Anakana Schofield – Author of Bina, Martin John and Malarky


Lori Weidenhammer, my collaborator on Chaos, has carefully recorded her impressions of the other performances during Chaos over on her Beespeaker blog and has collated information on Sandra Johnston, Pauline Cummins and Sinead O’Donnell’s work. including some photos documenting the performances at Open Space and offsite at the Maritime Museum courtroom. I promised to do this but have been unable yet to deliver. My brain is rather seized at the moment, so for those who’ve been asking me for details please visit Lori’s blog and learn about the other artists work. Plus you’ll see a few goofy pics of us in rehearsal/prep mode and at the breakfast table aka larking about. We’ve no pics of our performance as yet.

Open Space also recorded video, stills and will produce a catalogue and essay on Chaos, plus the most exciting prospect of all… a flipbook.

Powerful stuff in the two performances this evening at CHAOS a series of events at Open Space that I am participating in. We did our performance last night to a very responsive and receptive audience. More on that once my head settles.

Tonight though in the Victorian Courtroom in the Maritime Museum Sandra Johnston did a performance that was affecting and disturbing and I am still reeling from it.  Again I will have to write more once my head recovers.

Back at Open Space Pauline Cummins did another powerful performance involving video, actions and a trumpet player.This is a very late night, wordless description, but I am flooded with exhaustion, exhilaration, too much laughing and beer!

We had our final Mna na h’Eireann chat and drink it up ensemble in Open Space afterwards with stories and laughter, roaring, (we know soo mnay of the same characters) and we then all walked back to the hotel in the rain — the first storm of the season. So great to get a good old blast of these women. This won’t be the end of it, we’ll meet again and hopefully take the project to other cities together.

I urge you to look up these artists work. Extraordinary work it is. Privileged to share a space with them.

Chaos II

Prepping all day in the gallery space. Tech guys working v hard to accommodate the needs of our piece and the other artists. This evening the artists were all taken to a place called The Superior where we enjoyed an array of tasty appetizers and wine and swing jazz music. One of the musicians, an older male, had a interesting vitamin bottle which I investigated that was called Turbo.

Had a good old natter to the lovely, lovely Pauline Cummins about Irish feminism in the 60-70’s period. We’d great craic the lot of us. Inspired, divine company. So mighty to have these strong minds to exchange ideas with and to hear about art related actions and so on in Belfast and Dublin.

Mna na h’Eireann rocking it ensemble in Victoria.

Chaos 1

First day of the Chaos project here in Victoria with Open Space. Tonight three artists talks at Camosun College (sp?) — a full room of students and community. The artists Sinead O’Donnell, Pauline Cummins and Sandra Johnston gave engaging talks on their work. The prolonged physical component in Sandra Johnston’s work fascinated me and I discussed it with her in the bar afterwards. Both Sandra and Sinead have made actions where the performance takes place in a public place and sometimes people are not aware a performance is even taking place. There were several slides from actions/performances in Romania that were particularly compelling in this regard. It made me think of performance within documentary. Except the documentary is otherwise undocumented moments in life. There was a hearty discussion at the end about documentation and its interference with performance.

But the extent to which these three artists engage in collaborative processes was extraordinary listening and I can only imagine how extraordinary some of this work was to witness. Also hearing Sandra talk about Belfast still operating with an artist run ethos (artists supporting and encouraging other artists, spaces etc) reminded me of how much has been lost on this coast in that regard.

More from my notes tomorrow.


I’m thrilled to be performing mischief with performance artist Lori Weidenhammer, this week, at Open Space in Victoria, as part of Chaos, along with four women performance artists from Belfast and Iraq.

This week I will be finding and uploading links to the artists work: Sinéad O’Donnell (Belfast) pictured, Sandra Johnston (Belfast), Pauline Cummins (Dublin), Poshya Kakl (Iraq). I will also be posting from Victoria as the performances and artist talks and events unroll.

To read more about Chaos click here

Thanks to Lori for inviting me to collaborate with her. Thanks also to Phoenix Gymnastics and Jeremy for video footage and Peter for photos.

Working hard with Lori on our performance art piece for Chaos at Open Space in Victoria next month.

We are, it must be said, having a riot.

I am looking for a Ukulele to use for it, if you’ve got one that’s abandoned or ignored in the corner.