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About Gestalt Arts

Gestalt means ‘The whole is more than the sum of the parts’.

Gestalt is a creative company reinventing music theatre as a tool to transform, celebrate and unite unique sites and their communities. Through innovative partnerships, Gestalt creates a range of experiences from mini operas to sound installations and creative learning projects across the UK.

Gestalt has produced 4 operas to date, and from 2015 – 2016 will be incubated by Guildhall School of Music and Drama and public art company Artichoke. www.artichoke.uk.com

Welcome

‘Gestalt makes it worth taking the risk’    –    Fringe Opera

‘Innovative use of the space and collection. There’s much potential in bringing museum objects to life and Gestalt Arts are doing great work at challenging audiences to look at collections differently.’ – Edward Dickenson, Schools Learning Officer, Horniman Museum

‘A raw, authentic creation from start to finish’    –    Nefarious Magazine

‘A tightly-packed and original creation full of pathos and humour that was beautifully enhanced by the evoactive setting of the Horniman’ – Chris Cowell, Head of Acting, Royal Academy of Music

‘A work of art’    –    Fringe Opera

‘More adventurous than the big opera houses dare to be’    –    Planet Hugill

Gestalt was listed as No. 4 in Twenty Something London’s article ‘Ten Reasons Why Opera is No Longer Stuffy and Elitist’

Feet – Horniman Museum Magic Late

FEET

ˆˆGestalt Arts was commissioned to create a piece of music theatre from the sounds and histories of the  Horniman’s Handling Collection and their collection of charms. We spoke to curators and archivists, conducted research and sampled a range of instruments, and from this we formed a short interactive performance.

We were encouraged to make creative connections between the objects in the museum. The Pigeon (Rock Dove) became our main character since it displays a fascinating range of roles in the museum; ‘Fancy’ pigeons were collectors items during the 19th Century (lower gallery floor), instruments from ancient China were fitted to pigeons tails to create music (handling collection), and in the early 20th century ‘Cunning Folk’ would use pigeon feet to ward off cramp (Horniman Main Collection)

The contrast between these grand and fantastic purposes, and the pigeon’s status in London today became the central theme of the piece. Pigeons are homing birds with a symbolic history and a fascinating past, but they have no real home in London and their past is largely forgotten.

Text and Direction: Ruth Mariner
Music: Oliver Leith
Designers: Jo Wright
Soprano: Christine Buras

Adrift

 

Adrift
By Ed Scolding to a libretto by Sean Gardiner. Written in 2012, as a reaction to the UN’s failure to help a raft left in the Mediterranean sea, this work explored humanity in crisis and Western entitlement. A donation was given to the Red Cross.

Clive was part of Clive and Other Stories (2014) which paired composers and librettists with a team of visual artists, featuring art directors Studio BOO, digital artists Jamie Griffiths and Annalisa Terranova, performative architect Eleonora Nicoletti, sceneographer Nayantara Kotain, and Lindbury winning set designer Carys Beard. They were performed in Peckham Asylum.

Conductor: William Cole
Designers: Carys Beard and Nayantara Kotain
Lighting Designers: Isobel Howe and Stephen Gethin Thomas
Costume Designer: Jane Rankine
Movement Director: Yuriria Fanjul
Art Directors: Studio BOO
Experimental Architect: Eleonora Nicoletti

Clive

 

Clive
Composed by Benjamin Ashby to a libretto to Matthew Lee Knowles. Clive is confused, and contained within red walls to keep him safe, looked after by his nurse. Or is she making him ill? Clive is half adult, half child (just like his bully of a sister) but it’s hard to know who side to take when Clive reveals his true colours.

Clive was part of Clive and Other Stories (2014) which paired composers and librettists with a team of visual artists, featuring art directors Studio BOO, digital artists Jamie Griffiths and Annalisa Terranova, performative architect Eleonora Nicoletti, sceneographer Nayantara Kotain, and Lindbury winning set designer Carys Beard. They were performed in Asylum, Peckham.

Conductor: William Cole
Designers: Carys Beard and Nayantara Kotain
Lighting Designers: Isobel Howe and Stephen Gethin Thomas
Costume Designer: Jane Rankine
Movement Director: Yuriria Fanjul
Art Directors: Studio BOO
Experimental Architect: Eleonora Nicoletti

 

 

A Sign in Space

A Sign in Space
Composed by Nick Morrish-Rarity to a libretto by Arthur Sawbridge. Taking inspiration from Calvino’s Cosmicomics which gives a witty, heavily characterized perspective on things that happened as the galaxy was forming, A Sign in Space tells the story of Q and the challenges he faces in creating the first symbol.

Clive was part of Clive and Other Stories (2014) which paired composers and librettists with a team of visual artists, featuring art directors Studio BOO, digital artists Jamie Griffiths and Annalisa Terranova, performative architect Eleonora Nicoletti, sceneographer Nayantara Kotain, and Lindbury winning set designer Carys Beard. They were performed in Asylum, Peckham.

Conductor: William Cole
Designers: Carys Beard and Nayantara Kotain
Lighting Designers: Isobel Howe and Stephen Gethin Thomas
Costume Designer: Jane Rankine
Movement Director: Yuriria Fanjul
Art Directors: Studio BOO
Experimental Architect: Eleonora Nicoletti

For more works please click here.

People

RUTH MARINER    ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

 

Ruth Mariner is a writer, director and opera-maker based in London. She works across opera, experimental music theatre and education projects and has worked for companies The Royal Opera and Opera North. She writes, directs and produces for Gestalt Arts. www.ruthmariner.co.uk

 

 

Visual Artists

Studio BOO (Art Direction)

Eleonora Nicoletti (Experimental Architect)

Jamie Griffiths (Interactive Video Artist)

Annalisa Terranova (Interactive Video Artist)

Carys Beard (Designer)

Nayantara Kotian (Sceneographer)

Librettists

Shaun Gardiner

Matthew Lee Knowles

Arthur Sawbridge

Thomas Conroy

Whats next?

Gestalt’s projects this spring include workshops for The Roald Dahl Museum and Gainsborough’s House, an R&D of Hurricaine Zoo, a work based on a Hunter S Thompson short story by composer Benjamin Tassie in at Second Movement’s Rough For Opera #15 in association with Tete a Tete: The Opera Festival. The work will go on to tour music festivals as an installation piece in 2018.

Summer plans are soon to be announced, but will be a larger-scale project with a major London Museum and Festival, blending opera, physical theatre and carnival.

Gestalt Blog

Click to read about the curiosities we’re exploring in our upcoming projects, hear insights from Gestalt Artists and Partners and find out what we’re discovering through our work.

Contact

Please send us a message if you'd like to get involved.

info@gestaltarts.co.uk

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