing work and of the transformation that is taking place along Brum’s unsuspecting by-ways.
Dazed Digital: How did you get involved with Fierce Festival and how did you approach this piece, which is specific to the site in Birmingham?
Eloise Fornieles: I first met Harun Morrison, who is curating the Fierce Festival with Laura McDermott, at a one-on-one piece I was performing in London. Harun invited me to be part of the Festival after working together on a couple of other shows.
I'm performing at Edible Eastside during the festival, which has transformed a derelict brownfield site into a vibrant urban garden. It's an inspiring place to spend time and really shaped the way in which I've been thinking about mythologies and rituals and their place within contemporary society and cityscapes.
DD: The work will be interactive. Why bring the audience into the artistic process?
Eloise Fornieles: The audience informs a large part of my practice and they often lead the way in which a performance unfolds. Breaking down the more formal relationship between performer and audience readdresses the dynamic between the two parties and creates an opportunity to connect with people in a more direct way.
DD: As your approach evolves and changes are there things that become more important to you, as an artist?
Eloise Fornieles: The thing that remains important is the learning process. I am constantly learning from the people who are generous enough to take part, which in turn helps me develop a reflective space within the work. Taking risks is a large part of the learning process and ensures the unexpected will always lend itself to approaching my work in a new way.
DD: Have you worked in Birmingham before and what do you make of the art scene in the city?
Eloise Fornieles: Yes, I was in a group show called Their Wonderlands at The Midlands Art Centre last year curated by They are Here, in which attendees discovered the artworks by torch light. I've been coming up to Birmingham quite a bit over the last year and there's always a great program of exhibitions and performances. There seems to be a strong sense of community and the artist led spaces and studios such as Grand Union, Lombard Method and the sound art collective Sound Kitchen are always engaged in something exciting.
DD: What other artists are you looking forward to seeing at the festival?
Eloise Fornieles: That's such a hard question- there's so much to see! I'm really looking forward to Cupid by Subject to Change at MAC and Ann Live Young's Mermaid Show. Time has fallen Asleep in the Afternoon Sunshine also promises to be a beautiful experience in which 'living books' have remembered novels to perform in one-on-one recitals.
More info on Fierce Festival HERE
Follow Nathalie Olah on Twitter here @NROlah