Warmed Air, Edinburgh Art Festival 2018
In August 2018, as part of the Edinburgh Art Festival, artists Steven Anderson, Laura Gonzalez, Laura Bradshaw, Paul Michael Henry and John Clark performed their site-specific performance ‘Warmed Air’ to a combined audience of over 100 people in our historic lecture theatre, foyer and Anatomical Museum.
This was a multi-disciplinary performance using spoken word, dance and music which
explored levels of perceiving and experiencing the body; from the tangible sensations of one’s own body and the memories that form the stories of our bodies, to the relationships our bodies have with the bodies of others, both alive and dead.*
The project developed the professional and artistic relationship Steven Anderson had formed with anatomy during the creation of an earlier performance called ‘No defensive curves’ which centred on the anatomical artworks held in the collections.
Our Museum and Collections Assistant Ruth was invited to play her shawm (the ancestor of the modern day oboe) to add a sound element to the performance alongside pre-recorded breathing sounds and a looped video of the sun whilst the artists moved across the lecture theatre. In the Anatomical Museum each performer used voice and movement to highlight and explore their own responses towards particular human remains on display and Ruth ended the performance playing a version of an 18th century Scottish folk song called “The Cruel Mither” which filled the museum with an ethereal sound.
Ruth’s remit within anatomy is to care for the historic anatomical collections and facilitate their use for research, study and exhibition.
* Quote from Warmed Air website