GrittKid: a london affair

walk through school

“a mindful negotiation of place
the space of conversation
encounters that shape perceptions
conversation with narrative
social study of mindfulness

collective exchange
multilayered representation
capable of articulating the same realities
but in different terms of address

creating a mind in space

a performance that embodies our
psychological reactions to our times in London,
non place specific
psychogeographical representation of the
city created through memories and experiences”

A London Affair
Dartington College of Arts;
March to July 08
An urban intervention collective

‘London the crouching monster like every other monster has to breathe and breathe it does in its own obscure malignant way. its vital oxygen is composed of suburban working men and women of all kinds, who every morning are sucked up through an infinitely complicated respiratory apparatus of trains and termini into the mighty congested lungs, held there for a number of hours, then, in the evening, exhaled violently through the same channels. the men and women imagine they are going into London and coming out again more or less of their own free will but crouching monster sees alls and knows better.’ (Hamilton. P. 1947)

Grittkid are formed of Chris Hatton, Sarah Gray, Beatrice Jarvis and Tom Willoughby

we talked

A London Affair was a devised choreographic performance generated by a three month field work collaborative existence of continuous exploration. The outcome of such close and prolonged collaboration was a performance that embodied our psychological reactions to our times of urban exploration in London and Devon, but is non space specific forming a non representational reinterpretation of lived experiences


Within this project our rational is to reconsider and revalue the functioning and purpose of designed public space use through inventory practices.

Within this investigation we undertook a series of interventions in the form of writing, dancing, moving, eating, talking, acting, running, walking, lying, debating and spontaneous action, and record these as potential resource for use in live performance and exhibition material. We amassed a larger volume of documentation using cameras of assorted forms, video cameras, microphones, typewriter and texts, and memories which we presented in an exhibition in Devon midst our performance devising process

we met

We are enquiring as the creative practices we can instigate in an urban context in order to facilitate urban dwellers to notice their environs with greater creative vision, and see the potential of asserting an individual action within a mass. This will facilitate research as to power of individual creative action within the corporate and pre-established routines existent within the city.

The project consisted of a variety of field trips in an urban context, which we will then translate back to create an installative studio performance.


We are choosing to carry out our experiments in a city as we deem this the place where habitual living patterns and practices of social behaviour are magnified in scale, thus become more impactive when intervened and observed.

The rationale of this project is to investigate through performative, artistic and creative means particular social and political themes, with the intention to raise awareness and educate through our work.

We investigated the following themes through our planned field trips;

1. Consumation ;
through photography and performance of interventions in urban context
2. Displacement
Taking our work to different locations and situations yet maintaining our themes and interests
3. Disruption
We attempt to disrupt normal lived daily experience with the use of performance and gestures such as writing and leaving objects
4. Intervening routine
We locate our practice in such a way that facilities people to disregard their habitual patterns of behaviour
5. Spectacle
We explore a common definition of spectacle through performance, photography and observation
6. Observation of mass
a useful tool through film and photography to support all elements of our research
7. Transformation of space
Through the use of interventory practices we investigate ways and means of transforming studio space, city space and such investigation can then be used within our performance context
8. Intended space use
We investigate particular social codes that instigate that certain spaces should be used for certain activities, through performance and intervention we shall then challenge this. This forms an exploration of the concept of displacing public and private space and shall form an investigation of the boundaries between the two.


city ?


they walked
Methods and Materials
Equipment used:

• Cameras; Bronica, Pentax, Digitals (3)
• Typewriter
• Recording Zoom Microphone
• Tripod
• Costumes
• Tapes
• Hi visibility jackets
• Torch
• Video camera

The city, its people, its transport, its spaces, and its cavities are our theatres, playgrounds, adventure, resources, tools, experiments, and in such we shall photograph, interact, intervene, create, stimulate, dance, move, observe, notate, annotate and exist as creative practitioners.



intervention held


what relationships are forming here in this heaving mass
what connections are forming through the consumption of the space
how do the bodies fill the space
what is the scene creating
can we see traces of their steps
what marks are left from the creation of their paths in space
what resonance of sound are left
how do they fill the space
relationships forming
bodies meeting
contact starts
flesh resonates
fingers entwine
can you hear the heart pumping
the skin
the saliva
the sweat beads that drip on to another
bodies crash into each other
stomach to stomach
foot to foot
the relationships forming with a tension
the body to body
the vessels are carrying us
we are like cells mutating
falling and rising
climax of breath
forgotten self
that forms with another

how do this fall apart
body sounds
an itch
a fit of rage
a pause of uncertainty
a collapsed lung
a stroke of pain
the heart has malfunctioned in this near utopia of possible achievement
there is a silence
a scream
crash thud rip tear shake jump huddle fist punch kick pin run sprint shut close


Addiction obsession exhaustion competition expense gifts justification hidden routes psychological history old habitat authority

The characters we imagine London to be
A junkshop
Smoking man who conceals
Best friend
Children’s story

How London touches : Four separate love affairs with individual journey entrance
Moving into interaction relationships



• the stages of an affair
• an exploration of the realities of urban life
• characters of the city
• relationships
• dance as a means of exploring relationships
• the body touches of the skin, experiment with touch
• redefining space
• how to convey the city in performance
• daily occurrences and daily interactions


site 2

We all kept diaries/ documents/ image files.

The following extract is an example of mid thought process

sketch book

“Sitting in the Tate dressed in High Visibility jackets, with a type writer and note books,
Making moving sculptures next to prized pieces of Contemporary Art.
The new Darius and Downey.
Pushing the boundaries of street performances into the corridors of the National Gallery.
How far can art go in the city?
Were we trying to affect the city with our chalk squares, with our productive speech corners at Speakers Corner?


a dirty corner with memories in the shape of condom wrappers littered where grass fears to tred

Wrapping the city in wool
Body entwined on the tube
Cold and scathing
We create not mess
We did not intend disruption
we conceal in a cave

I need London
As a hope pylon in stormy seas
What does it mean to work with a city
To work in a city
in a studio

The street translated into neat black walls
The signs now neatly marked in chalk
Our bodies hold bruises of the cold concrete streets

Use of public space on a daily basis
Anthropological mind set
Making body art ion existing art space

How far are we at liberty: the stop and search papers

What is a city?
A mass identity form of complex and constantly shifting narratives, a home for a million souls, a bed for chance encounter, a map where you invent the routes.


This is a performance to evoke and provoke memory of the city. The title has preconceptions, the frontal lobes start to twitch, LONDON, what smells, what taste, what lingering touch.
The audience are invited to imagine and invent their own scenarios, motivated by our creation of a montage of mindscapes.
An intimate performance to evoke memory of the senses.

Non conscious fulfilment of performance aims

Imagination, movement, sensation, imagination

flash dance

‘Let us look at the body itself as container of bloody organs, fibrous tissues and most importantly a panoply of bloody organs.

new creation of represented in landscape
creating a landscape with our bodies; the relationship between four individuals

dialogue of many tongues in the hidden crevasses of an open city

daily activities that create engagement with public urban space

a mindful negation of place
the encounter between folk that shapes the world, the space for conversation
dance or text conversation and the importance of dance signs and symbols

fragments we can imagine to reconstruct

what does London bring what does London give
aspiration, fear, memories, excitement, scenes, collection of moments, memories and traces

use of sound as a visual description of place

generating character profiles of traces of fragmented memories of the city

reducing and selecting an image so that the viewer or audience can relate to it in a more and more abstract way. the body as a whole entity which can be reduced and located to specific measure

the body as a vessel to carry the brain

A city might be hidden by atmosphere, render it unseen or un-seeable, an optical unconscious, and the key to the invisible city

To perceive a city Is to fantasise about a city

Pretext of immersion, avoidance of voyeurism

Possibilities of the street, seeing and being, in between places without an implicit narrative, absence of defined subject .

the dramatology of daily life, curiously, sense, excitement, sympathy, contextualising daily life

Cognitive psychology reality of locating a particular frame, finding the exact spark of real life

Being in the moment of the moment, whilst realising the potential moment

Love letters to the city, that demand no response

a creation of universal mindscape,

It’s language is the language you’ve always known
(Beatrice Jarvis : April 08 )

he hides nothing


This process led performative research collaboration has provided a strong infrastructure for future models of generating a research practice

All images and text are copyright to Grittkid and may not be used or reproduced in any way. +878d

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