Reflections from Burlington Shebang artist Tomy Bewick
Tell me about your art and your artistic practice.
I am a writer and performer, with tendencies towards rhyming poetic stories into metaphorical masterpieces. With over a decade of experience on national and international stages, commissioned scripts, fringe shows and finished products including books, CD’s and clothing items; my artistic practice has been an evolving journey of self-discovery and social exploration. These days my joy is found in mentoring new writers/performers/poets and hosting the monthly open mic and poetry slam in Burlington.
What inspired you to work with Andrea and the Whole Shebang?
A devotion to exploration and inter-medium collaboration is what sparked my interest and inspired me to work with Andrea. I had been involved in and organized several multi-disciplined arts shows/events in Toronto in the past, and having determined to invest more energy locally, was pleasantly surprised to find this opportunity so close to home.
How has this work with the Whole Shebang informed your artistic practice? Has there been anything that has surprised you during this process.
This work has informed my practice by encouraging more improv-ability into my own work as well as that of my team and community. The work with the other artists has opened up my eyes to other local gems and reinforced my commitment to building local sustainable spaces for artists and audience alike.
What have you found useful in this process?
The most valuable thing that Shebang has given me personally is permission to relax. Shebang forces me to listen to others, to follow my intuition, to slow down my objective-driven brain, remove my organizer hat, and simply engage with the activity presented in the moment. In a world where I have established all of my own protocols and practices and am often responsible for ensuring “things” turn out – it has been incredibly useful to be reminded that I am one like many others, but in this space we are all equal and malleable, sharing leadership and engaging in our inherent connectivity.
If you were to describe this project in one sentence what would it be.
An opening of artistic sensibilities into a communal intuitive engagement of multi-disciplined arts and exploration.
Tell me about your inspirations in your work.
I am inspired by stories of triumph over tragedy, of beautiful, but fleeting moments and the sonic sensations from innovative language constructs.
Movement is an integral part of our work with The Whole Shebang. How has this been when merged together with your existing practice. Has it enhanced your work and how?
Movement has always been a part of my performance art, but the Shebang work has helped me expand on that concept with more flexibility, to allow the written work to find it’s own stance on stage instead of always assuming the standard.
Often when we create, we have short time period to create, how has it been working with a large group over the past 2 years.
It has been at times illusive; (what are we aiming towards?) and often illuminating (creation is an ongoing experiment); it has expanded my own willingness to try different things and reconnected me to a creative centre that transcends one discipline and feels much more like an authentic centre of self, while not pushing me into any deadlines or expectations. There are times it has left me feeling like I haven’t brought enough of my specific arts skills into the mix and times that it has pushed me to accept a passenger role in the process. It has been a wonderful experience and I am grateful to be involved these past two seasons.
Copyright 2016 Dreamwalker Dance Company. All Rights Reserved. The Ontario Shebang is a signature community arts initiative created by Dreamwalker Dance Company and made possible with generous support from Ontario Trillium Foundation.