Bisakha Sarker MBE: Splash
Chaturangan presents Splash a Zoom film made by Bisakha Sarker and Ali Harwood.
We are surrounded by colours. Colour gives energy, colour brings variety and often colour uplifts our spirit. The abundance of colour around us is there for all to share without any discrimination.
Using Zoom as a platform, we were able to present a number of 31 syllable poems about colour. The poems were performed on screen as well as appearing on a presentation in each participants chosen font and often with additional illustrations.
Participants from a variety of backgrounds and age groups were invited to a Zoom meeting room to collect their experiences and associations with different colours.
This formed the basis of our 31 syllable poems and accompanying performance.
Splash came with a burst of colour to brighten up my locked down days. I had no plans for embarking on any project for the foreseeable future. Suddenly a post caught my eye. An invitation from SOLA Arts to join a Zoom meeting. Prompted by my earlier experience of mentoring some artists for a previous Festival 31 project, I decided to join the meeting. As one does during lockdown, squeezing out some time between an online line dancing class and a Facebook Live concert, I dropped in thinking I would not stay long. Little did I know that a world of fun, excitement and a life enhancing creative adventure was waiting me? Once the official business was over we were shown some interesting features of Zoom. I was mesmerised. My imagination ran ahead of me. I had no idea for any piece. The deadline was crazy. Still I wanted to give it a go.
I found that the Zoom platform has a huge creative potential. It makes me feel like a child with a new toy. I have thoroughly enjoyed making this work. There were many challenges some of which had simple creative solutions, others made us change our course.
This piece was made in collaboration with multi-talented artist Ali Harwood. He is a painter, poet and educator. During the isolation of lockdown it was a blessing to have a colleague to discuss various possibilities, develop concepts and to have the benefit of integrating his contributions. We used the Zoom platform to exchange ideas and develop the structure. It was almost like meeting face to face, where ideas can bounce back and forth creating a multi layered work of art. I wish we had more scope to play with space, colour and rhythm.
Over the years I have developed a style of work which reflects the cultural diversity of the society. I am happy that this piece is no exception. Our participants came from different age groups and diverse backgrounds. There was scope for each and every one to bring their individuality, yet there was constant harmony and mutual respect. Old contacts were re-established and new connections made that will continue beyond the life of this project.
Image Credit: Mario Popham
A Winston Churchill Fellow (2013), Bisakha is the Artistic Director of Chaturangan, a company known for their innovative community and educational projects and culturally diverse productions like Fleeting Moments, a dementia friendly performance.
Bisakha’s innovative work has brought her much acclaim challenging many traditional cultural boundaries along the way. Her rich creativity and passion for dance inspire all who work with her, empowering them in a unique way.
In 2015, she was commissioned by Bluecoat, Liverpool as a part of The Baring Foundation’s nationwide programme Late Style to create an immersive installation called Do Not Yet Fold Your Wings.