Events Leytonstone

Unique show to open inside Leytonstone swimming pool before touring UK

Audiences can spend around 50 minutes in the pool as the performance takes place
By Victoria Munro

Artist Ray Young (credit: Louder Than Words)
Artist Ray Young (credit: Louder Than Words)

A truly immersive art performance will take place in a Leytonstone swimming pool this week before touring the rest of the UK.

Award-winning artist Ray Young created art and dance performance BODIES to explore our connection with water, the ongoing climate emergency and neurodiversity.

Audience members will spend around 50 minutes in the swimming pool, although they can get out at any time, as they are “guided through chapters of movement and discovery”.

Three performances of BODIES will take place at 3pm, 5pm and 7pm on Thursday, 8th September, at Leytonstone Leisure Centre.

Leytonstone Leisure Centre swimming pool (credit: Louder Than Words)

Artist Ray told the Echo their work was partly shaped by a recent ADD diagnosis and that it felt important to consider this after “many years masking [their symptoms] or just feeling less-than.”

They said: “So over the past year, alongside my team who have various neurodiversities, we have put systems in place to decenter neurotypical working practices and celebrate and accommodate our differences. 

“BODIES felt like an opportunity to carry the process into my practice, creating a work that holds the complexities of difference at its core to create a sensory embodied experience.”

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The work also draws from their frustration that so many conversations around climate change exclude voices from communities “most affected” by the emergency, such as those living in the global south. 

Artist Ray Young is based between London and Nottingham (credit: Louder Than Words)

They added: “For me, climate justice and social justice are one and the same, we cannot achieve one without the other, so without the inclusion of those who have a lived experience of social injustice change feels a long way off. 

“BODIES offers an opportunity for reflection, both on a mental and physical level.”

For those that can’t attend a performance, Ray has also relaunched a companion piece THIRST TRAP, a 30 minute sound piece for people to listen to in the bath at home.

BODIES was commissioned by the Southbank Centre’s Unlimited Festival, which aims to promote “extraordinary work from disabled artists that will change and challenge the world”, and supported by Waltham Forest Council.

It will also tour Dublin, Liverpool, Cambridge and Leeds later in September and October.

Tickets are £15, with a 25% discount available for those on benefits like Universal Credit and full-time students.

Find out more and book here.

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